The Nightmare Before Christmas (film review)

As it is officially October I thought it was the perfect opportunity to write a review on the ultimate cross between both Halloween and Christmas. The Nightmare Before Christmas is my go-to when entering the spooky season. In this review I will discuss my opinion on the ultimate stop-motion picture, my thoughts on Tim Burton and Henry Selick, whether I class The Nightmare Before Christmas as a Halloween or Christmas film and my thoughts on the perfect soundtrack. 

I have always been a fan of Tim Burton and all of his films! He is behind some great movies in his time and has a long career creating weird and wonderful films. The Nightmare Before Christmas has been a favourite of mine for many years now! I believe this was the start of why I love stop-motion pictures. The Nightmare Before Christmas has very complex sets with many fine details, to both setting and characters. This led to the film taking around three years to make and was said that the character of Oogie Boogie was the hardest to create mainly due to his size! However, I could not picture it any other way. Disney is also behind the film and; I could not imagine it being in 2D animation, could you?

(Tim Burton and Henry Selick Behind the Scenes on set of The Nightmare Before Christmas)

As I have said, I’ve been a fan of Burton for many years and although he wasn’t the Director for The Nightmare Before Christmas he played an important role. Burton was unable to direct this film due to conflicting schedules as he was filming Batman Returns, nevertheless, he produced and wrote the poem the film was based on and had an impact on the character designs. So who directed the film? Henry Selick. Selick is the man behind, Coraline, James and the Giant Peach and a few other films. Burton had worked on the poem and story of the film for years before Disney decided to pick this up and Burton worked with many people to create this picture before handing it all over to Selick directly. 

There’s a debate on whether this is classed as a Halloween or Christmas film, and truly there’s never been an answer. Along with my research, I found that most class this as a Halloween movie including the director himself. I think the opinion is up to the viewer. I like to say it’s both because it has both festive seasons throughout but if I had to choose I’m going with Halloween. This is because the film is technically based in Halloween Town. I love the crossover of the different towns though because the film allows me to watch both in October and December.

Lastly, is my opinion of the Soundtrack to this Halloween classic. The infamous composer Danny Elfman is behind the film’s amazing soundtrack and is surprisingly behind many more films than this! Elfman and Burton have had a long history of working together starting with Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. This has led to a 30-year long collaboration including a total of 16 films together. Including an Oscar nomination for Big Fish. Burton was creating The Nightmare Before Christmas for many years including working with Elfman for help with the music. Elfman wrote the entire soundtrack for the film before production had even started! Elfman has to be one of the greatest composers in film, and his music is amazing. If you don’t recognise Elfman by name you may recognise him by voice as he is behind all signing of Jack Skellington in the film as well as voicing two other characters.

(Danny Elfman – Composer for film and voice of singing Jack Skellington)

To conclude, The Nightmare Before Christmas will forever be one of my favourite films of all time with its incredible use of stop-motion, fabulous soundtrack by Danny Elfman and amazing production by Tim Burton. Not forgetting its amazing direction by Henry Selick. As we draw closer to October 31st I would highly suggest adding this to you spooky season watches. 

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