REVIEWS

Dave's Nightmare Before Christmas 3-D Review

by
October 22, 2006

  • US Release Date: October 20, 2006
  • Genre: Animation, Family, Fantasy
  • MPAA: Rated PG (for some scary images)
  • Running Time: 76 minutes
  • Directed by: Henry Selick
  • on IMDb
  •    6.5/10

Chief resident of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington, has just completed another successful Halloween with the entire town rejoicing. So why does he feel like something is missing? While pondering this, he stumbles into a place he's never been and learns of a glorious time called Christmas. As he embraces it the only way he knows how, will Christmas ever be the same anymore?

Ok, the movie is 13 years old. You already know if you're going to see it or not. You want to know if it's worth seeing and paying the extra charge for the 3-D glasses, right? I promise I'll get there eventually.

I have to be upfront and say that I've never been a big fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas. It certainly has its charming moments (especially as Jack discovers snow and Christmas), but the film never really connected with me outside of these occasional moments. This film is important because it's one of the first times that I realized that not every movie was meant for me. The execution of the stop motion for this film is amazing. Never before had a stop motion film given its characters such a sweeping range of motion, most notably during the musical numbers. This film has a lot in common with 2001: A Space Odyssey for me. I understand and appreciate that both films are achievements and mean the world to those who love them.

Now we get to the part everyone wants to know about. Probably the most disappointing part of the film is that it didn't look better. That isn't to say that certain parts of it didn't look spectacular. The scenes in Christmas Town and in Oogie Boogie's lair looked pristine and magical. Why the rest of the film didn't look the same way is something I don't understand. If this is Disney's first entry into the theatrical 3-D realm, why wouldn't they make sure it looks as good as possible? It didn't help that the Pixar short in front of it, Knick Knack, is probably the best thing I've seen in 3-D yet.

An interesting approach was taken to the 3-D in Nightmare. It seemed as if it was like watching a film in a shoebox. Instead of the entire film poking out from the screen, it seemed to go inward, which really helped give depth to the film. There were the couple times when something would jump out at the audience, and everyone screamed as they should. What made this choice work so well is that it made the landscapes look very realistic. You will almost believe you're looking at the set as they filmed it. Unfortunately, whenever the camera is spinning or moving very fast, your eyes may end up bugging you some. I had to take the glasses off twice during the screening to rub my eyes.

Last Word:
In the end, Nightmare fans will love this, not as much because of the 3-D, but because they get to see the film on the big screen again. Don't get me wrong, the 3-D was impressive, but I wondered, what if they had taken a Pixar film like Monsters Inc or The Incredibles for their first 3-D attempt instead - that would have been downright amazing.

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  • nightmarebc84 (savannah)
    ok i agree with this guy alittle, like about it's shown finally as it was filmed, and having to take my glasses of a time or two but thats where the agreeing stops, ....It seemed as if it was like watching a film in a shoebox. are you nuts?? it was great, it's not suppose to be a scary movie that jumps out at you. and .....the movie is 13 years old.You already know if you're going to see it or not, what??? are you kidding me?? so has any other movie same plot just different name. i mean my take on it is if you want to see a movie that has everything you love about disney movies and than some, and you want something the whole family can like, without sex and violents, than this is the movie for you, it's a classic!! don't listen to people who think they get paid to make your mind up for you, i have seen a dozen movies i don't like it doesn't mean someone else won't like that movie. i think if we see a movie like this with the kid in us on our laps it will bring a smile to your face. you don't have to be a fan of the movie to watch it.
  • Ok, I have to admit it. I'm kinda excited about my first review flaming. I do have to respond, though. When I said that the way the film was done seemed like a shoebox diorama, I wasn't being negative. Whereas most people expect 3-D to be full of stuff popping off the screen at you like the pumpkin before the trailers started, this form of 3-D was done as if you're looking at a stage, and I loved that choice. If that came off differently, that was not my intention. Also, when I said that you know if you're going to see this or not, I was referring to the fact that the film has been available in home format for at least ten years. The story is very unique, but it apparently wasn't for me. That's why I make a point of saying as much in the review. You do have me pegged in one respect. If I'm going to be middle of the road or negative on a film, I usually try to talk about the audience reaction, especially if it was different from mine. In this case, the audience enjoyed the experience more than I did and I forgot to put that part in. Sorry. I'm really fortunate in that I have the opportunity to review a movie shortly after I see the film, and then I get to talk about it again on the Hypecast. It gives me a chance to reflect more and describe those thoughts in more detail. I would highly recommend listening to at least the first ten minutes or so of the 3-D episode to hear me talk about it. I cover most of what I just typed in the episode, except for the audience reaction. The fact is that a review is just my point of view. Hopefully, as all of us as firstshowing.net write reviews, you will learn who's tastes are in synch wth yours and who couldn't be more out of touch with what you like. We have the opportunity to see films before most people and we do take that seriously. We say what we mean, and I stand by my rating, but that doesn't mean I'm right. As much as I hated Flyboys, the audience in the theater couldn't get enough of it. That's why we have so many people writing reviews. We all have different points of view. Ok, enough babbling. We now rejoing firstshowing.net already in progress.
  • Rachel
    I am dissappointed. I love Tim Burton, although I have never seen the original movie, The 3-D version was almost torture. When will this be over, I am feeling very dizzy was all that I could think.Not recommended.
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