Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Hooray!  Now I'm in the Halloween spirit.  Uh, Christmas spirit, Christmas spirit, that's what I said, right?

Seriously, the scene in which Jack discovers Christmas Town I find to be one of the most holiday-cheer inducing scenes on film.  I get a big stupid grin on my face just listening to the song.

It's a modern classic.  The animation is outstanding, the writing brilliant, the music amazing, the story inspired.  I have basically no complaints.

I really sympathize with Jack. He discovers this wonderful thing that makes him feel warm and happy, and he starts out by trying to share it with his friends.  Everything spirals out of control, but it starts with a both selfish and unselfish instinct: Jack wants to have Christmas for himself because it makes him feel good, and he wants to share it, so his friends can feel it too.

It doesn't work out, because despite their best efforts, the residents of Halloween Town just don't understand the whole "spreading happiness" thing.  I sympathize with the idea that you try to do Christmas the best way you can, and all you get for it is shot down.  That feels accurate to some of my experiences with the holiday.

By the end, Santa helps the others understand a little of the merry holiday feeling, but more importantly, the experience shows Jack that everything he needed, he had the whole time.  He reclaims the strength in his own identity, and finds love.  Which is a pretty great ending, I would say.

You know you love it, so make some time to watch it.  If you don't have it on DVD yet (who are you?) you can pick it up on Amazon.

Here, you all can grin along with me:


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