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Friday, September 27, 2002

27 SEP 02

It’s almost October and time to bust out your copy of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The film is a twisted version of those eerily cheerful, stop-motion Rankin-Bass Christmas specials. It takes place in Halloween Town. H-Town has a mayor (“I’m only an elected official!”), but is really lead by Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King. H-Towners spend all year preparing for Halloween, unless it’s Halloween, of course. After one Halloween, Jack becomes unaccountably depressed and wanders off into the woods outside of town. There he finds a set of magic doors leading to other holiday worlds. He ends up in Christmas Town and witnesses elves making toys for the good kids, reindeer flying, and Sandy Claws. Jack see things in a Halloweeny way. Jack has found new inspiration; he’s going to be Sandy Claws! Of course, things go awry and Jack learns a Very Important Lesson™; be your own ghoulish self.

The movie is animated in very well done stop-motion (bless Ray Harryhausen, he makes up for Ray Manzareck) and is a visual treat. It’s also a very good musical and I don’t like musicals. Elfman’s music and lyrics fit the atmosphere of the film very well, and he provides Jack Skellington’s singing voice. It sounds a bit strange (and it is), but it’s a great movie that gets a message across without being stupid or polemic, and works on a level that children and adults can both appreciate. And who knew the Boogie Man could sing the blues like that?

Nice work, bone daddy.

posted by latiolais at 0800  

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