Time: 76 mins.
Genre: Animated Musical
Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.
Being a relatively big fan of Tim Burton I don't always love everything he does, but at least he uses his creativity to the fullest I try to see all of the movies he's involved in. I remember loving NIGHTMARE when I saw it years ago in the theater and it being the holidays decided to watch it again. I have to say that I was somewhat disappointed by this second viewing. It is still a visual treat, but the story was a little flat and one-note. I guess once you know what's going to happen, in this case, it takes the fun out of the proceedings. The story is pretty good, but there's a real lack of depth for a PG rated movie. This isn't a film that will be enjoyed by very young children especially those who still believe in Santa so I wish that Burton and Selick gave it more bite and a more involved story. Of course, with the work necessary to create a film using this animation technique, I suppose less is more.
Which isn't to say that NIGHTMARE isn't a film one should check out. The story is incredibly original and the score and songs create just the right mood for this creepy, yet funny holiday tale. The movie begins with the yearly Halloween celebration in Halloweentown, led by master of ceremonies Jack Skellington. Everyone from the Mayor on down thinks this year's extravaganza was the best yet, but Jack is feeling restless and unsatisfied. He's bored with his duties and is looking for something new, a better purpose to his existence. While wandering through the forest, he discovers several trees with special doors on them by their symbols it is clear they are portals to other holiday worlds. Jack is intrigued by the tree with a Christmas tree on it and before he knows what's happening he finds himself knee deep in snow staring at Christmas Town. Christmas Town is the exact opposite of his world. It's bright, colorful and extremely busy as the town's inhabitants are preparing for their yearly celebration.