Date watched: Thursday 8th December 2016

Format: DVD

Year released: 1993

First time watching?: Pfft, no


From IMDb: “Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but doesn’t quite understand the concept.”

Yes, it’s that time of year again. December. This means all the Christmas movies are creeping out of hibernation. What I’ve always said about “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is that it’s perfect for the first Christmas movie to watch because it’s just as much a Halloween movie.

Even 16 years after release the stop motion is stunningly flawless, and I still find myself singing along with the songs. While not my favourite Christmas movie “Nightmare” has become a cult classic. Although not directed by him, there are many Tim Burton trademarks used throughout the movie: the use of just black white and orange for Halloweentown, Christmastown being full of bright happy colours and the human world having everything grey and square and at perfect right angles is one of Tim Burton’s favourite uses of colour in movies, and Hanry Sellick utilises this artistry very well in the movie.

The storyline is a very simple one: Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown is finding his life to be unfulfilling, and upon discovering the joys of Christmastown decides to have a bash at creating a different holiday for a change of pace. I guess you could argue his character almost has a kind of midlife crisis.

For a skeleton Jack is still charming as a stop motion character can be, and everyone has a special place in their heart for Sally. I still kind of find Oogy Boogy somewhat lacking in the villain department, but his musical number is just as catchy as any other in the feature.

Overall this is a movie that appeals to everyone; kids and grown ups alike. Both groups will appreciate the dark fairytale, the clever songs, the darkly imaginative animation and the comic sense of humour. For reasons beyond my understanding whenever this movie is shown on TV at Christmas it is always shown very late in the night, which I don’t understand as I think it’s just as entertaining for youngsters as it is for adults.

My rating: 7/10