Movie of the Day

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Continuing to go through Tim Burton’s movies, I came to The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is Burton’s most representative movie, although he himself didn’t direct it, passing the time-consuming stop-frame animation duties over to Henry Selick while he fulfilled contractual obligations to make one of those silly Batman movies.

I have mixed feelings about this film. On the one hand, it is undeniably fun, and is also probably the best expression of Burton’s aesthetic. But the fact that everyone everywhere seems to list this as one of their favorite films, and the merchandising is still unabated after nearly 20 years, has made this a definite case of pop culture overexposure. I hadn’t even seen this film when I moved to Tokyo, where I spotted Jack Skelington on everywhere on everything, mobile phone straps, backpacks, pen and even handbags. This leads, for me at least, to bad associations with Star Wars and other films that seem like little more than excuses to sell plastic toys. But seeing this for the third or fourth time today, I realized that if you try to forget about the merchandizing empire, there is no way you can keep yourself from enjoying it, at least a little.

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