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Poster of The Nightmare Before Christmas   (1993)

Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, is bored with doing the same thing every year for Halloween. One day he stumbles into Christmas Town, and is so taken with the idea of Christmas that he tries to get the resident bats, ghouls, and goblins of Halloween town to help him put on Christmas instead of Halloween -- but alas, they can't get it quite right.

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The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

a Touchstone Pictures, Skellington Productions Inc. and Tim Burton Productions Production in USA

STARS Danny Elfman Chris Sarandon Catherine O'Hara William Hickey Glenn Shadix Paul Reubens Ken Page Edward Ivory Susan McBride Debi Durst Greg Proops Kerry Katz Randy Crenshaw Sherwood Ball Carmen Twillie

Animation | Family | Fantasy | Musical

Rated PG

View the Trailer

Sexy, Sex and Nude Scenes

A character uses her detached leg in a seductive way, to distract a villain.

There's a song sequence in which a character is expressing her romantic feelings about someone she's in love with.

There's a kiss between two characters at the end of the film.

Violent and Bloody Scenes

The film is filled with pseudo-scary visuals, but little actual harm is done. For instance: one character has a hatchet embedded in his head, but it might just as well be a hat. The characters are mostly toys, or, could be interpreted as un-dead creatures.

Santa Claus is kidnapped and held in a dungeon with manacles.

Oogie-Boogie is a creature who appears to be a walking burlap bag. The bag is revealed to be full of bugs.

Jack, dressed as Santa, is blasted out of the sky with missiles and falls to the ground (he is unhurt).

A mad doctor has a skull that flips open to reveal his brain, which he massages. Later, he removes half of his brain to place it in a mate he has created.

The heroine, Sally the rag doll, has arms and legs that come off and operate by themselves.

Jack tells 3 kids to kidnap Santa. After they are told this they sing about what they should do to him, and it is dark, for example, one of the lines is, "tie him in a bag, throw him in the ocean and, see if he is sad".

A young boy pulls out a skinned head from a present, he is calm, but his parents scream in horror.

Presents that Jack gives out start menacing people (a vampire doll and sharp-toothed duck chase two kids, a scary-looking wreath corners an old lady with it's vines etc.) No one is hurt.

Scary and Disturbing Scenes

The sight of many of the bizarre and somewhat monstrous looking citizens (including the occasionally menacing appearance of the villain, some glowing eyes, and sharp teeth under a bed, etc.) might be unsettling or even frightening to young children.

A young boy pulls out a skinned head from a box, this scene lasts for a split second as his parents scream in horror, This will be frightening for young kids as the mood is very scary and unsettling.

The sight (and related thought) of kids receiving menacing or dangerous toys from Jack for Christmas might scare some.

The instances of scary visuals literally number in the hundreds--all of the Charles Addams cartoon-variety.

The song "Kidnap the Sandy Claws" has dark ideas about what to do with Santa.

Overall not as scary as James and the Giant Peach or Coraline.

Review

I was a kid when I first saw Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas, but I wasn't scared by it in the slightest - this world is one entirely of the imagination, and in a sense saying that the film is scary for younger children is something of a compliment. 'Nightmare' is both a horror film and a musical, and fantasy and a suspense film, and like most Burton effort, comedy is thrown in at just the right moments.

With Henry Selick as director and Michael McDowell & Caroline Thompson as the screenwriters, Burton has fashioned the worlds of Halloween-town and Christmas-town as real originals, working on the cliches that are in each holiday and surrounding the worlds with a host of terrific and terrifying characters. While Halloween-town has a mayor (appropriately with two faces, one smiling one distressed), the real leader is Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon voices with a great Danny Elfman as the singing Jack) who orchestrates Halloween every year for its citizens. But he's grown weary over the years, and after stumbling upon Christmas-town, loaded with good will towards men and a large man in a red suit, he gets his town riled up to overtake the joyous holiday. Despite one protest by Sally (an amazing Catherine O'Hara), the doll-girl who loves him, the town goes on creating Jack's vision. The results are hilarious and, indeed, spellbinding.

Much credit is given to Burton and Selick for their work on the film, but a lot should also be attributed to Denise Di Novi (co-producer and co-designer), Rick Heinrichs (visual consultant), Pete Kozachik (D.P.), and of course Danny Elfman for his perfectly fitting score and song creations. Along with the talented voice actors, Nightmare Before Christmas ends up a triumph of artistic ingenuity. Some could construe it as too weird or too stylish, but for the cult audience it has garnered over the past ten years it remains of of Burton's finest accomplishments. A+