Thursday, December 17, 2009

Movie: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Before this movie got claimed by certain teenage subcultures and main character Jack Skellington became a T-shirt icon, The Nightmare Before Christmas entered the lists of greatest animated movies ever made. Tim Burton’s magical marriage between Halloween and Christmas was put off as weird at first, but claimed a cult following and slowly gathered the praise it deserved.

I guess most people would label this movie as “weird”, but not many would fail to see that a lot of meticulously crafted artwork has gone into it. Burton created a weird kind of beautiful that managed to twist puppets (which are often unintentionally nightmarish, like clowns) into charming dark fun. It is a little blessing to approach darkness with such good cheer.

This is the heart and power of the movie and would have been enough to make it a cult classic, but The Nightmare Before Christmas is an allround spellbinding production with excellent voice acting, an original storyline and great music. Years later, Burton would try to make the same movie twice with Corpse Bride, but The Nightmare Before Christmas is unique and already complete in its vision, as if it sprung as a whole from Burton’s forehead. He may have named his movie a nightmare, but I wish I could have a dream like this.

IMDB: The Nightmare Before Christmas

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