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The Nightmare Before Christmas/James and the Giant Peach (Special Editions Two Pak) (1993)

Vincent Price , Danny Elfman , Henry Selick , Tim Burton  |  PG |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Vincent Price, Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey
  • Directors: Henry Selick, Tim Burton
  • Writers: Caroline Thompson, Jonathan Roberts, Karey Kirkpatrick, Leonard Ripps, Michael McDowell
  • Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, Box set, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Touchstone / Disney
  • DVD Release Date: October 3, 2000
  • Run Time: 155 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004WL3E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #458,989 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Nightmare Before Christmas/James and the Giant Peach (Special Editions Two Pak)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • See individual title listings for complete details

Editorial Reviews

The Nightmare Before Christmas
For those who never thought Disney would release a film in which Santa Claus is kidnapped and tortured, well, here it is! The full title is Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, which should give you an idea of the tone of this stop-action animated musical-fantasy-horror-comedy. It is based on characters created by Burton, the former Disney animator best known as the director of Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and the first two Batman movies. His benignly scary-funny sensibility dominates the story of Halloweentown resident Jack Skellington (voiced by Danny Elfman, who also wrote the songs), who stumbles on a bizarre and fascinating alternate universe called... Christmastown! Directed by Henry Selick, this PG-rated picture has a reassuringly light touch. As Roger Ebert noted in his review, "some of the Halloween creatures might be a tad scary for smaller children, but this is the kind of movie older kids will eat up; it has the kind of offbeat, subversive energy that tells them wonderful things are likely to happen." --Jim Emerson

James and the Giant Peach
Roald Dahl's modern classic for children becomes a delightful combination of live-action footage and stop-motion animation by the team that made The Nightmare Before Christmas--director Henry Selick and producers Tim Burton (Batman) and Denise Di Novi. The story concerns young James (played for real and through voiceovers by Paul Terry), who is orphaned and left in the charge of two cruel aunts (Miriam Margolyes and Joanna Lumley). Rescued by a mysterious fellow (Pete Postlethwaite), James ends up inside a giant peach, drifting over the Atlantic Ocean in the company of a gentleman grasshopper (voiced by Simon Callow), a fast-talking centipede (Richard Dreyfuss), an anxious earthworm (David Thewlis), a matronly ladybug (Jane Leeves), and a sexy spider (Susan Sarandon). The collection of actors and their creepy-crawly alter egos are a delight, especially when some of the song-and-dance numbers (tunes written by Randy Newman) get everyone going. --Tom Keogh

Additional Features

These two stop-motion animated movies from the same filmmaking team prove that not all special editions are created equal. James contains only a couple dozen character drawings, a music video, and a publicity-fluff featurette. Using the exhaustive laser disc version as a start, Nightmare is fascinating disc with more than 450 production and design images, a deft storyboard-to-film example, and deleted scenes. Director Henry Selick delves deep into the making of the film in his audio commentary and in a 20-minute documentary. The disc also features two Tim Burton shorts, the stop-motion Vincent (his first film, which is rarely seen) and the half-hour Frankenweenie. In a welcome trend, both discs contain DTS and Dolby Digital soundtracks. --Doug Thomas

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great pair! August 15, 2000
Probably the most original, elaborate and imaginative of all Disney's animated releases during the 90's (along with both Toy Story movies) The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach are two rare movie-gems, that didn't enjoyed box-office success as other blander, Disney musicals. Both movies are shot in a process called "stop-motion animation", in which characters are constructed, then move a little, frame by frame, achieveing the illusion of movement with outstanding results. This technique was mastered by Ray Harryhausen, during the 50's and the 60's, and it lived along until the 80's, when it was substituted by computer-generated effects. Since then, stop-motion effects are no longer used to create a single effect, but to do whole features or TV shows (Wallace & Gormitt or Celebrity Deadmatch come to mind). Both movies are directed by Henry Selick, who used this technique for some MTV adds. In this two pak, probably Nightmare Before Christmas is the highlight. Based in a story, concepts and designs by Tim Burton, and aided by Danny Elfman's beautifull songs and rousing score, the movie tells the story of Jack Skellington, the pumpkin-king of Halloween Town. Like most of Tim Burton's heroes, Jack desperately tries to fit-in and do good, and in a futile attempt of originality, he decides to no longer bring halloween to children around the world, and to take care of christmas instead. So things go horrobly wrong (including a series of grousome christmas presents!). The movie is kind of a cross between "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari", and it builds an amazing whole new world of its own. Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular animation... poor value... January 22, 2001
You should be aware that you can get these special editions cheaper by ordering them separately (only a dollar cheaper here).
That said, these stories are both excellent, although only related by virture of the production team. The clay animation style has always been a favorite of mine, and the production values of these two movies, combined with modern techniques, is completely immersive for me.
Nightmare - a great rendition of a holiday tale. It's difficult to find a original story about Christmas, but Burton and Elfman achieved it in this story about the archetype of Halloween growing melancholy and making an assault on the archetype of another holiday (Christmas) more out of existential artistic angst than anything else.
Peach - an enjoyable rendering of a favorite child's story book, it entertains and scares with the same tongue in cheek, freaky, and slightly unsettling humor.
These movies are great for kids, but not for younger kids who are easily frightened. Save these movies for those children who have developed the maturity and sophisiticated wit with which they are so seldom credited.
Sophisticated adult humor (ala Loony Tunes) also peppers the tales and make this an enjoyable entire family experience.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good family fun meets Burton & Selick August 4, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
"The Nightmare Before Chirstmas: Special Edition," is a must have that would carry a six start rating if at all possible. "Nightmare," was the most amazing (and largest scale) film ever made with stop-motion animation.
The story of Jack Skelington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who wishes to take over Christmas. The movie is the claymation Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindare meets an Edward Gorrey novel. The wide screen version is wonderful for that "in the theater feeling," and the special edition offers extras as seen on DVDs. There is a "making of" documentory, and the short black and white animated project of Burton's called, "Vincent." "Vincent," is the story of a little boy who wants to become Vincent Price when he grows up. The six minute animated film is narrated by Price himself. Also attatched is Burton's first (pre-Pee Wee) live action short: "Frankenweenie." The name gives a clear idea, it's a dog.
"James and the Giant Peach: Special Edition," is also in the wide screan version. Based on the popular (and dark) children's book by author, Roald Dahl (author of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"), this tale is whimsical and fun. A mixture of the stop-motion technology that had been expanded for "Nightmare," this film also uses computer animation for special effects, and live action scenes.
As a bonus, "James," also has a "making of," segment, and a music video for the films song, "Good News." Both, "James," and "Nightmare," have original trailers.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nightmare October 16, 2000
By A Customer
Back when I first saw the Nightmare Before Christmas, I was amazed. They drew me into the world of Halloween. Things were magnificent. When I heard about this DVD comming out AND that it had a rarly seen film called Vincent, I was amazed. I logged righ on and bought it. With the spectactular job of stop-animation, you won't believe your eyes. You will be one of the many viewers who asked "What is this?"
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