Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas
By CAINE GARDNER
Run, sprint, scamper, dart, dash…do whatever you have to do and get your hands on the newly released "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas."
Fans of the film will see it like never before in their home. Digitally remastered and restored, the colors and imagery burst from the screen, bringing the story of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown to life.
Nightmare is the story of Skellington and what ensues after the disillusioned Pumpkin King encounters the mythical town of Christmastown and it's leader "Sandy Claws". After seeing the joys and sights of the town, Skellington decides to take over the holiday and spread his "unique" brand of Christmas cheer.
The best section of the film occurs when Skellington first encounters Christmastown. Jack's rendition of "What's this?" displays the youthful exuberance of childhood, when all things are new to young eyes. It's the catchiest song in the film and you find yourself humming the tune for days.
With the help of his townspeople, Skellington sets out on Christmas Eve and gives the inhabitants of the Earth a Christmas they'll never forget.
This flick is one of the few movies that every time I watch it I'm amazed. I love all styles of filmmaking, but stop action is a style I usually don't dig too much. The jerky movements and lifelessness of the characters just don't appeal to me.
Then came "Nightmare."
It showed that an animated film could present unbelievable characters in unbelievable environments and make it completely convincing. Taking over three years to complete, "Nightmare" caught fire in its initial releases to theaters and created a fan following that shows no signs of slowing.
Nightmare hit shelves on Aug. 26 with three versions to choose from. There is a Two-Disk Collector's Edition and a Blu-ray version. Each set contains two disks that include the movie and bonus features and a digital copy of the flick for play on you computer or ipod. It looks like the only added goodie on the Blu-ray is an exclusive movie intro by Tim Burton.
For hard-core fans who have some cash to throw down there's the Ultimate Collector's Edition. The pricetag of $180 may detour some, but for those willing to pony up the dough -- this is a treasure trove.
The Ultimate Edition comes with the three disks included in the DVD and Blu-ray version, but this edition comes with a bust of Jack Skellington that is hand painted and individually numbered that plays sound bites from the film. He also comes with his "Sandy Claws" hat and beard for those festive individuals. There's also a booklet containing the original poem by Tim Burton and the all-powerful Letter of Authenticity.
Final Cut: This is a must have for everyone. The film looks great and the extras are awesome. An uncut version of "Frankenweenie" and Burton's "Vincent" are highlights of the bonus features. My personal fave is the reading of the original poem by Christopher Lee. Fork over the cash-- your inner ghouls will thank you.
4 out of 4 stars
The Nightmare Before Christmas Two Disk Collector's Edition
Director -- Henry Selick
Writer -- Tim Burton, Michael McDowell, Caroline Thompson
* What's This? Jack's Haunted Mansion Holiday Tour
* Tim Burton's Original poem narrated by Christopher Lee
* Film Commentary with Producer/Writer Tim Burton, director Henry Selick and composer Danny Elfman
* New introduction to uncut version of "Frankenweenie" by Tim Burton
* The Making of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
* The Worlds of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
* Deleted scenes
* Storyboard to film comparison
* Original Theatrical Trailers and Posters
* Complete version of Tim Burton's "Vincent"