Walt Disney Pictures Presents...
"...Burton has created a rich, stunningly imaginative world...delicioulsly warped and quirky... At-A-Glance Film Reviews
|Chistmas may never be the same again when jack skellington, the restless king of halloweentown, decides that a change in the natural scheme of things is in order.|
"A treat at any time of the year. Desmond Ryan, Philadelphia Inquirer
"A one-of-a-kind delight, a labor of love that is enchanting from start to finish. Frank Lovece, TV Guide
"This delectably ghoulish fairy tale...has a clever visual format that keeps it streamlined and sharp. Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Still the most ingenious effort to combine two holiday movies into one... Jason Anderson, The Globe and Mail
"...Burton has spectacular resources at his disposal, and his crew responds with staggeringly elaborate results. Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"The dazzling techniques employed here create a striking look that's never been seen in such sustained form... Todd McCarthy, Variety
Tim Burton's stop-motion animated feature finds Pumpkin King Jack Skellington thinking the grass is greener over in Santa Claus's holiday. He marshals all his goblins and ghouls to take over Christmas, but alas--poor Jack belongs to Halloween. An amazing visual and musical feast that should be seen at least twice to catch all the kinks and quirks in the nooks and crannies. Academy Award Nominations: Best Visual Effects.
Cast & Crew
Tired of being an object of fear for small children, Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, sets out to replace Santa Claus and oversee Christmas festivities for a year. A trio of ghastly ghouls is assigned to the task of kidnapping Saint Nick; meanwhile, Jack attends to the Yuletide activities, giving them a frightful new twist in the process.
Golden Globe (1994)
||Danny Elfman, Nominee, Best Original Score - Motion Picture
||Pete Kozachik, et. al., Nominee, Best Effects, Visual Effects
New York Times
"...Delectably ghoulish....A major step forward for both stop-motion animation [and for Burton]..."
Sight and Sound
"...A rich, inventive score by Danny Elfman..."
"...Charming...A terrific package..." -- Rating: A
"...A feast for the eyes and the imagination..."
"...First, go for the story. Then go back just to look in the corners of the screen, and appreciate the little visual surprises and inspirations that are tucked into every nook and cranny..."
5 stars out of 5 -- "[With] vivid background characters, underplayed by deeply felt relationships, priceless gags and thoroughly hummable tunes which inspire varied and imaginative musical sequences."
ReelViews 9 of 10
When I was a child, one of the reasons I enjoyed the Christmas season so much was the annual arrival of those endlessly-repeated television specials: Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, The Year Without a Santa Claus. Tim Burton must remember those programs too, because, in his own inimitable way, he has paid homage to them in this most twisted of holiday fairy tales...The Nightmare Before Christmas is a visual splendor. Done on the cheap, this could have been a gimmicky, unsatisfying experience, but, as the result of considerable time and effort, it is an unqualified success. All of the figures move smoothly and naturally, and the attention to detail is exquisite. We are given a group of cleverly-fashioned characters that look like refugees from Edward Gorey's sketchbook...The Nightmare Before Christmas has something to offer just about everyone. For the kids, it's a fantasy celebrating two holidays. For the adults, it's an opportunity to experience some light entertainment while marvelling at how adept Hollywood has become at these techniques. There are songs (even if they aren't nearly as noteworthy as they should be), laughs, and a little romance. In short, The Nightmare Before Christmas does what it intends to: entertain.
- James Berardinelli
Chicago Sun-Times 9 of 10
The movies can create entirely new worlds for us, but that is one of their rarest gifts. More often, directors go for realism, for worlds we can recognize. One of the many pleasures of "Tim Burton's the Nightmare Before Christmas" is that there is not a single recognizable landscape within it. Everything looks strange and haunting. Even Santa Claus would be difficult to recognize without his red-and-white uniform..."The Nightmare Before Christmas" is a Tim Burton film in the sense that the story, its world and its look first took shape in Burton's mind, and he supervised their filming. But the director of the film, a veteran stop-action master named Henry Selick, is the person who has made it all work. And his achievement is enormous...Working with gifted artists and designers, he has made a world here that is as completely new as the worlds we saw for the first time in such films as "Metropolis," "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" or "Star Wars." What all of these films have in common is a visual richness, so abundant that they deserve more than one viewing. First, go for the story. Then go back just to look in the corners of the screen, and appreciate the little visual surprises and inspirations that are tucked into every nook and cranny...The songs by Danny Elfman are fun, too, a couple of them using lyrics so clever they could be updated from Gilbert & Sullivan.
- Roger Ebert