When I first saw The Nightmare Before Christmas, I was not a big fan. It's not that I didn't like the movie - it's that I didn't love the movie. Fifteen years later, with the 2-Disc Collector's Edition coming to DVD, I have new appreciation for the Tim Burton classic.
I'm pretty sure Walt Disney has set it upon itself to release the movie in theaters - and subsequently on DVD - every year until man grows wings, so it's very unlikely that anyone and their grandmother has not seen this movie ten fold since its release. Well, except me. Regardless, the movie is a classic, with incredible visuals, great songs and a mesmerizing story.
I'm not sure what drove me away from the movie originally, but perhaps, as a child, I didn't get the blend of Halloween and Christmas. Now, I see it as a major accomplishment that Burton, the man behind some pretty weird films, was able to pull of a child's film that verges on scary but never quite crosses that line. Who knew that Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, could become such a likable, enjoyable, lively and unscary protagonist? Of course, credit needs to be given where credit is due; the director of the picture, Henry Selick (who went on to do James and the Giant Peach) and the screenwriter, Caroline Thompson, are just as responsible, if not more so.
The 2-Disc Collector's Edition contains a bunch of bonus features - I'm not sure which are new, if any - including the uncut version of Burton's Frankenweenie short, some behind-the-scenes featurettes, another short film named Vincent, an audio commentary and deleted scenes. All in all, it's a pretty good collection, though I highly doubt two discs were needed. More impressive is the box the film comes in, which is three dimensional and quite well done.
If you don't already own The Nightmare Before Christmas, it is certainly one worth owning regardless of age. If you already have it and are a diehard fan, you're probably not missing too much with the collector's edition.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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