Sunday, 31 October 2010

'This is Halloween, This is Halloween'

The 31st October, one of the year's most unique 'holidays' Halloween. To most, Halloween will be signified by trick or treaters, sweets, egg throwing, pumpkins, scary movies, and dressing up. To me, while it is also symbolised by all of the above, it also means that the countdown to Christmas is officially on! It is also the first day if the year that I allow myself to watch my favourite film of all time: Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. Created by Burton, and directed by Henry Selick, the film tells the tale of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, who has grown bored of celebrating Halloween year after year, and wanders off into the night after yet another Halloween. He wanders into the woods and stumbles across the collection of trees seen during the film's opening in the video above. After seeing all of the different doors on the trees, the one in the shape of a Christmas tree draws his attention, he opens it, and falls into Christmas Town.

After being swept off of his feet in amazement by all that he sees in Christmas town, Jack decides that the residents of Halloween town should produce Christmas this year in an effort to do something different. Unfortunately, when the citizens of his town don't understand that Christmas is meant to be a jolly, happy, fun event, Jack gives in and decides to do Christmas the Halloween way, despite love-interest Sally's desperate pleas to abandon this crazy plan. Sally has had a vision of Jack's Christmas going terribly wrong.

Things do begin to go wrong, when Jack makes the mistake of hiring the trick-or-treaters to kidnap Sandy Claws (Santa) from Christmas town, and rather that follow Jack's orders of making him comfortable so that he can enjoy a Christmas off, they take Santa to Oogie Boogie (The Boogey Man) instead. Meanwhile, the people of Earth don't take too kindly to Jack's terrifying version of Christmas.

This is without a doubt my favourite film. Firstly, because of the sense of nostalgia that washes over me as I watch it. For I can still remember being in awe of Christmas town and the all of the strange, bizarre characters that inhabit Halloween town. The fact that there could be trees with doors that lead to all of the best parts of the year somewhere in the world also seemed like an extremely magical concept in my mind. The characters are all well envisioned by Burton, and the score, composed by the legendary Danny Elfman, is truly one of the best movie soundtracks ever heard.

Between now and Christmas I will undoubtedly be watching this film several times. It is one of the only films that can be considered both a Halloween film, and a Christmas movie rolled into one. In my humble opinion, this stop-motion, scary, Christmassy, animated, musical, Disney feature really is the greatest film of all time! If you have never seen it before, do yourself a favour and pick up a copy NOW!

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