Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas –
Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray +
A-/B Sound: A-/B Extras: A- Film: A
grown tired of the same old thing? Do
the howls and cries of bad television and films weaken your spirit? Well, now there is something out there close
to your home that can change all of that with Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas – Collector’s Edition.
of you who have been living in a coffin for the past 15 years, here is a brief
plot synopsis of the classic Burton film.
The film chronicles the tale of a lanky bag of bones known as Jack
Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who has grown tired of his
methodic, nightmarish life. Though he is
the king of fright and his talents are renowned far and wide, Jack still feels
an ever growing emptiness within himself.
After a ghoulish Halloween celebration Jack wanders off to the graveyard
to lament his tiresome life; but soon finds that he has walked all through the
night, ending up in a place he has never been before. Surrounded by trees that each adorn
different, fascinating symbols (representing holidays) one door in particular
catches Jack’s attention; it is the door to Christmas Town. Jack is swept by a whirlwind to Christmas
Town, where Jack is revitalized by the joyous sites and sounds of the gleeful
holiday spectacles that he experiences while there.
this Christmas idea could be quite fun and sets out to share his idea with the
‘people’ of Halloween Town; who quickly embrace the suggestion…though they
don’t quite grasp or understand the concept.
The town swings into action to take over the Christmas festivities, by
decorating, creating monstrous toys and giving good old “Sandy Claws” a
break. It is a quiet onlooker named
Sally that sees through the shiny glow of the Christmas scheme and tries to
warn Jack, but his clouded mind can’t go beyond his obsession. Though Jack’s intentions are pure of heart,
his ideas of holiday joy and gift giving do not precisely fit with the true
meaning of Christmas.
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before
Christmas is one
of the most astonishing films ever created.
The dark mesh of ‘pop culture’ references, horror, comedy, and a classic
Hollywood musical makes The Nightmare
Before Christmas go beyond the plethora of other films that try to balance
these same elements and ultimately fail.
The characters overflow with creativity.
The set designs scream of depth and imagination. The songs and scores have a supreme serenity
that heighten each moment of the film and create countless memories. Tim
Burton’s genius may have slightly slipped over the past few years, but his
early ventures including The Nightmare
Before Christmas will stand the test of time, life and even death. Though the film was technically directed by
Henry Selick, it was Tim Burton’s creativity in story and character design,
along with technical understanding that propelled the film forward and allowed
for its conception. It is dark, it is
art noir, and it is musical brilliance. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
is beyond clever as it evolves into an intricate cascade of art and music
that will lend its creativity as inspiration to countless other films for all
few who deny at what it does it is the best, for this Blu-ray is known far and
wide. For when it comes to surprises by
the LCD light, this Blu-ray excels without ever really trying. Tim
Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is not only one of the best
animated film creations ever made, but the feature film’s new Blu-ray release
stands among the best with its amazing presentation of picture, sound, and
extras. The Blu-ray’s picture is
presented in a crystal clear 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 High Definition 1.66 X 1
Widescreen. After spending years with 2
previous DVD releases (1997 and 2000) that were overridden with artifact,
debris, a soft image, and just an overall horrible presentation the world
finally gets to see The Nightmare Before
Christmas in all its holiday glory.
The picture on the Blu-ray has solid blacks that make every crevice of
Halloween Town scream with excellence, vibrant colors that make the lights of
Christmas Town shine, and brilliantly sharp and vivid images that make every
bone ‘pop’ from head to toe. The vibrancy
of the Blu-ray is simply astonishing from beginning to end; not only does Tim
Burton’s artistic vision rise to life in this release, but it howls with a new
life that home theaters have never seen before.
on the Blu-ray is equally impressive in its English 7.1 Dolby Tru HD (48
kHz/24-bit) format. The sound off the
bat (haha!) is amazing, utilizing the entire soundstage. The sound is wide ranging as it uses every speaker
and highlights each discrete noise throughout the film. The musical scores burst with life and death
as they project from the surrounds with a rich fullness that almost allows for
each instrument in Danny Elfman’s cascade of sound to be heard. The sound is crisp, clean, and inspiring,
with an amazing soundfield.
