any good movies lately?
and recommend it.
In Halloweentown, where the
village’s creepy-crawly-scary-ghoulish residents spend 355 days a year
devising ways to make October 31st the scariest day of all,
bony Jack Skellington is the unofficial king of all things dark and
frightening. He’s awfully good at what he does – namely, scaring the
hell out of people. Still, Jack’s been feeling a little glum lately
about his life’s calling: surely, he thinks, there must be some more
fulfilling way to spend his days than cooking up schemes to make folks
scream in terror. On a long walk in the woods late one evening, Jack
stumbles across a mysterious evergreen-shaped door. What he finds on the
other side of that door is a magical, wonderful, snow-covered land full
of cheery elves, twinkling colored lights, peace, joy and goodwill
galore. It’s Christmastown, and here, Santa Claus and merriment reign
supreme. Jack returns home feeling downright inspired – he calls a
town meeting and gleefully announces that this year, for a change,
Halloweentown will take care of Christmas, and Jack himself will act as
"Sandy Claws." As the townsfolk throw themselves into a flurry
of work, crafting unintentionally horror-filled presents and revivifying
skeleton reindeer, only Rag Doll Sally, who’s secretly in love with
Jack, can see that Jack’s plans are sure to end up in disaster.
Animation in general just boggles my mind
– the mere thought of having to generate individual frame after frame
after frame to make a whole feature-length movie is enough vicarious
work to give me a screamer of a headache. Seriously, the amount of labor
required to make an animated movie is just insane – and even more so
when the particular form of animation is stop-motion, as it is in Tim
Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Whereas in traditional
animation, frames are drawn in 2D, with stop-motion, the contents of
each frame have to be physically constructed in actual 3D space. The
miraculous thing about The Nightmare Before Christmas is that it
immerses you so thoroughly in its charmingly macabre little world that
it makes the creation of that world look effortless: it’s as if you
want so much for all that beauty to really exist that your mind sort of
blocks out the tedious work required to put it all onscreen. The
characters all move with fluid grace, and the visual details are just
perfect, from Sally’s beautifully stitched-on limbs and
ballerina-elegant poise, to Jack’s sinewy-textured suit and creepy
skeletal smile, to his ethereally transparent and utterly adorable ghost
dog Zero, to the graveyard-gothic-inspired architecture of Halloweentown.
While Tim Burton didn’t direct – he’s credited as producer and
story originator – it’s a quintessential Tim Burton film: it’s his
trademark hauntingly lovely aesthetic, bittersweet tone, and quirky dark
humor that make The Nightmare Before Christmas the perfect
Halloween treat. —reviewed by
lounge . nourish
. host .
. home .