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Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (Special Edition) [1994] - 9.98

For those who never thought Disney would release a film in which Santa Claus is kidnapped and tortured, well, here it is. The full title is Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, which should give you an idea of the tone of this stop-action animated musical/fantasy/horror/comedy. It is based on characters created by Burton, the former Disney animator best known as the director of Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and the first two Batman movies. His benignly scary-funny sensibility dominates the story of Halloweentown resident Jack Skellington (voice by Danny Elfman, who also wrote the songs), who stumbles on a bizarre and fascinating alternative universe called ... Christmastown! Directed by Henry Selick (who later made the delightful James and the Giant Peach), this PG-rated picture has a reassuringly light touch. As Roger Ebert noted in his review, "some of the Halloween creatures might be a tad scary for smaller children, but this is the kind of movie older kids will eat up; it has the kind of offbeat, subversive energy that tells them wonderful things are likely to happen." --Jim Emerson

On the DVD:This Special edition is a must for all Burton fans with the biggest gem to be found on a DVD release--"Tim Burtons Early Films" which holds his first two works. Vincent is clear predecessor of Nightmare before Christmas using the same stop-animation style and voiced superbly by Vincent Price himself; and Frankenweenie--a B&W live-action flick--takes you back to early B-movie territory seen through the eyes of a boy. Added to these films is a great special-features menu including a short documentary offering an interview with Burton, which exposes the inspiration for this magical animation and presents the three-year task of making the "Nightmare". On top of this is an in-depth commentary by director Henry Selick and Art director Pete Kozachik and layer upon layer of "character development" offering an insight into the intensity of thought that went into making these animated figures real. You also get a great selection of storyboards along with the sequences they manifest into, deleted storyboards and an animated sequence with a surprise alternative ending. The menu is beautifully animated in keeping with the style of artwork in the film. With a 1.66:1 widescreen format and Dolby digital transfer this charming DVD is perfect for Halloween, Christmas and beyond! --Nikki Disney

Customer reviews (av rating: 5.0):

Rating: 5:
You can't get better than this! : Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, is tired of the same old thing every year. He wanders into the woods and finds some holiday trees and each has a town in it. He goes to the Christmas one and finds himself in Christmas Town. He likes the idea, tells the town to the citizens and they decide to make their own Christmas with their own twist. The Music is great! Jack is great! The Mayor is great! The story is great! and of course the film is great!

Rating: 5:
Tim burton at his creative best : nightmare before christmas is utterly mesmerising and the most beautifuly animated film in history. this is truly stop motion animation in its greatest form, and certainly tim burtons milestone. the host of crazy characters form the depths of Burton's mind, along with Danny Elfmans beautifully fitting soundtrack make this the very best of burton. on top of everything, what really makes this film is that its christmas and so very magical, bringing alive the glorious feeling of christmas. one for adults rather than children, this is Burton's Best!

Rating: 5:
"NIGHTMARE , I DON'T THINK SO......." : HOW CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE APPEAL OF THIS FILM?
-IT'S CLEVER AND CATCHY
-IT'S EXCEEDINGLY WELL MADE
-IT'S INNOVATIVE
-IT'S FUNNY
-IT'S SAD
-IT'S WITTY
-IT'S ROMANTIC .......
AND BEST OF ALL ITS TOTALLY WEIRD!!!!!
N.B.C IS A TALE OF GOTHIC HORROR.A LOT HAS BEEN SAID RECENTLY REGARDING THE TERM "GOTHIC" BUT TIM BURTON AND THE TIM BURTON STYLE HAS COME TO TYPIFY THIS GENRE, OF ROMANTIC ENDURING LOVE, FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE.DARK IMAGES AND SHADOWY BEINGS INHABIT THIS WORLD OF HALLLOWEEN TOWN , BUT HEY, THATS WHAT ALL HALLOWS NIGHT IS , ISN'T IT? THE NIGHT /TIME WHEN OUR ANCESTORS ARE REQUESTED TO JOIN US ON THIS PLANE , THE TIME WHEN THE VEIL BETWEEN THE TWO WORLDS IS AT IT'S THINNEST , SO JACK SKELLINGTON AND HIS CREW WILL BE CREEPY ---IT'S DESIGNED TO BE!

I REALLY DON'T THINK THIS FILM CAN BE APPRECIATED BY VERY YOUNG CHILDREN AS IT IS FAR TOO SUBTLE IN IT'S ADULT APPROACH TO DARK HUMOUR, THEY WILL JUST SING ALONG TO THE CATCHY TUNES BUT MISS THE APPEAL OF THE SCRAGGY CAT AND THE CLEVER INTERPRETATION OF SPECTRAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS PLAYED BY THE BAND, THESE AND MANY MORE VISUAL TREATS ARE SERVED UP TO THE VIEWER AT SUCH A PACE , YOU WILL HAVE TO REWATCH THE FILM MANY TIMES IN CASE YOU MISS ANYTHING.

