Tim Burton is a genius. That’s been made apparent by films like Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood, among others. He might not have directed The Nightmare Before Christmas, but it comes from his story and all the major design work, a goodly chunk of the song lyrics and the story are his – and Henry Selick does a marvelous job of bringing them to life.
The story – about how Jack Skellington, Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, gets bored with his life and decides to try his hand at Christmas – is bizarre, but only in the best of ways. It’s a holiday mashup, with Jack having “Sandy Claws” kidnapped so that he can deliver Christmas presents [and his idea of cool prezzies is certainly not anyone else’s. It’s a funny, scary and occasional poignant film that accepts the premise that kids like to be a bit scared now and then [and that stories fro kids do not have to be all sweet and nice…].
This new release comes in a box that features a 3-D plastic bust of Jack, which looks amazing. There is also a third disc which contains the digital copy for download to your computer or portable viewing device. Other features include: Commentary by Burton, Selik and composer Danny Elfman; What’s This? Jack’s Haunted Mansion Holiday Tour with Actual Narration, plus an optional Trivia Track, and Off Track – a look at how the Tour was adapted for Jack; Tim Burton’s Original Poem, read by Christopher Lee; The Making of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas; Disc Two: The Uncut Version of Frankenweenie [with new intro by Burton]; Burton’s first animated short, Vincent; Deleted Scenes [Deleted Storyboard Sequences and Deleted Animated Scenes – all with intros by Burton]; The worlds of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas – Halloweentown, Christmastown, The Real World; Storyboard-to-Film Comparison; Posters; Teaser Trailer, and Theatrical Trailer.
Grade: The Nightmare Before Christmas – A
Grade: Features – A+
Final Grade: A