The Nightmare Before Christmas
Blu ray, Collector's Edition
Blu-ray + Digital
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Now digitally restored and remastered with state-of-the-art technology, THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS is deeper, darker and more brilliant than ever just as Tim Burton originally envisioned it on Blu-ray Disc Bored with the same old scare-and-scream routine, Pumpkin King Jack Skellington longs to spread the joy of Christmas. But his merry mission puts Santa in jeopardy and creates a nightmare for good little boys and girls everywhere! Hear the genius of Danny Elfman's sensational music in 7.1 Surround Sound as the fantastic talents and imaginations of Tim Burton and Henry Selick come to life in stunning Hi-Def. THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS now even more eerie and extraordinary on Blu-ray High Definition!
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS is the first full-length stop-motion animated film ever created.
The movie contains more than 227 animated characters.
Santa Claus' head has more than 50 different working parts, and Jack has more than 400 separate interchangeable heads, each handcrafted with a different facial expression.
The smallest working puppet in the movie is a doll from the "real world" Jack visits that is only one inch long.
Sally is wearing a real miniature dress laid on top of foam latex so that the fabric doesn't move too much on screen.
At the height of production, the animators produced only 70 seconds of finished film per week.
To create Halloweentown's twisted look, the design artists often made their sketches using their nondrawing hand.
All-New Blu-ray Exclusive Tim Burton Movie Introduction
Storyboard To Film Comparison
Original Theatrical Trailers And Posters
What's This? Jack's Haunted Mansion Holiday Tour
FRANKENWEENIE (Uncut Version) With New Introduction By Tim Burton
VINCENT Short Film
Tim Burton's Original Poem Narrated By Christopher Lee
All-New Audio Commentary By Tim Burton, Director Henry Selick And Musical Designer Danny Elfman
Behind The Scenes Making Of Tim Burton's THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
The Worlds Of Tim Burton's THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS Halloween Town; Christmas Town, The Real World
The enhanced clarity of the Blu-ray format showcases the imaginative visuals in Tim Burton's ground-breaking The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). The cinematography in previous stop-motion films tended to be dull; the filmmakers locked down the camera and concentrated on animating the characters. In Nightmare, the camera swoops through the opening parade in Halloween Town and slowly circles Jack Skellington as he lies in the arms of a graveyard statue: it's genuinely new and exciting. Blu-ray also enables the viewer to see details more clearly than earlier releases, from the subtle animation of Jack's long, skeletal hands to the multi-colored reflections on his ghostly face from the lights in Christmas Town. The HD version looks okay on portable devices, but it lacks the detail and crystal clarity of the Blu-ray. Like a Christmas stocking, the disc is stuffed with extras: a new commentary by Burton, director Henry Selick and composer Danny Elfman, short animated sequences that were deleted from the film due to time constraints, and a tour of the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland, redecorated with a Nightmare theme. But two early shorts by Burton rank as the most entertaining extras. Vincent, the delightfully macabre story of an eight-year-old boy who dreams of becoming Vincent Price, deftly blends 2D and 3D animation. The live action Frankenweenie, in which a boy brings his dog back from the dead, is a hilarious but affectionate send-up of the horror films of the '30s. (It's currently being remade as stop-motion feature in London.) Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas was not a blockbuster when it was first released, but it has retained a devoted following, and merchandise of the characters remains popular. This new edition makes it easy to understand why. (Rated PG: violence, scary imagery) --Charles Solomon
- Whats This? Jack's Haunted Mansion Holiday Tour
- Tim Burton's original poem narrated by Christopher Lee
- Film Commentary
- Introduction to Frankenweenie
- The Making of the film
- The Worlds of TIme Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas"
- Deleted scenes
- Storyboard to film comparison
- Original theatrical trailers and posters
- Short film, "Vincent"
- A special blu-ray only introduction by Tim Burton
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What's this? A new "Nightmare Before Christmas" DVD package? Actually there are three versions: this two-disc set that includes a downloadable digital copy, a Blu-ray version, and a collector's edition that comes with a bust of Jack Skellington with a detachable Sandy Claus beard and hat.
Though this version is billed as a two-disc set, it actually has three discs. The third one contains the digital copy. An instruction sheet spells out in clear steps how to download the file to an iPod or similar device.
The movie itself is a feast for the eyes, ears and imagination. A delectable witches' brew of stop-motion animation, catchy show tunes and a seriously warped creative license, it always stays true to its timeless message: to be happy, be yourself. Devilishly nonconformist, it's an enduring holiday musical for the whole Addams family.
