On Saturday evening, December 3, at 8 p.m., the Redford Theatre will present you with a different perspective on Christmas. We’re talking about Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, based on a poem Burton wrote in 1982 while working as an animator at Walt Disney Productions.
This Disney animated film starts with Jack Skellington, King of Halloween Town, discovering Christmas Town. He’s so attracted to the idea of Christmas that he tries to get the resident bats, ghouls, and goblins of Halloween Town to help him put on Christmas instead of Halloween.
If you think that will work out fine, you better keep watching. We should note that the film is rated PG. It’s loads of fun for the whole family, but a few scenes might be a little scary for young children. (It was initially going to be released under the Disney name, but the studio decided it might be “too dark and scary for kids,” so they put it under their adult-themed label “Touchstone Pictures”.) Take a look:
This was Disney’s first fully animated film using the technique of stop-action animation. It required over 100 people to work with 227 puppets for over three years to complete the film. (Jack Skellington alone had about 400 heads.) For one second of the film, up to 12 stop-motion moves had to be made. All told, there are 109,440 frames. Of course, you don’t have to worry about all that technical stuff. Just sit back and enjoy the fantastic result.
For fun, see if you can identify all seven-holiday doors that appear a few seconds after the title. Chris Sarandon voiced Jack, Catherine O’Hara voiced Sally, and see if the voice of “Lock” sounds familiar. That’s Paul Reubens (AKA Pee Wee Herman).
Don’t miss this imaginative tale of Halloween characters trying to celebrate Christmas—and for more fun, arrive a half hour early for the Redford’s delightful Organ Overture on our wonderful Barton Theatre Pipe Organ.