The Nightmare Before Christmas Review

Nightmare Before Christmas Review by Tim Burton

The Nightmare Before Christmas Review by Tim Burton

  • IMDB – 8.0 | Rotten Tomatoes – 94%
  • Rated PG
  • 76 minutes
  • Released – October 29th, 1993
  • Directed By: Henry Selick

Our Thoughts

Over twenty years have passed since Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas made its first appearance on the big screen, yet today’s young generation can still feel the ripples of it’s success.

Many teens and young adults who haven’t even seen the movie are exposed to its characters every year during both Christmas and Halloween or in recent years through Capcom’s famous video game series Kingdom Hearts.

The Nightmare Before Christmas is about Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town. The audience follows Jack as he becomes weary of the same holiday routine year after year and searches for something new. He stumbles upon Christmas Town, becomes inspired by the holiday, and decides to make his own Christmas.

What makes this movie a classic is that there are no other movies like it. Based on the poem by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick, no other movie has shown how powerful the spirits of America’s two favorite holidays have become in recent decades. This movie encompasses the beautiful blend of American culture  the dueling grotesque nature of the Halloween verses the delicate and splendid nature of Christmas.

I personally enjoy the messages of this movie to children which include to always stay true to yourself and there is always time to set right what you did wrong. That last moral Jack himself literally sings. Lastly, the romance of the movie was a little more realistic then the normal Disney movie. Sally finds herself almost overshadowed by Jacks ambitions, like many people do today with their significant other, and only through solving his mistakes does he realize whats truly important in the end and that is each other.

Besides the plot, the animation quality, for its time, is and always will be remarkable. With a 24 frames per second, the Disney standard since Snow White, the claymation motion is fluid and tries to hammer every last detail. Blinking eyes of the characters alone took three frames and over 400 heads of Jack were used to create his expressions. This claymation master piece would  have taken an entire week just to create one minute of film. Then you add Danny Elfman’s musical talent, which he didn’t have a script to work , and you have the amazing creation of The Nightmare Before Christmas. I always like to applaud films that put more effort into making their creation.

My only sorrow about this film is that its only 76 minutes long. Although Disney wanted to do a sequel, in CGI (computer generated imagery), Tim Burton insisted the movie keep its “purity” and I agree with him. Even if I would love to watch more adventures of Jack Skellington and Halloween Town, I don’t want the story or characters to be lower standard than the original, not pointing fingers at Mulan II. Plus, if I was in charge of making the sequel it would be claymation, not CGI.

Overall this movie can be enjoyed by most people, limited only to kids under the age of five, and has an amazing story yet simple story to tell. This movie has not only influenced who I am but has touched the hearts of many and has definitely earned its placed as a Disney classic.

The Nightmare Before Christmas Movie Trailer

Zootopia Movie Review

Zootopia Movie Image

Zootopia Movie Review – Released 2016

  • IMDB – 8.3 | Rotten Tomatoes – 98%
  • Rated PG
  • 108 minutes
  • Released – March 4th, 2016
  • Directed By: Byron Howard

Our Thoughts

Disney’s newest and amazing animated animal film is nothing short of a masterpiece. Zootopia begins with main characters Judy Hopps, a small town bunny with a dream to be a big city cop, and Nick Wilde, a clever con artist fox, as they become entangled in a missing animals case which Judy has only 48 hours to solve or she will be forced to resign and return her well-earned police badge.

There is much in Zootopia to talk about from the flawless plot to the amount of effort put into making the movie. As I watched the film I was completely entranced by the realness of the characters and their ability to have the audience forget they are even watching a movie.

As a crime fiction fan I’ve become rather immune to the usual twists and turns stories usually take but with Zootopia, the answer to the Judy’s case eluded me till the end.

Whats more impressive about the plot is the time it took for Zootopia to come to its full glory. The idea for another Disney animal movie began after Tangled was released in theaters in 2010. Disney spent two years alone studying animals to perfect the “anthropomorphic” movement of normally four legged creatures. If you don’t know what anthropomorphic means, be sure to check out the first trailer of Zootopia.

Disney has made leaps and bounds in animation quality since their last animated hit Frozen. They developed their own wind system within the animation to keep a constant action in all the plants and fur to bring that extra feel of realism. No animal or plant is stagnant in the animation compared to Frozen whose background characters and plant-life can be seen unmoving.
Plus their Hyperion light rendering systems, fancy words for the animations lighting effects, and new tools for fur development completely fixes Disney’s trouble with hair and fur animation. Elsa, in Frozen, had about 400,000 strands of hair. Judy stomps on that record with an amazing 2.5 billion hairs, each needing to be animated and behave exactly like real rabbit fur to create this fantastic bunny-cop.

Zootopia also has this incredible ability to show members of all audiences the goods and bads of our own society. Though Zootopia is suppose to represent a haven for all animals, Nick Wilde demonstrates how the animals, just like humans, are known to stereotype each other based on their DNA. Example: The fox stereotype in Zootopia is that all foxes are slick, cunning, and cruel. These traits that Nick Wilde lives up to because society has pushed him down when he tried otherwise, opposite of Judy who breaks through her bunny stereotyping.

Disney wasn’t afraid to tell the world that racism, violence, and even drugs are problems that we as people deal with and I applaud them for that. Because not only do they say the problems but they also show how easy the solutions can be by simply putting aside our differences and handling problems as a whole community.

In conclusion, I believe Zootopia to be a new movie classic that all children and adults can enjoy and learn from. I plan to own this film and eagerly await the sequel Disney has been whispering about.

Zootopia Movie Trailer