Well, almost. Though all of its fright gags are played entirely for laughs, some of the imagery is downright creepy, especially for small children. Anyone older than say, 6, however, should enjoy every minute. Teenagers will love it.
The story -- the citizens of Halloweentown attempt to annex neighboring Christmastown -- comes from the macabre mind of producer Tim Burton, who wrote it in his spare time (as a poem!) while working as a Disney animator in the 1980s. The movie blends the tastiest bits of Burton's earlier Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands with a sprinkling of the stop-motion magic first found in Disney's 1961 Babes in Toyland.
The imaginative cast of characters includes:
* Pumpkin King Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon), a mischievous misfit who believes his purpose in life is to merge the holidays of Halloween and Christmas.
* Jack's faithful dog Zero, a ghost with a glowing, jack-o'-lantern nose who, like the hound in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, eventually pulls a sleigh
* Rag-doll heroine Sally (voiced by Catherine O'Hara), Jack's love interest, who sews herself back together when she loses a body part
* Oogie Boogie (Broadway veteran Ken Page), a slimy, singing bag of bugs who channels the cartoon version of Cab Calloway in the old Betty Boop cartoons
* Lock (Paul "Pee-Wee Herman" Reubens), Shock (O'Hara) and Barrel (Danny Elfman, the film's composer), a trio of evil trick-or-treaters who "kidnap the Sandy Claws"
* Wheelchair-bound evil scientist Dr. Finklestein (William Hickey), a duckbilled quack whose flip-top head lets him scratch his brains for inspiration
* A mayor (Glenn Shadix, the interior director Otho in Beetlejuice) who is literally two-faced.
Blessed with the ability to bring adult minds back to child's level, Burton dwells in dark mischief. In fact, some of Nightmare's best scenes include the kidnapping of Santa Claus and Jack's hilarious attempt to replace him on Christmas Eve, when the skeleton gleefully delivers presents such as tree-devouring snakes and severed, shrunken heads.
Director Henry Selick painstakingly created the film over three years. Though he had a production crew of over 100, each minute of footage took a week, as each second required 24 ever-so-slightly different shots.
This 2-disc DVD package has a nice collection of extras:
* An audio commentary with Burton, Selick and Elfman.
* A downloadable digital copy of the film, which you can transfer to an iPod or similar device.
* Burton's first short, 1982's 6-minute "Vincent," a black-and-white stop-action film about a boy who dreams of being Vincent Price, who narrates.
* Burton's 1994 Disney live-action short "Frankenweenie." This 30-minute black-and-white film re-imagines the Frankenstein story as the tale of a young boy and his car-struck pet dog in suburban America. A recently taped introduction by Burton shows some working sketches being used for his full-length version now in development.
* A reading of Burton's original "Nightmare Before Christmas" poem by actor Christopher Lee
* A promotional film for the annual "Nightmare" makeover of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion.
* Promotional and making-of featurettes, a storyboard to film comparison, deleted scenes and theatrical trailers and posters
The story is uncomplicated enough. Jack Skellington (Danny Elfman), an emaciated man who is charming in character and sinister in appearance, is the figure head of Halloweentown, and the key figure of the most anticipated holiday of the village. November 1st as one might expect, is a let-down, and a down-cast Jack finds himself wandering through a forest all night long.
At the end of his journey, he discovers the North Pole and all the inhabitants surrounding Christmas's festive figure, Santa Claus. Noting that there is something different abound, he goes back to Halloween Town and brings all he sees back to the people. Feeling inadequate to convey the warmth of the season, he plots with three mischievous children to kidnap Ole Saint Nick and have the secrets of gift giving unfold for his town.
Embellishing the story are some offbeat characters. Ragdoll Sally (Catherine O'Hara) is captive to the nasty Dr. Finkelstein (William Hickey) in a Rapunzel-like subplot.
`The Nightmare Before Christmas' could have been a one note wonder, but what I like about it is the charm factor. In the midst of a cute and macabre background (I'd never thought that would mix until seeing this film.), delightful songs and memorable characters fill the screen. It doesn't exactly come off like Lucille Ball singing "We Need a Little Christmas," but the sojourn from a dark world yearning to be lighter is worth taking indeed.
A J.P.'s Pick 5 *'s =Exceptional
Happy Halloween! ;>)