Fave Flick Flashback: The Nightmare Before Christmas

(Fave Flick Flashbacks: Posts where I revisit my favourite movies to see if they still deserve a spot in my Top 100 List).

On Christmas Eve, wife and I were discussing our favourite festive films. For her it was Home Alone (hardly a surprise considering she watches it three times a year at a bare minimum) and for me it was The Nightmare Before Christmas. Wife then made the mistake of admitting she’d never seen the film, and so the next two hours were taken care of …

Plot: Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween-town, is bored of doing the same thing every year. When he stumbles upon the bright lights and cheery smiles of Christmas-town he becomes so enamoured with it that he decides to take over Christmas. But Jack and his cohorts don’t seem to quite grasp the concept of the holiday …

Then: Number 70

As a young’n I do remember thinking it got a bit boring towards the end, but I  must have liked it enough to keep coming back to it, appreciating it a little more with each viewing. For you see …

Now: It just keeps getting better with time. It still looks amazing despite being made 20 years ago using a technique pioneered over 100 years ago (ie. stop motion). That “look” and the creepy but playful atmosphere it creates are central to the film, but there’s also a solid story to be found and plenty of interesting characters.

And then there’s the songs.

On first viewing I thought the songs were quite forgettable but now I really enjoy them. This time round I found myself humming “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” and “What’s This?” for days afterwards. Perhaps it goes to show that deep down I really love a good musical, as long as I’m able to forget that I’m watching a musical. Show me live actors bursting into song for no reason while over-emoting like they’re playing to the back rows of a packed theatre and I’ll probably hate you for it. But dress up the same thing with a bit of gothic flair and a few animated dolls (or animated penguins for another example) and I’ll be grinning from ear to ear.

Also, as an added bonus, wife really enjoyed it too. So we’ll probably be watching it again next year!

The Verdict: It’s movin’ on up.

movie list

Click here for more Fave Flick Flashbacks, including ‘Ed Wood’ and ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’.

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