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The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas (also known as Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas) is a 1993 American stop-motion animated musical dark fantasy holiday film directed by Henry Selick (in his feature directorial debut) and produced and conceived by Tim Burton. It tells the story of Jack Skellington, the King of "Halloween Town" who stumbles upon "Christmas Town" and becomes obsessed with celebrating the holiday. Danny Elfman wrote the songs and score, and provided the singing voice of Jack. The principal voice cast also includes Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey, Ken Page, Paul Reubens, Glenn Shadix, and Ed Ivory.

The Nightmare Before Christmas originated in a poem written by Burton in 1982 while he was working as an animator at Walt Disney Productions. With the success of Vincent in the same year, Burton began to consider developing The Nightmare Before Christmas as either a short film or 30-minute television special to no avail. Over the years, Burton's thoughts regularly returned to the project and in 1990, he made a development deal with Walt Disney Studios. Production started in July 1991 in San Francisco; Disney initially released the film through Touchstone Pictures because the studio believed the film would be "too dark and scary for kids".

The film met with both critical and financial success, earning praise for its animation (particularly the innovation of the stop-motion art form), characters, songs and score. It has grossed $91.5 million worldwide since its initial release and garnering a cult following. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, a first for an animated film. The film has since been reissued by Walt Disney Pictures, and was re-released annually in Disney Digital 3-D from 2006 until 2010.

Plot[]

Halloween Town is a fantasy world filled with various monsters and supernatural beings associated with the holiday. Jack Skellington, respected by the citizens as the "Pumpkin King", leads them in organizing the annual Halloween celebrations. However, this year, Jack has grown weary of the same annual routine and wants something new. Wandering in the woods the next morning, he encounters six trees containing doors leading to other holiday-themed towns and is enticed the one for Christmas Town, and finds himself entering. Awed by the unfamiliar holiday, Jack returns to Halloween Town to show the residents his findings, but unaware of the idea of Christmas, they compare everything to their ideas of Halloween. However, they do relate to one Christmas Town character: its ruler, Santa Claus, or "Sandy Claws" as Jack mistakenly calls him. Jack sequesters himself in his tower to study Christmas further, and find a way to rationally explain it. After studying and experimentation accomplish nothing, Jack ultimately decides that Christmas should be improved rather than understood, and announces that Halloween Town will take over Christmas this year.

Jack assigns the citizens of Halloween Town Christmas-themed jobs, including singing carols, making presents, and building a sleigh pulled by skeletal reindeer. Sally, a beautiful rag doll woman who secretly loves Jack, experiences a vision that their efforts will end disastrously, but Jack dismisses this, and assigns her the task of making him a Santa Claus suit. He also tasks mischievous trick-or-treating trio Lock, Shock and Barrel to abduct Santa and bring him to Halloween Town. Jack tells Santa he will be handling Christmas in his place this year and orders the trio to keep Santa safe, but against his wishes, they instead deliver Santa to Oogie Boogie, a gambling bogeyman, who plots to play a game with Santa's life at stake. Sally attempts to rescue Santa to save both him and Jack from their potential fates, but Oogie captures her as well.

Jack departs to deliver his presents in the real world, but they instead frighten the populace, who contact the law enforcement. People are ordered to lock down their homes and residences for protection. When word spreads about Jack's presumed wrongdoings, military come after him, and ultimately shoot him down, causing him to crash in a cemetery. While the saddened residents of Halloween Town think he is dead, Jack has actually survived, and while he bemoans the disaster he has made of Christmas, he finds he enjoyed the experience nonetheless, reigniting his love of Halloween, but soon realizes he must act to fix his mess. Jack returns to Halloween Town and infiltrates Oogie's lair, confronting and defeating him by ripping apart a thread holding his cloth form together, causing the bugs inside him to spill out, reducing him to nothing. Jack apologizes to Santa for his actions. Despite being furious at Jack for the chaos he caused and for ignoring Sally's forewarnings, Santa assures Jack that he can fix things, and he departs, while the Mayor and trio rescue Jack and Sally from Oogie's lair. As Santa replaces Jack's presents with genuine ones, the townspeople of Halloween Town celebrate Jack's survival and return. Santa then shows he has forgiven Jack by bringing a snowfall to Halloween Town, which fulfills Jack's original dream and causes the Halloween Town residents to finally realize what Christmas is really about. Afterwards, Jack and Sally meet on Spiral Hill and declare their love for each other.

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