The Nightmare before Christmas
The Nightmare before Christmas ★★★ Tim Burton's The Nightmare before Christmas 1993 (PG)
Back when he was a animator trainee at Disney, Burton came up with this adventurous idea but couldn't get it made; subsequent directorial success brought more clout. Relies on a painstaking stop-motion technique that took more than two years to film and is justifiably amazing. The story revolves around Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of the dangerously weird Halloweentown. Suffering from ennui, he accidentally discovers the wonders of Christmastown and decides to kidnap Santa and rule over this peaceable holiday. Fast pace is maintained by the equally breathless score. Not cuddly, best appreciated by those with a feel for the macabre. 75m/C VHS, DVD, UMD. D: Henry Selick; W: Caroline Thompson, Tim Burton, Michael McDowell; C: Pete Kozachik; M: Danny Elfman; V: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey, Ken Page, Ed Ivory, Paul (Pee-wee Herman) Reubens, Glenn Shadix.