THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS: 2-DISC COLLECTOR’S EDITION
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ***** (out of 5)
Chris Sarandon as JACK SKELLINGTON
Catherine O’Hara as SALLY
William Hickey as DR. FINKELSTEIN
Glenn Shadix as MAYOR
Ken Page as OOGIE BOOGIE
Directed by: Henry Selick
BY KEVIN CARR
I was in college when “The Nightmare Before Christmas” was originally released. By using antiquated stop-motion techniques, the film achieved a uniquely fresh flavor that has rarely been duplicated, even in today’s world of CGI. Thirteen years later, Disney re-released this cinematic gem in stunning 3-D, which was brilliant as well.
Now, the movie is available on a 2-disc collector’s edition (which is really a 3-disc set with one disc reserved for Digital Copy). If you’re a fan of the film, this is a treat to revisit. If you haven’t seen it before, it’s worth a trip out to the video store for this coming Halloween season.
The movie tells the story of Jack Skellington in Halloween Town who discovers the land of Christmas Town. He hatches a plan to take over Santa’s job this coming year, but he can’t help but make the Christmas season filled with scares.
The film itself runs short, but it is a brilliant feat of movie making. The animation became the gold standard for stop-motion, which was only really respected in high-end special effects a la Phil Tippett and Ray Harryhausen. Otherwise, we’re left with the charming but rustic Christmas specials like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
There’s not a huge screaming difference between this collector’s edition of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and previous DVD releases, unless you want to count the wicked-cool cover box which includes a 3D relief of Jack Skellington. In some ways, it seems to be an excuse to release a BluRay edition of the film… and this film in high-def is definitely worth it.
It is rather curious to note that the original film was released under the Touchstone banner, ostensibly because it was too dark and scary to make it under the kid-friendly Walt Disney Pictures brand. Like I said, I was in college when it came out, and it was definitely marketed to my crowd. However, now the DVD comes courtesy of Walt Disney. What’s one generation’s scares seems to be another’s giggles.