GFC: The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas (USA/12A/76mins)

As a not-exactly up and coming young Disney animator in the early 1980s, Tim Burton had big plans for his three-page poem all about the king of Halloween Town becoming obsessed with all things Santa, but the Mickey Mouse management ultimately deemed the project “too weird”. It was only when Burton found fame and box-office fortune with Beetlejuice (1988) and Batman (1989) that Disney changed its mind.

And one of the most loved Christmas movies of all time was born, Burton’s delightful, twisted, dark and yet uplifting tale tapping into both the mischief of Halloween and the sugar-coated sweetness of the festive season.

The fact that director Henry Selick – first involved with the project back when he and Burton were young Disney drawing desk jockeys – managed to pull together such an ambitious stop-motion project (using 20 sound studios, and a crew of over 120) and yet make it feel homemade deserve recognition too.

Part of The Whale’s triple-whammy of Halloween classics – Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie screening at 1pm and The Rocky Horror Picture Show at 8pm – The Nightmare Before Christmas hits The Whale’s big-screen at 4.30pm (doors 3.30pm).

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