I was nine-years-old when the original Nightmare Before Christmas was released in theaters. It became a classic in my house, year after year. The story of Jack the Pumpkin King and the citizens of Halloweentown was something my brothers and I watched every year at Halloween and Christmas. When the ads started showing up for the 3-D re-release of the film, I was adamantly against going to see it. There was nothing wrong with the original. Why would you need to see it in 3-D? The idea of seeing the movie on the big screen again won me over, however, and I checked it out.
First of all, the movie itself is fantastic. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King and hero of Halloweentown, is bored with Halloween and the same scares and screams he is expected to produce every year. He wanders through the forrest to a clearing with a tree for every holiday, and falls into Christmastown. It is, as you might imagine, a wonderful place full of snowballs, bright, cheery lights, and the smell of pies and cakes. Jack is fascinated and attempts to bring Christmas to Halloweentown.
The movie hadn’t lost its magic, even after a few years of not seeing it. Danny Elfman’s beautifully haunting score and entertaining songs match up perfectly with Tim Burton’s dark vision of a mashed up Halloween/Christmas holiday. The characters were still charming and entertaining after 14 years.
I didn’t remember the movie being so short, however. At an hour and 16 minutes, it was over in a blink of the eye, compared to most of today’s movies that clock in at 2 hours plus.
The 3-D was barely noticable, honestly. With the exception of the few things that pop out at you, and the ghosts floating in the background, the 3-D effects weren’t something that added to or detracted from the movie. The glasses were fun, but the movie was practically in 3-D already thanks to the stop-motion animation.
If you have a chance to catch this in the theater, you absolutely should. As a fan of the film, or as a newcomer, it’s something special to see on the big screen.
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