5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Best animated musical ever?,
This review is from: The Nightmare Before Christmas [VHS]  (VHS Tape)
Stop-motion animation may be the most pain-stakingly labourious art-form around, but its effects can be quite enchanting. In 'Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas', the 3-dimensional puppets give a vibrant live-action look that would somehow be missing from run-of-the-mill 2-D cartoon drwawings.
The original inspiration for the film came from a poem that Burton had wrote while working for Disney in the early 80's. He was originally going to use it as a narration to a short animation feature he was going to make in the style of his early films such as 'Vincent and 'Frankenweenie'. After he left Disney, the company kept the copyright. Then came the enormous success of Burton's first 3 movies and suddenly Disney became interested again. Although the theme of the story is a little darker than the usual Disney fare, with Tim Burton's name in the title they were willing to take the risk.
Halloweentown is a fantastical space in which all the grotesque characters inhabit a culture where it's okay to be different, messed up and miserable. A Burtonesque utopia if you will. Although Burton's name lies above the title, the two biggest creative minds behind the project were director Harry Selick and composer Danny Elfman. One of Selick's biggest influences in formulating the look of the film was Charles Laughton's 'The Night Of The Hunter' which made such expressive use of lighting. Elfman's songs are a revelation and this without a doubt is the best animated musical I've ever seen.