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"TIM BURTON'S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS"
(1993) (voices of Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara) (PG)


Alcohol/Drugs None
Blood/Gross Stuff Mild
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Moderate
Frightening/Tense Scenes Moderate
Gun/Weapons Mild
Imitative Behavior Moderate
Jump Scenes None
Music (Scary/Tense) Mild
Music (Inappropriate) Moderate
Profanity Minor
Sex/Nudity Minor
Smoking None
Tense Family Scenes None
Topics to Talk About Moderate
Violence Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Animated/Musical: Having accidentally discovered the joy and magic of Christmas, the ruler of Halloweentown decides to kidnap Santa Claus and then deliver his land's macabre version of Christmas presents to the boys and girls of Christmastown.
PLOT:
In a land where every holiday has its own isolated locale and citizenry, Jack Skellington (voice of CHRIS SARANDON, singing voice by DANNY ELFMAN) is the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, a drab and dreary place of ghouls and goblins where everything revolves around the last day of October. The following day, the two-faced Mayor (voice of GLENN SHADIX) wants to discuss his plans for the following year, but Jack is nowhere to be found.

Looking for something more in his life than just scaring people, Jack has wandered off into a remote forest where he comes across the entrances to the many holidays and is swept into Christmastown. There, he's fascinated by the colorful sights and enraptured by the holiday spirit. Beaming with a new sense of purpose, Jack returns home to share the news of his discovery, including that of Santa Claus, whom Jack misinterprets as the malevolent and monstrous dictator, Sandy Claws.

Although most everyone is mesmerized by Jack's description of this place, Sally (voice of CATHERINE O'HARA) - a rag doll stitched together by her Dr. Frankenstein type creator, the Evil Scientist (voice of WILLIAM HICKEY) - isn't so sure if his plans on taking over Christmas are wise or sound. Nonetheless, Jack sends the town's trick-or-treaters, Lock (voice of PAUL REUBENS), Shock (voice of CATHERINE O'HARA) and Barrel (voice of DANNY ELFMAN) - who serve the malevolent underworld figure, Oogie Boogie (voice of KEN PAGE) - to kidnap the real Santa.

With Saint Nick out of the way, Jack decides he'll play Santa and deliver Halloweentown's version of macabre presents to the boys and girls of Christmastown. When that goes disastrously wrong, Jack must figure what to do, as well as save Santa and Sally from the clutches of Oogie Boogie.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The somewhat familiar animation style, while predating "Chicken Run," may entice kids into wanting to see this one.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For some scary images.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • While it's not clear whether kids view animated/non-realistic characters as role models, here's a brief rundown on the major characters.
  • JACK is the troubled ruler of Halloweentown who yearns for something more in his life than just scaring people. When he discovers the Christmas spirit, he decides to spread that joy to others, but does so in a misguided attempt that involves the kidnapping of Santa as well as the delivery of macabre toys to the boys and girls.
  • SALLY is a stitched together rag doll who yearns to be free from her mad scientist creator and sees a kindred spirit in Jack. As such, she repeatedly tries poisoning the scientist so that she can leave.
  • OOGIE BOOGIE is a malevolent monster from Halloweentown's underworld who wishes to harm others.
  • LOCK, SHOCK and BARREL play his three young minions and pranksters who kidnap Santa (under Jack's orders) and are otherwise generally mischievous troublemakers.
  • The MAYOR is a two-faced politician (literally) who's either an optimistic official or a pessimistic, nervous Nellie.

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