Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Top 25 Christmas Movies List: #6 The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

    This stop-motion animated feature tells the story of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town. He has grown weary of celebrating the same holiday over and over again. On the night of Halloween, Jack, along with his ghost-dog Zero, wanders into the woods where he finds several doorways leading to other holidays. He enters the door with the Christmas tree on it and is transported through a portal to Christmas Town.

   What Jack finds overwhelms him. He is filled with joy at the sights and feelings of the place. He wants to bring some of this Christmas magic back to Halloween Town. Jack returns to his hometown and presents his finding to the residents. He announces that this year they will take over Christmas.

   Jack becomes obsessed with creating the perfect Christmas and assigns roles to every citizen in Halloween Town to help. Sally, a rag doll that is in love with Jack, has a premonition of Jack's Christmas ending in a disaster and tries to warn him but he doesn't listen. Jack then asks three mischievous children: Lock, Stock and Barrel to bring Santa to Halloween Town and they do, by kidnapping him. They then take Santa to Oogie Boogie, the town's bogeyman that plays roulette with Santa's life.

   Finally Christmas Eve arrives and Jack is about to begin his night of delivering gifts to the children on his coffin-sleigh led by Zero, when Sally tries to stop his flight with fog juice. Zero's glowing nose leads them through the mist and together they fly high up into the sky and begin their journey. He delivers the toys made by the residents of Halloween Town but the children are frightened by the snakes, shrunken heads and scary toys. They declare "Santa" to be an impostor.

   The army is called to bring down this menace and they begin shooting at Jack. His sleigh is shot down and he crashes into the cemetery. At first Jack is disappointed by his failed Christmas attempt but then he realizes how much he loves Halloween. He heads back home.

   Meanwhile, Sally has been trying to free Santa from Oogie Boogie but in the process she is also captured. Jack arrives just in time to save them both and defeat Oogie. Jack is then scolded by Santa before he sets off to deliver the proper gifts to the children.

   Jack and Sally return to Halloween Town and are welcomed by the citizens. Snow begins falling upon the town and when they look up they see Santa flying above them. The townspeople rejoice and begin playing in it. Jack follows Sally out to the cemetery and begins serenading her. The two sing together then embrace and kiss while Zero watches from afar. The film ends with Zero flying high up into the sky and then a single shining star appears above Jack and Sally.

   This is one of my all-time favorite movies, during any time of the year. The songs are catchy and the stop-motion animation is absolutely amazing!


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