This film is one of my daughter's favorite films, as well as one of my own. I definitely recommend it for parents who have older children, but younger children JUST MAY be frightened. You know your child better than I do, though, so use your judgement. It is done with a very dark version of the animated puppets that are used for many of the old Christmas films (Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Raindeer, Jack Frost) that many of us grew up watching.

Spoilers contained, so go out, watch the movie before you read this entire node.

Jack Skellington, king of Halloweentown, is bored of Halloween. He feels that there's something missing from his life, so he wanders around until he discovers Christmas Town. He gets the idea to put on Christmas himself, to give Santa Claus a break. But, his lack of experience, along with his helpers, lend to a very different type of Christmas.

In the meantime, Sally, laments that she cannot get him to notice her. In the end, he discovers the girl, sets things right with Christmas, and has his enthusiasm for Halloween reinvigorated.

Directed and characters by Tim Burton, music (a very big part of the film) was by Danny Elfman (as well as a few voices). (Paul Reubens plays one of the characters in the film as well!)

IMDB recommends that you also see Halloweentown, which is another light-hearted kids movie about a town where every day is Halloween. Coincidentally, it's another of my daughter's favorite movies. If you have the Disney Channel you can see it about thirty times next Halloween.

Node Your Homework For my writing class, I have to write a film review on a movie of my choice. It must include a summary of the movie, my clear opinion on the movie, thesis, and at least 5 examples proving the thesis.


Touchstone Pictures is actually Disney. When Disney decided they wanted to make films of a more 'adult nature,' they made a seperate company, Touchstone Pictures. So, in essence, Touchstone is Disney, therefore TNBC was in fact done by Disney (and Skellington Productions).

Danger Will Robinson! This summary contains spoilers.


Film Review

The Nightmare Before Christmas is placed in a land that interacts with earth. In this land, there are twelve different towns. Each town is home to the creatures of the twelve holidays on earth. This story is about how two holidays were introduced to each other. Jack, The Pumpkin King, the ruler of Halloween Town, discovers the area with portals to each of the twelve towns after walking all night long, pining about his ennui with Halloween. He opens the door to Christmas Town and is consequently sucked inside. He has never seen such a town, nor even snow. He immediately falls in love with the place.

He returns to Halloween Town to tell everyone all about it; he wants to be the kind of the Christmas holiday as well. Jack collects items from Christmas Town to explain this holiday to Halloween Town in a town meeting. Halloween Town, having never seen such objects before, is unable to comprehend the meaning of Christmas. Jack, further intrigued by the new holiday, spends night and day conducting experiments to discover what makes Christmas so special and magical, so that he may describe the essence of Christmas to the townspeople.

At once, Jack puts people to work on various tasks; the objective is to take over Christmas. Jack saves the special task of kidnapping "Sandy Claws" for three troublemakers named Shock, Lock, and Barrel, but makes them promise not to let Oogie Boogie meddle in their affairs. Jack sets Sally to the task of sewing him a traditional Santa Claus suit. Sally tries to warn Jack that she has a bad premonition about all of this commotion.

While the town is preparing for Christmas, Shock, Lock, and Barrel plot to kidnap the Sandy Claws. They come up with a plan and set off to find him. After succeeding, they return with him to their lair and give him to the sadistic Oogie Boogie, who has plans for torturing Sandy Claws. Meanwhile, Jack's plans have begun to come to fruition. Jack sets off with a sack full of toys Santa Claus style and begins to spread his "joy" around town.

Little does Jack know that all these toys start coming to life and create havoc in the household in which they have been delivered. The town calls Jack an evil Santa Claus imposter in a bout of havoc and misunderstand. They launch bombs and rockets at him, which he misunderstands as fireworks in celebration of the new Christmas. Jack gets shot down into a cemetery and the townsfolk believe he has been killed. Sally, meanwhile, tries to rescue Santa Claus from Oogie Boogie, but she is captured in the process. Jack wakes up and realizes that he's initiated chaos and hopes there is "still time to make things right." He goes back and saves Sally and Sandy Claws.

Sandy Claws scolds Jack and tells him that Sally is the only sane person around, and then he goes off to save the world from the nightmare before Christmas. Jack realizes that his ennui isn't due to Halloween; it is the lack of a companion. Sally, all along, has pined for Jack. They become a couple and Jack gains his zeal for Halloween. Everything is right in the world and the Holidays became known to each other and all is well.

