This is Halloween: the power of fantasy in Tim Burton’s Nightmare before Christmas

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“For me the night of Halloween has always been the funniest of the year. The rules don’t matter anymore, you can be anything you want. It’s scary, but just for laughs “

It’s that time of year again. Autumn sky tinged with gray and orange tree leaves. It seems that Tim Burton, walking the streets of Burbank, see a shopkeeper replace Halloween decorations featured with Christmas. Creeps in him the idea that will give life to the magical world of stop-motion Nightmare Before Christmas. Despite directing and production are carried out mainly by animator Henry Selick and his team of collaborators, the nightmare is one of the most burtoniani ever. We understand why.

Jack Skellington (Skellington in the original version) is the pumpkin King who, bored by the routine of the usual preparations for Halloween, discovers by chance the existence of Christmas. Fascinated, he would like to engage his city to celebrate this celebration mysterious, trying to explain their meaning to the various monsters, witches and vampires his subjects. Meaning that however is unclear even to him – in one scene he is seen writing on a Blackboard an equation with Holly and gift packs – and scares Sally, the rag doll him secretly in love. Take something you don’t know, how to be pretending to be someone you’re not, it’s dangerous but fun, is pure escapism.

Despite the Gothic style at the time corresponded to the definition of unfit for children, so that Disney found it less risky to distribute it with the Touchstone, today has become a timeless classic. The reason is understandable.

The choice of stop-motion implementation was a challenge, the processing time is lengthened considerably, but the goal was clear. For Burton serves that type of animation, the only one who can keep the “physicality” that sought to create those characters so the edge and so paradoxically “human”.

The expression of feelings is completely entrusted to the music, composed by Danny Elfman, who in the original version by the voice of Jack (Renato Zero in the Italian version). Each piece seems tailor-made to characters and, when it comes to more complex characters, explains one facet of the character, similar to the lament of Jack and Sally Dirge. Musical portraits, when also deliberately caricaturist – jazz of Bau Bau and the cabaret of his henchmen – constitute a chiseled a world-rich mosaic and equally varied.  The line between good and bad is net or nonexistent, depending on your point of view, and also an Act apparently unbearable as the “steal Christmas”, if it is a cute skeleton disheartened by the existential ennui, it becomes incredibly forgivable and understandable even by children.

“When you grow up in a neutral environment and empty, any form of ritual, as a party, gives you a sense of belonging to a place. In the suburbs, where the sense of emptiness and uprooting is even more pronounced, you may feel very insecure; the holidays, especially these two, they became a way to regain some sort of Foundation “

It is this vision that springs history disturbing and comfortable of fears and desires too familiar, the Glade and tree with pumpkin-shaped port that we look forward to go beyond, to the tune of rousing ‘ This is Halloween.

Perhaps you have wondered where the parties. If not, I would say that you should start …

Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton is at Amazon