If you’ve ever stepped into a Hot Topic or talked to a thirteen year old during their “dark” phase, chances are you’ve heard of The Nightmare Before Christmas. How and why did it blow up the way it did? It’s a great film, but after years and years, other films have taken away it’s crown. Laika (Coraline, ParaNorman) is the new kingpin of stop motion animation now, and once they do their own full blown musical, it’s game over for Nightmare.
But even if I’m being a little harsh, I do love The Nightmare Before Christmas. I may traditionally watch the film during Thanksgiving (because it’s after Halloween, but before Christmas) but I figured it wouldn’t be right to celebrate Christmas films without this one.
[Nick’s Flixmas is a 25 day celebration of films Nick watches every Christmas! Nick will do some analysis, review, and just generally walk down memory lane. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the ride. Merry Flixmas!]
The Nightmare Before Christmas is a musical that may or not be give the proper credit where it’s due. It’s a Tim Burton influenced film, but the majority of the film’s greatness comes from its director Henry Selick. He’s been sadly drowned out over the years in favor of blanket Burton praise, but it’s a good movie.When I was growing up, Nightmare wasn’t as big as it is today, so I actually didn’t see the film until freshman year of high school. It was right about the time when I was budding into different kinds of movies (before that it was mostly Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Bruce Lee, Disney and Godzilla movies because of my dad. It was a weird upbringing) and I was at my friend’s house when his mom decided to pop it in.
She asked if I had seen it before, and of course, I pretended I did. So I was all “Uh, yeah I totally have and it’s alright.” So then actually watching the film, I couldn’t really react to it as I pretended I had seen it before. Can you imagine listening and watching the Oogie Boogie Song for the first time and pretending it’s not the best thing you’ve ever seen? It was rough, man. It’s also the first time I remember watching a stop motion film that wasn’t a Rankin/Bass special. That’s why I’m glad Laika is a company that exists. I hope there are kids discovering stop motion for the first time and getting inspired to do things. It’s pretty amazing. Sort of like their own “What’s This?” musical moment.
There’re a bunch of films I couldn’t get to, sadly. When compiling my list of 25 movies for Flixmas, there’s plenty I thought about but eventually decided against them because, honestly, finding ones on Netflix was easier. For example, I wanted to write about Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Lethal Weapon, Batman Begins, Rocky IV, The Santa Clause, Trading Places, Bad Santa, It’s A Wonderful Life, and Miracle on 34th Street. But…I just couldn’t find my copies on time. But even after 21 days of this, I don’t regret what I’ve seen, only what I couldn’t see. There’s only so many days. That being said, I hope these final films scratch an itch, and I truly thank you all for reading along these with me.
Tomorrow? Day 22 (and the fourth day of Nick’s Flixmas) is all bout Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!