Spooky Season Cinema: The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas was the next movie in the Spooky Season Cinema series Erin from Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs and I are doing and The Boy and I watched it last night. As I have been doing in this series, I have to again point out that “spooky” or Halloween-related movies aren’t really my thing so this has been a bit out of my wheel well. We have not watched anything too gruesome or dark, thankfully, though.

I am going to be upfront and say that when I first heard of this movie, I didn’t relish the idea of what I see as a dark holiday like Halloween taking over what is a very happy and light holiday for me and my family.  In the end, though, I was relieved it wasn’t as dark as I feared.

Here is the Google description of the movie:

“The film follows the misadventures of Jack Skellington, Halloweentown’s beloved pumpkin king, who has become bored with the same annual routine of frightening people in the “real world.” When Jack accidentally stumbles on Christmastown, all bright colors and warm spirits, he gets a new lease on life — he plots to bring Christmas under his control by kidnapping Santa Claus and taking over the role. But Jack soon discovers even the best-laid plans of mice and skeleton men can go seriously awry.”

My son really enjoys this movie, so he was very excited to watch it with me and because he was excited, I did my best to also be excited.

I love being able to spend time with him. As he grows up, I sometimes feel like we are growing apart so I’m always looking for things that we can bond over. I don’t know that this is the movie we will be doing that with again, but that’s okay. We are two different people with very different interests. His interest runs more in line with his dad’s and that’s okay too.

(I say all this while weeping a little and eating chocolate, but alas, I will be fine…eventually.)

This is a movie directed and created by Tim Burton, which if any of you know his work, you’ll know it’s a bit weird. This movie, however, is much less weird than his other work.

First the Claymation and stop motion in this movie is outstanding. It is crazy to think that they had to photograph, slightly move figures, then photograph them again, until they could combine all the images and create moving characters and scenes.

The Boy likes how the movie is made and has watched documentaries on the process of creating it, including the fact they had 400 heads for Jack because every time he opened his mouth they had to film a new head.

I liked the concept of the movie more than I thought I would.

I liked how walking into Christmas Town made Jack feel light and happy, which shows me that even Tim Burton understands that Halloween is the dark holiday and Christmas the light.

Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon) ©Disney Enterprises, Inc.

I like how he progresses from being depressed about organizing Halloween every year to being excited about organizing Christmas.

It seems to take him a while to understand that real Christmas (not the commercialized version) is organized by people who are filled with joy, love, and hope.

I’d rather stay in the light as much as possible, which is why Halloween is my least favorite holiday.

I’m more of a “fluff” and “lighthearted” person when it comes to movies, books, and life. So, it was nice that there was a little bit of light in his movie, which is called by some fans a Halloween movie and some a Christmas movie. I lean more toward it being a Halloween movie for a variety of reasons.

 The movie is a musical of sorts, with Jack doing almost all the singing.

I didn’t like some of the imagery, especially when the one character was made of bugs and maggots, but I did like the overall story and how Jack finally found joy in the job he was called to do and stepped aside from a job he knew wasn’t his calling.

To read Erin’s take on the film, you can click HERE.

Finishing up our Spooky Season Cinema will be:

Creature from the Black Lagoon (Classic Creature Feature)

Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Johnny Depp version)

And Halloween from 1979.

Other movies we watched in this series included:


Shaun of the Dead

Young Frankenstein

Hocus Pocus

The Addams Family

You can find my impressions of these movies by using the search feature on the right over there on my page.

Honestly, though, it looks like we’d have to write about Halloween after Halloween so…I’ll probably drop that one because that is when I’ll be in Christmas mode. *wink* Ha! Ha!

8 thoughts on “Spooky Season Cinema: The Nightmare Before Christmas

  1. Interesting, the background (the making) of this movie! I haven’t ever watched it but now I’m curious and I love what you said here: ‘I liked how walking into Christmas Town made Jack feel light and happy, which shows me that even Tim Burton understands that Halloween is the dark holiday and Christmas the light.’

    Glad you and The Boy got to spend time together like this!


  2. Pingback: Sunday Bookends: Fall colors fading and a movie week | Boondock Ramblings

  3. I love that you put aside your own misgivings to spend time with your son. Mine will be 53 y/o in December (yikes!) and now I’m wishing we’d spent more one-on-one time in the past.
    The only Tim Burton vehicle I’ve seen is Big Fish, only because it was filmed right down the road in Wetumpka.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw part of Big Fish. I don’t think I ever finished it. It’s never too late to find some one on one time with our loved ones. I’m trying my best to find that time before he doesn’t want anything to do with me.


  4. Pingback: Spooky Season Cinema: The Nightmare Before Christmas – Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs..

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