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The Nightmare Before Christmas :: 2-Disc Collector’s Edition DVD Review

The Nightmare Before Christmas :: 2-Disc Collector’s Edition DVD Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Aug 25, 2008
( Rating: 5 Star Rating)

Halloween and Christmas collide in Tim Burton’s classic stop-motion animated musical film, digitally restored by Disney DVD for ghosts and ghoulies of all ages!

Halloween and Christmas collide in Tim Burton’s classic stop-motion animated musical film, digitally restored by Disney DVD for ghosts and ghoulies of all ages!

All Hail the Pumpkin King

In a land where every holiday has its own town (and a door to match), Halloweentown is celebrating another successful year of making people all over the world shriek and scream in fright. But the best scare-maker of them all, the Pumpkin King Jack Skellington, is not as excited as the rest of Halloween—he’s depressed with a life that is lived the same ghoulish way, for the same spooky reasons, day in and day out. So Jack and his dog Zero go for a walk in the woods, only to stumble upon a door…to Christmas! And who does Jack see when he gets there? None other than “Sandy Claws” himself. Jack decides he will change the land of Halloween forever—by making Christmas instead!

Making Christmas

Jack’s biggest fan is the beautiful but delicate Sally, a stitched-up rag doll. While she’s thinking about if she’d ever have a chance to escape and be with Jack, she sees a vision that tells her that Halloweentown’s stealing of Christmas will end badly. She tries to warn Jack, but he’s so blinded by making Christmas his own that he doesn’t listen to her. Instead, he sends Halloweentown’s trick or treaters, Lock, Shock and Barrel, to kidnap Sandy Claws and place him in the clutches of the Oogie Boogie man.

Eve of Destruction

When Christmas Eve arrives, Jack believes he’s not only done Christmas right, he’s done it better than Sandy Claws. He sees he’s wrong when children all over are frightened by his gifts, calling the police when the toys come to life and attack their owners! Sally decides to free Sandy Claws, who’s being tortured by the evil Oogie Boogie man, to see if he can help Jack escape. But Oogie captures Sally just as the police shoot Jack and his sleigh out of the sky. For awhile, all of Halloweentown, including Sally, thinks Jack has been blown to smithereens. But has he? And is it too late to save Christmas…and Halloween?

DVD Features

This digitally remastered version of Nightmare is really eye catching. It definitely brings the characters and the stop-motion animated scenery to life. Extras include two funny and spooky short films directed by Tim Burton and deleted scenes. The best features, however, are the making-of documentaries that show you how stop-motion animation is done (figures have to be moved 24 times for every second of film!), and how the characters were created, from sketches to puppets.

The Bottom Line

After fifteen years, it’s great that this classic movie has been given a restoration worthy of the work that went into it—it took animators nearly three years to make Nightmare Before Christmas. Supposedly Disney thought that the film might be too scary for kids at first, but they took a chance, and it paid off. Fifteen years later, Nightmare is an icon of modern animation that should be seen by anyone who likes unconventional love stories, Tim Burton, animated films, or all three!


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