The Nightmare Before Christmas

My reaction during this movie (a lithe seventy-six minutes) was that of a near-perpetual maniacal grin, one that bounced between "what the hell?" and "hell yes" with a joyous staccato.

First: I am very glad my parents did not try and have me watch this when I was a kid. It, I think, would have terrified me to no end.

Second: wow! It's just really good! Expertly crafted and delivered, with an aesthetic all its own (that would of course in later years be known as the Tim Burton aesthetic, but this gets the credit for being the forerunner), scenes and camera work pulled right from German Expressionism, details and tiny little character arcs that punch way above their weight. Even the music — I am not a musical person and I found the songs pretty lovely and ear-wormy.

The plot and the romance and all of that was silly, and who cares? It's like criticizing the plot of a Dr. Seuss book. The plot was a delivery mechanism for gorgeous set-pieces and a lovely aesthetic onslaught, and it succeeded in that regard. (Perhaps a parallel between Burton and Wes Anderson, there.)

10/31/2022
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