The Nightmare Before Christmas is a strange animal in that it is an enjoyable film but nothing more.
Does that mean its bad? Oh no. It has great stop-motion animation, a good pace, an engaging plot and interesting characters.
But did I feel for the characters? Was I fascinated by its thematic expression? No.
Even though he didn’t direct it, there is a recognizable Tim Burton theme. In that sense the film is very similar to Edward Scissorhands.
Both films concern an outsider trying to fit in a society but their attempts alienate and enrage the people so they are forced to return to their solitary and boring world where they’re better off.
The film concerns a reality where every holiday (American one anyway) has its own world.
Jack Skellington is known as the Pumpkin King, the most popular figure in Halloweentown. He is adored by every creature and demon around him but he has grown bored of the same annual routine. He wants something new.
He suddenly discovers Christmastown, a completely different reality and way of life. Inspired, Skellington kidnaps Santa Claus and delivers Christmas in his own style. Unfortunately, not everyone is impressed with his vision.
As I said there are familiar Burton themes about outsiders and fitting in certain social orders but apart from that The Nightmare Before Christmas is just a fun visual fairy tale, which isn’t entirely a bad thing.
Its not A Christmas Carol or It’s a Wonderful Life but its an innocent, little enjoyable holiday film that’s worth a watch if you have the time.
If not, there are better Christmas films you could be watching.
Overall, The Nightmare Before Christmas earns an admirable 7 out of 10.