The Nightmare Before Christmas

Director Henry Selick
Producers Tim Burton and Denise Di Novi
Music Danny Elfman
Cinematography Pete Kozachik

Voices In the Animation:
Danny Elfman songs 'Clown with the Tear away Face' and 'Barrel'
Chris Sarandon as Jack Skellinton
Catherine O'Hara as Sally
Glenn Shadix as the Mayor
William Hickey the evil scientist
Paul Reubens as Lock
Ed Ivory as Santa
Ken Page as Oogie Boogie

The nightmare before Christmas is a dark, humorous and complex animation masterpiece with humour, stunning cinematography a multitude of fantastic songs. It is also a tale that is touchingly innocent and delicately beautiful.

Jack Skellington is the King of Halloween Town and he spends his time devising new ways in which to scare people for the Halloween celebrations. However, Jack is bored - he wants to experience something different; he feels that his life in Halloween Town is missing something.

Halloween Town is a creepy place, shrouded in gothic mastery. The inhabitants are very ghoulish and macabre but in a very innocent 'Halloween Holiday' way that gives them an irresistible charm.

In a stroll through the mysterious dark forest with his ghostly pet dog "Zero" he enters a new world where the sun shines brightly, dazzling him; a place where children play happily in the snow and celebrate Christmas by giving each other pretty presents.

Jack returns to Halloween town determined to understand this new world he has never seen or lived in and he begins experimenting with the objects he has found there. He decides that this Christmas he will deliver the presents and make a better Christmas for everyone by delivering scary toys and gifts that he believes the children will love.

In the midst of this story we meet some wonderful characters including a young girl called "Sally" created by a nasty inventor in a wheelchair. Sally's heart longs to be free, she adores and loves Jack although he is completely unaware of her devotion. The incredibly funny mayor of Halloween Town is played by, Glenn Shadix. Finally there is the Oogie Boogie man, who is wild, bizarre, dangerous and also sings some incredible songs.

Jack proceeds to organize everyone into making presents for the children of the world, and the townsfolk create wondrously hideous, fascinating toys. He then kidnaps Father Christmas, although he has no malicious intent, Jack simply wants to be Father Christmas himself this year. He simply wants to experience something new and also show the children all the good things that he has made with his haunting and dark imagination.

However, he leaves Father Christmas in the hands of two very naughty children who pass him on to the Oogie Boogie man. Although Sally desperately tries to stop him, Jack leaves on his Christmas trip and gives the children their gifts, which they, and their parents, receive with horror and screams.

Jack wants them to be happy and he wants to be accepted but he is different: the things that he and his friends find lovable are completely at odds with the ordinary world he visits.

When his Christmas dreams turn sour, Jack comes to realize the satisfaction and acceptance that his creepy, dark yet beautiful Halloween town gives him. Sometimes when we think we are missing out, we can be consumed with the desire to obtain and at the same time fail to enjoy what we already possess.

The film ends with a daring fight between Jack and the Ooogie Boogie man and then, finally, Sally and Jack both find happiness in each other's arms.

There are some achingly sad moments in this animation - Jack's longing, and failure, to be part of the ordinary world that is but a short distance from his home. But there is also much joy, adventure and fun.

The music and songs are the notable achievement of Danny Elfman who sings in the film. The music is an extremely complex arrangement, delivered at a pace, with stunning lyrics and songs.

Nightmare before Christmas is a fantastic world filled with creepy, wonderful characters and a feast of adventure thrills and magic.


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