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General Musings, Reviews, The Snooty Ushers Christmas

Halloween to Christmas: 56 days… 56 Christmas films: Day 1 – The Nightmare Before Christmas


Everyone has had the argument about whether The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Christmas film or a Halloween film. And by everyone, I mean Dan and I. Actually, I think technically we had an argument about whether Jack Skellington would qualify for a best Santa Claus list. So here I am, Re-viewing The Nightmare Before Christmas on Halloween. But guess what? This is both a Halloween and a Christmas movie, so this Re-view is actually the beginning of my Countdown to Christmas!

“But James,” I hear the voices in my head say “there are 56 days between Halloween and Christmas. What are you going to do, review a Christmas movie every day? What type of idiot would put himself through that?”

This type of Christmas-loving idiot.

Some re-views will be longer than others and some of the films stretch the term “Christmas movie” slightly – especially in the first week. I am also going to give each film a ranking of up to 5 gold rings.

So, enough yakking, let’s get to it.

31st October, Day 1

The Nightmare Before Christmas (Henry Selick, 1993)

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The Nightmare Before Christmas starts with the residents of Halloween Town celebrating another successful Halloween (all singing “This Is Halloween” in unison), showering praise on their Pumpkin King, Jack Skellington. Jack is growing weary though, with yet another triumphant Halloween not giving him as much pleasure at it had done in the past. He goes for a walk in the woods, and discovers a circle of trees that leads to each of the major holidays. Luckily for us he goes through the Christmas door – Nightmare Before Easter doesn’t have the same ring to it – and is enchanted by what he sees in Christmas Town. Seeing the joy that Christmas can bring inspires him to try and do it himself, so he sets the people of Pumpkin Town to work recreating Christmas as only they can. All that’s left is for them to kidnap Santa Claus (Sandy Claws as Jack names him) and Jack can take his place as the King of Christmas. And what could possibly go wrong when someone who has lived and breathed Halloween tries to recreate Christmas, without ever having experienced it himself?

This is a beautiful film, with the details in the characters an absolute joy to behold.  Jack is pined for by Sally, a hauntingly beautiful, stitched together creation of Finklestein, a bizarre doctor. The whole town is presided over by the Mayor, a literally two faced politician, and fear Oogie Boogie, proving that even Halloween Town has its boogeyman. Each of these characters – and all of the supporting ones – are memorable creations

If course, one of the most “Tim Burton” films is famously not directed by Tim Burton, and he was barely involved during the actual production, working on Batman Returns and prepping Ed Wood. However, there are as many visual similarities as you want to count, from Batman to Beetlejuice. But of course, what makes this film is the songs, written and produced by Danny Elfman. Disney films – although they wimped out and released it through Touchstone  – live or die on their songs, and they are really excellent. Opening number “This Is Halloween” is probably the most memorable, but the high standard is maintained throughout.

The stunning visual design and excellent songs aside, my absolute favourite part of the film involves Jack’s experiments on various bits of Christmas paraphernalia. His application of the scientific method allows him to perfectly replicate the physical part of Christmas, but he is missing the real spirit of Christmas, and that is what drives the film. I believe that one scene sums up the premise of the entire film.

The Nightmare Before Christmas is an excellent holiday film, and works as both a creepy Christmas film and a satisfying Halloween film. My first rating is…

5 gold rings

5 Gold Rings Out of 5!

Boom! Off to a good start. Join me tomorrow when I’ll be reviewing another Christmas film… ROCKY IV! What? They can’t all be It’s A Wonderful Life!

Until next time, stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold. See you soonish.

that's all folks

PS Here’s my plan on how the next 7 weeks are going to play out. (SEVEN WEEKS? What have I done???). I might juggle a few around, but I will post a Re-view each and every day from Halloween to Christmas. Unless I go insane. Place your bets.

October

31. Nightmare Before Christmas

November

  1. Rocky IV
  2. Edward Scissorhands
  3. Trading Places
  4. Batman Returns
  5. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
  6. Gremlins
  7. Eyes Wide Shut
  8. Love Actually
  9. Lethal Weapon
  10. Die Hard / Die Hard 2
  11. About A Boy
  12. Trapped in Paradise
  13. Reindeer Games
  14. Joyeux Noel
  15. Nativity! / Nativity 2 / Nativity 3 Dude Where’s My Donley
  16. Jack Frost
  17. Jack Frost
  18. Arthur Christmas
  19. The Santa Clause / The Santa Clause 2  / The Santa Clause 3
  20. Miracle on 34th Street
  21. Miracle on 34th Street
  22. Scrooged!
  23. Scrooge
  24. The Muppets Christmas Carol
  25. Elf
  26. Home Alone / Home Alone 2
  27. The Grinch
  28. Black Christmas
  29. Jingle All The Way
  30. Rare Exports

December

  1. Polar Express
  2. A Christmas Story
  3. Bad Santa
  4. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
  5. Santa Claus: The Movie
  6. Krampus
  7. White Christmas
  8. Christmas with the Kranks
  9. Christmas with the Coopers
  10. Fred Claus
  11. Silent Night Deadly Night
  12. Santa Claus Conquers The Martians
  13. Santa with Muscles
  14. Santa’s Slay
  15. Four Christmases
  16. The Family Man
  17. The Nativity Story
  18. A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas
  19. Mixed Nuts
  20. We’re No Angels
  21. Holiday Inn
  22. Babes In Toyland
  23. Meet John Doe
  24. A Christmas Tale
  25. Well, it’s Christmas Day, so It’s A Wonderful Life

It’s a mixed bag, hopefully I can make it all the way through. Like I said, some re-views will be shorter than others if time gets tight, but I will post one everyday. Wish me luck!

