Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993, Disney Musical Fantasy) – 9/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Henry Selick
Producer: Tim Burton
Producer: Denise Di Novi
Music Composer: Danny Elfman
Composer (Lyrics): Danny Elfman
Writer (Original Story): Tim Burton
Writer (Original Characters): Tim Burton
Writer (Adaptation): Michael McDowell
Writer (Screenplay): Caroline Thompson
Animation Supervisor: Eric Leighton
Associate Producer: Danny Elfman
Danny Elfman: [voice of] Jack Skellington (singing)
Chris Sarandon: [voice of] Jack (speaking)

Nightmare Before Christmas, The (1993)

Halloween Town’s pumpkin king Jack Skellington stumbles across Christmas Town and decides to cheer himself up by handling the Christmas duties himself. Will his attempt be a success or will it be The Nightmare Before Christmas?


Brilliant musical fantasy which marries stunning technical achievements to breath-taking visual artistry, a charismatic score and several terrific songs with unforgettable consequences. This is, after Edward Scissorhands, Danny Elfman and Tim Burton’s second masterpiece; a near-flawless collaboration of Burton’s ability to produce absolutely striking visuals and new ‘fairy tales’ that feel like they’ve been around forever and Elfman’s ability to hook completely into the tone of Burton’s vision. Director Henry Selick was the last key to this particular production as he marshals everything into brilliantly animated life.

This movie contains unpleasant scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

The general feeling that the viewer gets while watching is one of wonderment. This is especially so if the viewer has any appreciation of the kind of skills required and difficulties faced in making a production of this kind. The animation is superb throughout, one of the best scenes is one where Jack, dressed in tatters, is singing and moving his arms and the bits of clothing hanging off him sway around smoothly and realistically. Another sees Oogie-Boogie dancing around Santa Claus and it looks as natural as a man in a suit. But it’s not; it a puppet moved a fraction and photographed over and over. The special effects used to incorporate fire and water into the animation are also superb. Overall, the use of digital effects technology really has been used to its full potential.

Danny Elfman has again produced another excellent score and some very good songs, one of which (What Is This?) is very catchy and highly memorable. That is the song that you will be humming afterwards. Elfman’s singing voice is also excellent and put to great and varied use throughout.


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