Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cinematic Advent Calendar - Day 24

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) - Dir. Henry Selick

Drawing inspiration from animated holiday specials like Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) was originally conceived as a poem written by Tim Burton, which itself was inspired by the poem, A Visit from Saint Nicolas (aka: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas). Nightmare was the third consecutive Christmas related film that Burton had been associated with, beginning with Edward Scissorhands (1990) and Batman Returns (1992). In fact, he didn't have as much to do with the production of Nightmare as many people think, outside of working on the story, based on his poem, and character design, because he was busy filming Batman Returns and preparing to shoot Ed Wood (1994). The actual director, Henry Selick, who went on to direct James and the Giant Peach (1996), worked closely with Burton prepping the film and oversaw the day-to-day filming and handled most of the decision making in terms of the story and action. Beginning with Danny Elfman's songs, which were written well in advance of principal photography, Selick and his team set out on a two year adventure of making Tim Burton's Nightmare a reality. Although the stop-motion animated style is directly inspired by Rudolf, Nightmare delivers it with much more ambitious sophistication.The themes and morals explored in the film are also not that unique in terms of content, but the art, animation, and music makes the film an enjoyable alternative to traditional holiday viewing.  The Nightmare Before Christmas acts as a transitional holiday film, segueing from the horror of Halloween, into the merriment of Christmas. 

"Merry Christmas to all,
and to all a good fright

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