IN A NUTSHELL , JACK IS THE BORED KING OF HALLOWEEN TOWN , HE HAS DONE IT ALL ,BEEN THERE , CARVED THE PUMKIN AND WANTS A NEW PURPOSE IN LIFE , EVEN THE ATTENTION OF THE BEAUTIFUL RAG-DOLL SALLY CANNOT DIVERT HIM FROM SETTING ABOUT A NEW CHALLENGE.BY SHEER ACCIDENT HE STUMBLES UPON A GATEWAY TO A DIFFERENT WORLD , THAT OF CHRISTMAS TOWN , WHERE THE INHABITANTS ARE ALWAYS HAPPY , THEY SPEND THEIR LIVES" MAKING CHRISTMAS" , DECORATING THEIR HOMES , MAKING PRESENTS AND GENERALLY HAVING FUN.JACK WANTS SOME OF THIS NEW STYLE WORLD AND HE RUSHES BACK TO HALLOWEEN TOWN AND EXPLAINS HE WANTS TO TRY TO RECREATE CHRISTMAS BACK IN HIS OLD HOMESTEAD , BUT THE INHABITANTS OF HALLOWEEN TOWN CANNOT GET THEIR HEADS AROUND BRIGHT COLOURS AND PLEASANTRY , SO WITH THE COUNTDOWN TO OCTOBER 31 APPROACHING THEY SET ABOUT THEIR VERSION OF CHRISTMAS .......WITH VERY UNSETTLING RESULTS.
HALLOWEEN FINALLY ARRIVES AND JACK DRESSED AS FATHER CHRISTMAS DRIVING A COFFIN AS A SLEIGH, WITH REINDEER SKELETONS PULLING IT TAKES TO THE NIGHT SKY-- AS THE REAL FATHER CHRISTMAS HAS BEEN WAYLAID AND IS BEING HELD CAPTIVE BY THE BOOGIE MAN......ENOUGH ENOUGH.....I WILL GIVE IT ALL AWAY , AND I HAVEN'T TOLD YOU IF HE GETS THE GIRL!!

JUST WATCH IT , LET YOUR IMAGINATION FLY AWAY WITH JACK AND BE READY TO BE CHARMED AND SPOOKED ALL AT ONCE , GREAT ON ALL HALLOWS NIGHT BEFORE THE GOBLINS BITE OR EVEN AT CHRISTMAS DEPENDS ON WHATEVER TAKES YOUR FANCY!!
LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT XXXXXXXXX
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Rating: 5:
utterly amazing : This is by far one of the best films the genius Tim Burton has done, if not one of the best films ever! Everyone should watch this at some point in their lives, Burton's genius at crafting such an incredible land with unforgettable characters (Jack Skellington, Sally, the Oogie-Boogie Man) and the perfect marriage with a truly incredible score by Danny Elfman make this a must-see. If you like Time Burton, or even if you just like films, you have to watch this.

Rating: 5:
A truly unique, visionary motion picture : The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of the few truly visionary motion pictures of the last couple of decades. The bizarre story is one only Tim Burton could tell, and he brings that story to life with some of the most impressive animation I've ever seen. Stop-motion animation requires infinite care and patience to create, and one could easily forgive any slight hitches that result - but you'll find no imperfections at all here, as the animation rolls along beautifully and naturally. As for the story, I found it good but not great, but the dark and imaginative vision behind it all more than makes up for any flaws in the writing.

Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, has grown bored of all the scary shenanigans to which his land is dedicated to producing, finding little joy in topping his past accomplishments each year. Wandering off alone, lost in thought, he happens to come across a sort of holiday crossroads, which leads him to Christmas Town. It's a world like nothing he's ever seen before, and the Christmas magic quickly captures his heart and soul - so much that he returns home to refashion Halloweentown in the guise of Christmas Town. He has a hard time communicating the spirit of Christmas to the townsfolk, but his perseverance pays off in the transition of the local industry from scary items to Christmas toys and gifts (unfortunately, gifts such as shrunken heads aren't exactly what little Johnny or his parents are particularly looking for). As Christmas approaches, Jack prepares to don the red suit and white beard, hook up his remodeled coffin sleigh to the reindeer created by the local mad scientist, and sail off into the night to deliver toys to all the good little boys and girls - after he has the real Santa Claus kidnapped, of course. Only Sally, a rag doll who loves Jack from afar, sees just what a disaster this is in the making. With Santa suffering torture at the hands of the Bogeyman, it looks like Christmas is doomed for sure.

I don't see this as a children's movie, although children will no doubt be delighted by all of the dark and wacky animation. I also found the somewhat rushed ending somewhat ambiguous, especially in terms of Jack's feelings for good old Halloween. Still, the film does evoke the Christmas spirit somewhat and certainly proves entertaining with its wonderful soundtrack, incredible animation, and dark humor.

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