Hallowe’en this year marked a minor milestone in my house. After Charlotte got her sackfull of candy, we returned home and watched The Nightmare Before Christmas. We watched the whole thing, and as far as I can remember this is the first time she’s sat with me and watched an entire full length feature film, animated or otherwise.
This is a Fat Dad With Glasses review, which means I’ll be mostly covering it from the father-of-a-five-year-old-girl angle. If you want my grown-up independent type view point… Here you go:
Despite being a fresh take, it still features a pretty derivative theme. However, the movie is very entertaining. It’s a masterwork of visual and musical achievement.
If you would like that opinion expanded upon… Seriously? You can go pretty much anywhere else on the internet. Or bait me with a comment below. It’s shockingly easy to get me to talk about something “I’m not gonna talk about” with comments.
The evening was full of surprises for me. Just an altogether unexpected viewing experience. Charlotte sat through the whole thing. The questions were less frequent than most shows, but they were oddly more repetitive. “Why doesn’t Jack understand Hallowe’en will ruin Chrismas?” was asked the most. She wasn’t ever scared.
As I’ve mentioned this is the first feature that I can remember her sitting through. Several “60” minute specials over the years, but never anything that was 90+ real minutes. I think you can chalk that win up to the incredibly original visuals and Danny Elfman’s fantastic music. You need one or the other to hook C, and this movie knocks both out of the park.
Her favourite part was Jack’s “What’s This?” song. This was not a surprise. I was surprised by some of her questions.
“Why won’t the Scientist let Sally play outside?”
“Why does Xmas mean Christmas?”
“Why does Oogie turn green, but the the other stuff turn blue and orange in the dark?”
“Why does Jack like Hallowe’en again after ruining Christmas?”
I was also surprised to find out what her second favourite part was late in the movie. Turns out, it was Oogie Boogie, and things got… weird… when Oogie was torn apart. Her face got all wiggly and quivery. I presumed she was scared. Instead she said she was sad.
“Two reasons:” she explained, “1) I thought Oogie was a bean bag toy, not full of bugs. 2) I thought he was funny and I don’t like that Jack pulled him apart.”
Some hugs and casual reinforcement that this was merely a story worked to calm her down for the most part. I may have stabbed Future-Me in the back, however, when I added that maybe since Oogie is a monster the bugs that didn’t land in the lava will gather themselves back together some day.
I mean, if a monster ever shows up in her closet, I’m sure she’d never call back to this conversation, right?