The Nightmare Before Christmas directly parallels the experiences of the lead singer of the band, The Smashing Pumpkins, during the recording of their double album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

There is a bullet that flies between the wings of a kid who uses them to walk with. This alludes to "Bullet with Butterfly Wings," a popular song from the "Pink CD", Dawn to Dusk. The making of rat hats is part of Jack's song, "Making Christmas." Rat is the keyword in the chorus to "Bullet with Butterfly Wings," yet another reference to this popular song. Zero is the name of Jack's ghost dog; it is also the name of a song on Dawn to Dusk. For the Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness Tour, Billy used duct tape to decorate a plain black t-shirt with a big silver star and "Zero." The two of the popular songs from Dawn to Dusk were alluded to in the movie.

There are a plethora of spiders, rats, and worms (Christmas stocking) in the movie. Besides recording for the double album, Billy Corgan was working on soundtracks for the movie, Ransom. The soundtrack was released a year afterward. These songs were titled, "Rats," "Spiders," "Worms," etc. This could be another allusion to songs by Billy Corgan and co.

Jack and Billy Corgan, the lead singer of The Smashing Pumpkins, are both in a state of ennui. Jack sings about it: "Oh somewhere deep inside of these bones, an emptiness began to grow. There's something out there far from my home, a longing that, I've never known..." - "Jack's Lament", soundtrack. Billy sings about it: "Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage. Someone will say what is lost can never be saved." - "Bullet with Butterfly Wings", Dawn to Dusk. "Boredom's in the bathroom shaking out the loose teeth... And nobody no where understands anything, about me, and all my dreams, lost at sea." - "Stumbleine," Twilight to Starlight ("Blue CD")

Another thing Jack and Billy share are physical attributes. Jack is excessively tall in comparison to the rest of the characters in the movie. When Billy was a child, his peers were intimidated by his height. They are both lanky, with long limbs and a skinny appearance. And they are both bald. Billy started shaving his head during the recording of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Not only do Jack and Billy feel ennui, they look similar.

Jack and Billy both try experimenting with something new. Jack tries to operate Christmas instead of Halloween. Things go awry, and then Jack decides he is better, happier doing Halloween, claiming he has some great new ideas. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was the indicator of The Smashing Pumpkins' new sound. They changed from alternative rockindie to electronica sounds (Adore, and MACHINAThe Machines of God). Their last album under Virgin Records was MACHINA. Since then, they've made and independent album, MACHINA II, and they are coming out with a comic about a messenger, Glass, sent to save Rock 'n' Roll (Glass and the Machines of God). Jack and Billy try something new, but decide to go back to being themselves; Jack going back to being the Pumpkin King, Billy going back to Rock. Jack gets the girl; and so does Billy.

After all the raucous, Jack realizes his need for a companion and falls in love with Sally. Billy Corgan married some woman around the time of recording. Not much is known other than that since he prefers to keep his love life private. Jack and Billy share the same ups and downs of love.

The character, Jack symbolizes Billy. Both Jack and Billy go through a big mishap. Jack becomes distraught when he finds the toys create havoc. Billy became frustrated when Virgin Records pressed them for not producing enough albums as promised in the contract. Both problems end in resolve. Jack saves Santa Claus and sets things right. Billy and co. produce three albums for Virgin Records, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Adore, and MACHINA The Machines of God. They also released a box set of B-Sides through Virgin Records called The Aeroplane Flies High. With the evidence provided, it is quite clear that Jack represents Billy Corgan.

The characters Shock, Lock, and Barrel closely resemble D'arcy, James, and Jimmy. The fact that Shock and rhyme show there is a relationship between the two names, just as there was a relationship between D'arcy and James. Shock, Lock, and Barrel often bicker. This seems to happen between D'arcy, James, and Jimmy, too. The Smashing Pumpkins make fun of their bickering in their sarcastic video, Vieuphoria, during a band counseling session. After the recording of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, they officially announced that they would be disbanding. Many fans speculate this was due to the constant conflict between band members.

Let it be known that Billy was the leader for the band. He wrote the majority of their original music, he showed leadership during interviews, he was the one who organized the band. Jack is the Pumpkin King, he is the leader of the town, and even the Mayor depends on Jack. This alludes to the fact that JackBilly are the leader of their groups. The fact that Shock, Lock, and Barrel are Jack's minions further supports this theory.

As you can see, there are several allusions made to songs produced by The Smashing Pumpkins and by Billy Corgan. Jack Skellington is obviously Billy Corgan. Sally is Billy's wife. Shock, Lock, and Barrel are D'arcy, James, and Jimmy, respectively. The ups and downs of love, trying new things, turmoil and resolve, and rediscovering oneself are shared experiences of Jack and Billy. It is apparent that the experiences of Jack Skellington directly correlate to those of Billy Corgan during the recording of the double album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

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