What else can be said about Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas that hasn’t been said a billion times before? It’s a great movie with a ton of things done right. The question is, why do people love it so much?
For the handful who’ve never seen it, The Nightmare Before Christmas takes place in a world where holidays have their own town. One of these is Halloween town where we meet the leader of Halloween Town and the Pumpkin King Jack Skellington who has grown tired of all things scary. while wondering the woods he finds a door leading to Christmas Town, falls in love with what he sees and decides the best thing to do is to make Christmas his.
That plot right there is where The Nightmare Before Christmas stands out among other Halloween/Christmas (it’s both) movies. It’s not traditional horror there to scare your kids, it’s not about a bunch of kids fighting monsters, there’s no saving Christmas (that final battle doesn’t count,) nor does it feature some kind of apocalypse. It’s just this one mythical creature trying to ignite a spark that has left him and wanting more out of life (afterlife? Death?)
The majority of the movie is about Jack telling the citizens of Halloween Town about Christmas and having them prepare for their version of it. OF course, Jack’s Love Interest, a rag doll named Sally, tries to make him see that this is a bad idea and that he’s not Santa but the Pumpkin King. This message is saying don’t be something you’re not and try to find ways to make what you are better.
This is all done in a magnificent style which is greatly helped by an awesome soundtrack. This Is Halloween has basically become the unofficial theme for Halloween because come on, it’s catchy and spooky as all hell. It’s also a ton of fun to sing. Jack’s Lament shows off Jack’s feelings perfectly in a beautifully sad song, then What’s This shows off his excitement for something new.
In fact, all the songs are amazing…except for Sally’s Song. While it does portray Sally’s sadness for what’s about to happen to Jack, it’s not exactly a well-written song. Although the duet by Sally and Jack at the end called We’re Simply Meant to Be is pretty powerful.
Then there are the visuals. This is Tim Burton at his finest. All the characters look amazing and their movements are so full of life that you think these beings are real. The look of this movie has become so iconic that you can show anyone any frame from it and they’ll instantly know what movie it’s from.
Yes, this is yet another glowing review for The Nightmare Before Christmas because it’s just that amazing a movie. Everything about it is just so much fun. The songs, the characters, the story. There’s not much else to say about it instead just watch it and enjoy one hell of a fun ride.