the first Dolby release of any kind with 7.1 tracks and though this was
originally only a Dolby Digital theatrical release, it has since seen DTS home
video, 3-D theatrical and IMAX screenings, so the true soundmaster has been
taken care of well and the result are terrific sonics and a great soundfield
here. Even better then the lesser, simpler
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound on both formats that does not have as much
range as the Blu-ray’s TrueHD, but is still very adequate; it will be demo
material for years to come.
is also an immense upgrade from its previous releases, but it does not even
begin to compare to the astounding quality brought back to life by the
Blu-ray. The picture is presented in a
clean, clear 1.66 X 1 Widescreen that has good blacks and colors, but not as
deep of vibrant as the Blu-ray. It can
also be noted that the 2-Disc Collector’s Edition DVD release comes in a hard
cardboard case that has Jack Skellington imbedded in the front cover as a
raised plastic bust. The case is a nice
homage to an even greater film.
extras found on the 2008 Blu-ray and DVD releases are all those found on the
2000 Special Edition DVD release,
plus a ton more. The special features on
the Blu-ray/DVD release include:
* What’s This? Jack’s Haunted
Mansion Holiday Tour [On Track (7 min) & Off Track Versions (37 min)]
Watch Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion Attraction be
transformed into a fantastic new world by Disney’s ‘Imagineers’ inspired by
none other than The Nightmare Before
Christmas. Use Blu-ray features that
allow for pop-trivia along the way.
Frankenweenie (Uncut Version) with
new Introduction by Tim Burton
Tim Burton’s 30 minute 1984 film is a tribute to his love
for the classic 1930’s horror films as it chronicles the exploits of a young
scientist as he brings his recently deceased dog back to life; though the
town’s folk don’t act so kindly to the dog’s return. The Blu-ray has an extended cut of the film
and an introduction by Tim Burton that also promotes his new animated remake of
the same film.
Vincent – Short Film (6 minutes)
An early attempt by Tim Burton to make a stop-motion film
that was based on one of his unique early poems (like that of The Nightmare Before Christmas). The short film is narrated by Vincent Price,
one of Burton’s personal heroes.
* Tim Burton’s Original Poem
Narrated by Christopher Lee
A very cool feature that takes Burton’s original concept
art and twisted poem and brings them to life with the voice of Christopher Lee.
* All New Audio Commentary by Tim
Burton, Director Henry Selick and Music Designer Danny Elfman
The audio commentary on this Blu-ray seems to be a mesh of
three separate audio tracks that were recorded at different times. The Selick and Elfman comments are
interesting and insightful; whereas Burton’s comments (though not a total loss)
are less than stellar at times, lacking focus.
It is a good track nevertheless.
Behind the Scenes Making of “Tim
Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas”
A truly fascinating ‘making of’ featurette that gives deep
insight into the films creative process, art direction, how the puppets were
made, lighting, the overall painstaking process, and much, much more. The featurette is not a simple ‘throwaway’
extra, but a feature that can be watched again and again.
The Worlds of “Tim Burton’s The
Nightmare Before Christmas”
The Real World
The comparison featurette focuses on the ‘Town Meeting’
film sequence and how it went from paper to plaster.
Original Theatrical Trailers and
Some movie poster stills, one
teaser trailer, and one full trailer.
* Disney File Digital Copy
A growing trend on DVD and Blu-ray is to give the option
of having an extra ‘computer copy’ of the film available at the buyers’ finger
tips. Whereas it is sometimes nice to
have a film copy easily at hand, the quality is completely lost.
** All New Blu-ray Exclusive Tim
Burton Movie Introduction
Only lasting 18 seconds long, the Blu-ray gives fans a
very short (but exclusive) introduction to the film by Tim Burton that has him
explaining how ‘incredible’ he thinks the Blu-ray release turned out.
* = New
** = Only
available on Blu-ray
extras available on these two releases are some of the best seen on any release
to date. They are fun, informative, and
plentiful. In a bone chilling way the
extras manage to capture the essence of the nightmarish musical with the
participants emphasizing the love that a generation of moviegoers has gained
for the classic film.
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before
Christmas – Collector’s Edition is a must see and a must own. It is a film that shocked and amazed
audiences from the very beginning and still to this day has much to offer. Disney has taken the film to the next level
with its newest Blu-ray release. Just
remember everywhere, life is no fun without a good scare.
“Boys and girls of every age
Wouldn’t you like to see something
Come with us and you will see
This, our town of Halloween”
- Michael P. Dougherty II