Age Range: Ages 6+
Runtime: Approx. 76 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas - Summary
Created in dark and eerie stop-motion animation, The Nightmare Before Christmas tells the story of one Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town. Bored with responsibility of haunting and scaring and preparing for the climactic Halloween celebration year after year, Jack wanders sad and lonely into the forest.
Soon, Jack looks up from his miserable musings in surprise at the site of three doors carved into the wood. One door fascinates him beyond his ability to resist opening it, for painted on the woody door -- a beautiful Christmas tree. Jack opens the door and is met with a flurry of unfamiliar white and fluffy snow as he stumbles into the strangely bright and cheerful Christmas Town.
Awed by all he has discovered in this wondrous new land, Jack determines to try being the king of Christmas instead of the Halloween King. After selling the idea to his fellow haunters back at home, Jack has Santa taken out of the picture and he sets out to provide Christmas Town with a Yule they'll never forget. He succeeds in this goal it is true, but it doesn't go over quite how he expected, and Jack is left to wonder what it all means.
The Nightmare Before Christmas - Movie Clip
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas - Guide Review for Parents
In classic Tim Burton style, The Nightmare Before Christmas tells a uniquely intriguing and dark story in a manner that is scary enough for good Halloween fun, but fairly safe for families. Transitioning from Halloween to Christmas, the movie helps viewers get into the mood of both holidays. The captivating story easily entertains, and the music conveys the somber yearning Jack has to find meaning, his wonder at the sights and sounds of Christmas Town, and the excitement Halloween Town haunts have for their spooky charge to make Halloween scarier every year. All of these elements come together to create a wonderfully fun film, but all of this spookiness could definitely be scary to some.
Young kids may be terribly frightened by the ghouls in Halloween Town, but with the exception of Oogie Boogie, they are portrayed as generally good-hearted spooks who are just trying to do their job of providing a good scare on Halloween. All sorts of gruesome creature inhabit Halloween Town -- witches, ghosts, monsters, skeletons, mad scientists, devils, and more. The figures are animated in stop-motion animation, and while they are unrealistic, they look scary with their ghastly faces, skeletal appearances, and removable appendages. In addition, Oogie Boogie is a large bag-like creature filled with maggots and worms, and he sets out to torture and harm Santa of all people.
Kids may be scared or unsettled by the appearance of the Halloween Town inhabitants, by Oogie Boogie and his treatment of Santa, and by a macabre but sweet doll girl named Sally and the way her creator, a mad scientist named Dr. Finklestein, treats her. In addition, some of the music and the dark backgrounds and settings make parts of the movie seem scarier. This is one of those movies that parents have to preview with their kids' personalities in mind. Many kids as young as preschoolers will get that it is fake and that the spooks are generally pretty nice so they won't be scared by it; for other kids, just the sight of the kind but creepy creatures will be enough to give them nightmares for months.
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas - DVD and Blu-Ray Bonus Features
- What's This? Jack's Haunted Mansion Holiday Tour
- Frankenweenie (uncut version): A short film about a boy who plays Frankenstein with his dog that was hit by a car. Tim Burton indicates that a full-length stop-motion animated feature based on the story is in the works.
- Vincent: A macabre short story about a boy named Vincent who wants to be Vincent Price and is obsessed with Edgar Allen Poe stories.
- Tim Burton's Original Poem Narrated by Christopher Lee: Tim Burton explains the inspiration behind his poem that was the foundation of the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is interesting to hear the poem and see how it translated into such a unique movie.
- Audio Commentary by Tim Burton, Director Henry Selick, and Music Designer Danny Elfman
- Behind the Scenes Making of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: Seeing the film-making process will be interesting to kids, and it may help them quell any post-movie fears.
- The Worlds of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: Explore concept art, costume designs and character designs from Halloween Town, Christmas Town, and the Real World.
- Deleted Scenes
- Storyboard-To-Film Comparison:
- Original Theatrical Trailers and Posters
- Tim Burton Movie Introduction: This is the token Blu-ray only feature, and it is all of about 5 seconds long. You get to see Tim talk about how great the Blu-ray looks right before the movie starts. But, at least it is true that the movie is even better in high-def.