||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.