Originally posted on Kaleo.org
Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween town, has become tired of the routine that is Halloween. While contemplating his future, he stumbles upon a doorway in the woods that transfers him to Christmas town. After being overwhelmed with the joy of Christmas, he returns to Halloween town to share his encounter with his fellow citizens. Feeling inspired, the mesmerized Jack eventually decides to emulate the new holiday with a Halloween twist.
Even though this film was released 20 years ago, the stop motion special effects are astounding and can stand next to most animated films of today. One minute of film took about a week to produce, and it took three years to complete the entire project.
It paid off, which is best displayed in the film’s first scenes and during the performance of “This is Halloween.” Jack Skellington alone had hundreds of heads to produce realistic facial expressions. By using 24 frames per second, the motions of the characters are as fluid as live-action actors.
The sets are also eye candy. Resembling askew German expression art and classic Universal film sets, gloomily warped buildings of Halloween town seem physically impossible to exist. On the other hand, Christmas town is vivid and bright resembling classic holiday films like “Rudolph, the Red Nose Reindeer.” The production crew made each world visually distinct from one another. If you watch the film on Blu-ray, the detail is so enhanced that every individual stitch of fabric can be distinguished.
Like other Disney films, the film is a musical. With the talents of composer Danny Elfman, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” has some of the most enthralling lyrics. For instance the song “Jack’s Lament” has a heartbreaking tone that demonstrates Jack’s sorrow with ghoulish related lyrics.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” has been rereleased several times and even has a tribute transformation of Disneyland’s Haunted mansion from October until Christmas. Through the years, Tim Burton’s masterpiece has attracted a large cult following, becoming one of Disney’s most iconic films.