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Nightmare Before Christmas, The (3D re-issue)


Stars: Voices: Chris Sarandon, Ed Ivory, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey, Paul Reubens, Danny Elfman, Greg Proops, Joe Ranft, Glenn Shadix

Director: Henry Selick

Totally suited to a 3D revamp, this Tim Burton-produced romp is perfect festive fare for slightly older children, who will delight in its collection of weird characters, and for adults with a sense of the bizarre.

Although it boasts a Broadway-style score by Danny Elfman, who also sings the role of Jack Skellington (otherwise voiced by Sarandon), this stop-motion oddity is not exactly Beauty and the Beast.

The King of Halloweentown's ghosts and ghoulies, Jack finds himself tiring of the same old routine of making people scream every October 31, and, to the dismay of his fellow-monsters, he leaves the town's graveyards and rotting castles behind in search of something better.

What he stumbles across is Christmastown, whose goings-on, once his initial bewilderment clears, so enchant him that he determines to take over the work of the head honcho there, one Sandy Claws.

Claws is not exactly overjoyed at being kidnapped by demon trick-or-treaters Lock, Stock and Barrel and delivered into the clutches of Halloweentown's Oogey Boogey man - nor is Jack's idea of donning Claws' scarlet robes and manning a crew of skeleton reindeer a raging success...

It's all ingenuous stuff with some magic touches, but ponderously paced for the most part, in keeping with the stately score, so it's hard to decide which age range will enjoy this one-of-a-kind enterprise most. There's no disputing, however, that it is delightfully different .

David Quinlan

USA 1993. UK Distributor: Park Circus (originally Walt Disney). Technicolor.
76 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 03 Dec 2016