Hello, and welcome back to my thoughts and musings. Today I am looking at a seasonal classic celebrating a milestone, and trying to decide what season is being celebrated.
On October 29, 1993 Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas debuted in U.S. movie theaters. Jack Skellington, unofficial king of Halloweentown, returns home following a successful Halloween night of frightening children around the world. While the town celebrates his accomplishments, Jack wanders off, searching for a new purpose or challenge in life.
During his soul searching, Jack discovers Christmas Town (which by the way, Retail America, is not butted up against Halloweentown, hint hint). Upon seeing the joy experienced by the children, he decides he wants to handle the Christmas celebration much as he does Halloween celebration. Though his heart is in the right place, mayhem and confusion ensue.
This stop action animation film has gone through some label changes since the project was green lit. It was initially going to be released by Walt Disney Pictures, but then CEO Michael Eisner decided after storyboards the film was too scary for that label and moved the project to the Touchstone Pictures division of the company. After the commercial success of the film, it was returned to the Walt Disney Pictures label for a re-release in 2006.
Nightmare Before Christmas stands out not only for the unique stop action animation techniques that were used, but for the musical score as well. The music for the film was written by Danny Elfman, who also provided Jack’s singing voice. Elfman has also written music for Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Batman Returns and The Simpsons tv series (main theme).
Since 2001, Jack Skellington has taken temporary residence inside Disneyland Park as well. In September, The Haunted Mansion receives a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay. Park guests are able to see the mansion after Jack paid it a visit as Sandy Claws. The overlay lasts until shortly after January first.
What I still have not decided is this: What season does Nightmare Before Christmas celebrate? Is it Christmas? Or is it Halloween? The main characters are all “scary” Halloween themed. But it takes place during Christmastime. But with very non-Christmas results. I still cannot decide. Oh well, guess I’ll spend the next two months watch the film again and again trying to figure it out. Not that its a bad thing.
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