#56ChristmasFilmsIn56Days

About Snooty Usher James

Favourite Film: This Is Spinal Tap (1984) Least Favourite Film: Probably the American version of One Missed Call (2008) Guilty Pleasure: No Holds Barred (1989) I'm the exile of the group, after living in the South for a couple of years I've now moved to Edinburgh to start the next chapter. I've got a wide ranging love of film and TV, but I am definitely the fourth usher in terms of film knowledge. I do however have a stack of DVDs to work through, and both a Netflix and an Amazon Prime subscription with which to get involved. So, even if my job means I don't get to see as many of the new releases as I would like, I hope to be able to chip in with some reviews of my own. My other hobbies include playing the guitar, trying to play the ukulele, Football Manager and Radio 4. I'm also a big fan of wrestling. Part of that means that I have a bunch of ideas for columns that I have stolen from various parts of IWC, so look out for them. But hey, enough of my yacking. What do you say.....let's boogie.

Discussion

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 2 – Rocky IV | The Snooty Ushers - November 1, 2016

  2. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 3 – Edward Scissorhands | The Snooty Ushers - November 2, 2016

  3. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 4 – Trading Places | The Snooty Ushers - November 3, 2016

  4. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 5 – Batman Returns | The Snooty Ushers - November 4, 2016

  5. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 6 – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang | The Snooty Ushers - November 5, 2016

  6. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 7 – Gremlins | The Snooty Ushers - November 6, 2016

  7. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 8 – Eyes Wide Shut | The Snooty Ushers - November 7, 2016

  8. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 9 – Love Actually | The Snooty Ushers - November 8, 2016

  9. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 10 – Lethal Weapon | The Snooty Ushers - November 9, 2016

  10. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 11 – Die Hard & Die Hard 2 | The Snooty Ushers - November 10, 2016

  11. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 12 – About A Boy | The Snooty Ushers - November 11, 2016

  12. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 13 – Trapped In Paradise | The Snooty Ushers - November 12, 2016

  13. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 14 – Reindeer Games | The Snooty Ushers - November 13, 2016

  14. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 15 – Joyeux Noel | The Snooty Ushers - November 14, 2016

  15. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 16 – Nativity / Nativity 2 / Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey? | The Snooty Ushers - November 15, 2016

  16. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 17 – Jack Frost | The Snooty Ushers - November 16, 2016

  17. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 18 – Jack Frost | The Snooty Ushers - November 17, 2016

  18. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 19 – Arthur Christmas | The Snooty Ushers - November 18, 2016

  19. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 20 – The Santa Clause / The Santa Clause 2 / The Santa Clause 3 | The Snooty Ushers - November 19, 2016

  20. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 21 – Miracle on 34th Street | The Snooty Ushers - November 20, 2016

  21. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 22 – Miracle On 34th Street | The Snooty Ushers - November 21, 2016

  22. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 23 – Scrooged | The Snooty Ushers - November 22, 2016

  23. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 24 – Scrooge | The Snooty Ushers - November 23, 2016

  24. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 25 – The Muppet Christmas Carol | The Snooty Ushers - November 24, 2016

  25. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 25 – Elf | The Snooty Ushers - November 25, 2016

  26. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 27 – Home Alone / Home Alone 2 | The Snooty Ushers - November 26, 2016

  27. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 28 – Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas | The Snooty Ushers - November 27, 2016

  28. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 29 – Black Christmas | The Snooty Ushers - November 28, 2016

  29. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 30 – Jingle All The Way | The Snooty Ushers - November 29, 2016

  30. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 31 – Rare Exports | The Snooty Ushers - November 30, 2016

  31. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 32 – Polar Express | The Snooty Ushers - December 1, 2016

  32. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 33 – A Christmas Story | The Snooty Ushers - December 2, 2016

  33. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 34 – Bad Santa | The Snooty Ushers - December 3, 2016

  34. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 35 – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation | The Snooty Ushers - December 4, 2016

  35. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 36 – Santa Claus: The Movie | The Snooty Ushers - December 5, 2016

  36. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 37 – Krampus | The Snooty Ushers - December 6, 2016

  37. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 43 – Santa’s Little Helper | The Snooty Ushers - December 12, 2016

  38. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 44 – Santa With Muscles | The Snooty Ushers - December 14, 2016

  39. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 45 – Santa’s Slay | The Snooty Ushers - December 14, 2016

  40. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 46 – Four Christmases | The Snooty Ushers - December 15, 2016

  41. Pingback: 56 Days, 56 Christmas Films: Day 47 – A Christmas Horror Story | The Snooty Ushers - December 16, 2016

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