Tim Burtons classic holiday film celebrates 25 years of cinematic fun

Courtesy of Touchstone Pictures

In a few days, fans will be able to celebrate the 25th anniversary of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Since the movie’s debut in theaters Oct. 29, 1993, it has become a traditional holiday movie.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a stop-motion animated film directed by Henry Selick and produced by Tim Burton. The story and characters were originally created by Burton, who is known for his dark movies such as “Beetle-juice” (1988) and “Edward Scissorhands” (1990).

The filmmakers constructed more than 200 puppets for the

movie’s characters and hundreds of heads with different expressions for Jack Skellington and Sally, the movie’s main characters.

Dr. Melissa Croteau, associate professor of film studies and literature, said the success of the movie helped people gain respect for stop-motion.

“If ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ had not been the hit it was 25 years ago I do not think we would see this kind of art resurge. Stop–motion was seen as cheesy and too work–intensive,” Croteau said. “You saw a turning point in the public view of stop-motion animation as something that is worth doing.”

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” became the hallmark of full-length, stop-motion movies, as the practice would be commonly used in short-length films afterward.

The success of the movie initially led to an increase of other productions of stop-motion such as “Chicken Run” (2000), “Coraline” (2009) and “The Corpse Bride” (2005).

Croteau added there will probably not be a constant stream of stop-motion movies being released.

“Stop-motion is a very ex- pensive form of art,” Croteau said. “I do not think we are go- ing to see an explosion of it. There is not enough money to fund it.”

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” was met with high praise by renowned film critic Robert Ebert, who said in his review that it was visually pleasing to the eyes and imagination.

Irene Pineda, senior liberal studies major, said the soundtrack and dark color in the movie adds to its success.

“The music in this movie plays a crucial role because it just screams Halloween,” Pineda said. “Tim Burton made a huge impact on stop-motion-picture movies because he brought a different aspect to them through the use of very gothic and horror-type film that intrigues a lot of people.”

Throughout the holidays, the movie is played on television networks such as Freeform.

Elizabeth Lacatus, senior liberal studies major, said watching the movie has become a tradition for her family.

“I remember watching this with my cousins when we were younger on Halloween night. We still carry the tradition to-day,” Lacatus said. “I remember knowing when we watched the movie that it meant holidays were coming up.”

To celebrate the 25th anniversary, the Hollywood Bowl is hosting a three-day concert featuring musical performances from Danny Elfman, the voice of Jack Skellington, and Catherine O’ Hara, the voice of Sally. Ken Page, who plays the antagonist Oogie Boogie, will also perform.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a pop-culture phenomenon and people are still buying merchandise from the movie and singing the lyrics of the songs.

With the upcoming anniversary, it is clear the movie’s animation has held its own despite the changing cinematic land- scape over the years.

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