Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Movie Countdown: The Nightmare Before Christmas

     Another 20th anniversary! 1993 was a great year for us haunters wasn't it? As a young child, The Nightmare Before Christmas was a film I watched almost every day and quoted constantly. Jack and Sally had become like old friends and their story was one I cherished. It was one of my first looks into the mind of Tim Burton, besides Beetlejuice (which I rented from the video store way too many times). And overall it was the first piece of media that influenced my curiosity for Halloween and all of its potential. This film, much like Hocus Pocus was one that practically made my childhood and sparked my passion for Halloween.

    The Nightmare Before Christmas brought an entire audience into the spooky, creative, and beautiful mind of Tim Burton making this film a one of a kind. As a kid I realized there was simply no movie like it. Sure there are other stop-animated movies, there are other Halloween movies, and Christmas movies, but none that combine all of these elements, nor one that does it so beautifully and creatively. I recognized this at an early age and since, I've made it my goal to create films and stories that are somewhat one of a kind, or at least somewhat different or unique in comparison to what's always being put out there. Burton has a very unique and distinguishable look and feel to all of his films, even those that are adaptations. He manages to have a recognizable visual style and design and a specific way of telling his stories- it's these factors that inspired me to tell stories too.

    Each character in Nightmare, to me, is very lovable. There are all bizarre in their own ways, but even villians like Oogie Boogie and Dr. Finklestein are extremely intriguing characters. Werewolves, vampires, and two-faced politicians... you can't help but love it! 

    Jack is, of course, very interesting and, after seeing the movie my whole life, I've only just begun to understand his amazing character arc over the past few years. In the beginning of the film, Jack goes through a time of doubt and seeks change. After he finds Christmastown and decides to take the holiday over and fails, he realizes that all he needed was right there in his own town, for he IS the Pumpkin King! Being a young adult myself, I've learned that sometimes life throws curve balls your way and you lose a sense of yourself or forget who you are for a short period of time. I don't know about you haunters out there, but sometimes when I go through a tough time or a moment of doubt, no matter what it it may be that is going on in my life, luckily, I always come around and remember who I am and must remind myself that I too, AM the Pumpkin King (or at least one of the many haunters out there who blog and decorate). Overall, you know a film is great when you can keep watching it your whole life and continue to learn more from it, especially when you feel you can relate to a well-told story with a strong character arc. 

    Another great element to this film besides the amazing animation, design, and story, is the music. There's just nothing else like a Danny Elfman soundtrack. Elaborate and intricate for sure, yet playful, curious, and exciting. Elfman's music isn't ever just ambient; his music plays a role of its own in whatever films its featured in, particularly Tim Burton's movies and Nightmare is no exception. Songs like "Making Christmas" and "Oogie Boogie's Song" are just two of the many examples of fascinating composition. 

    The Nightmare Before Christmas is an ultimate Halloween classic that I truly love and will forever cherish. The music, the characters, the story, the design... the list can go on forever! Can't believe it's been twenty years since its release and its still going strong. While getting to host Jack and Sally at Disneyland, I've realized just how much the film and the characters are loved by others and it fills my heart with joy just knowing that so many people have grown up with this film being a huge part of their childhood.

1 comment:

  1. Good post. I like when Art touches people, and they share it with others, like yer doing here.

    Happy Hallowe'en!