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Hi everyone. So, unfortunately I’ve got some bad news. I know you were all looking forward to my review of Emperor’s New Groove but I’m afraid I just wasn’t able to get it done on time. Sorry. I’ve actually been going through a lot of personal problems recently that’ve been making it hard to write. You all know of course that I recently suffered a severe trauma.
But reviewing Dinosaur was just the straw that broke the mouse’s back. I’m just…
I’m tired of this. I’ve reviewed over forty movies now and it’s just getting so hard to come up with new jokes every two weeks. It’s just the same routine over and over again.
And I! Mouse! The Un-shaved king…have grown so tired of the same old thing…
Hmm…you seem vaguely familiar. I feel like I know you, but blocked out the memory for some reason. Weird.
The Nightmare Before Christmas? Well, it is a great movie. And it is Halloween. But…no, I couldn’t. It’s not part of the canon!
That’s true…wait, how could you know that?
No, no. I can’t. All the reviews I do are in strict chronological order. Nightmare Before Christmas came out in 1993, I’m already into 2000.
Okay! Okay! You’ve talked me into it. I mean, it’ll be fine. So I temporarily forsake my sacred oath to review all the canon Disney classics in order? What’s the worst that could happen?
Okay. So, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Little basic housekeeping out of the way first, this movie was in fact neither written nor directed by Tim Burton.
You’ll remember from the Fox and the Hound review that Tim Burton was an animator at Disney before leaving to become a big time Hollywood muck-a-muck. He came up with the concept for the film, based on a poem he himself wrote in 1982, and designed most the of the characters but when the time came to actually shoot the thing, Burton was too busy making Batman Returns and handed directing duties off to Henry Selick, and scriptwriting chores to Caroline Thompson and Michael McDowell. However, I don’t want to undersell Burton’s contribution as this is still probably the most “Tim Burtony” film ever made. That’s really down to the fealty with which Selick treated Burton’s designs and ideas. I mean sure, they put Burton’s name over the thing because he was the bigger draw, and that kind of sucks for Selick…but at the same time, it does very much feel like Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. But of course, the clues are there that Burton didn’t actually direct it. Because Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter aren’t in it and Burton never does anything without Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. And I’m not just talking about movies, either. Burton doesn’t go to the bathroom without Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter (Depp pulls the fly down, Carter pulls it back up).
Nightmare has two big influences, the old Rankin/Bass stop-motion Christmas specials and even more so, the 1966 animated version of Dr Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Jack Skellington was envisioned by Burton as being a kind of anti-Grinch, a macabre character who adores Christmas instead of loathing it, but whereas the Grinch changes once he comes to understand Christmas, Jack never does and the movie implies that really that’s okay. Christmas is not for everyone.