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The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Me, Myself, and I
- Tim Burton's 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' is one of the nice animated movies not from Disney. It is about Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, who lives in Halloweentown. One day he goes through a door in a tree and arrives in Christmastown and sees how happy and beautiful it is over there. When he is back in Halloweentown he shows his friends what Christmas is like, and he suggests to do Christmas this year instead of Halloween. Things do not go as planned.
The film was a critical and commercial success, with particular praise awarded for the film's stop motion animation, musical score and original storyline. Following its release, the film has earned a significant cult following, with merchandise, video games and other media dedicated to the film. The film has been theatrically re-released on several occasions since its original release, including two released remastered in Disney Digital 3-D. It is rated PG for "Some Scary Images" by the MPAA.
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The film begins in Halloween Town, a magical world inhabited by various creatures who make elaborate plans for a dark ceremony every year on October 31, hoping for each Halloween to be superior to the last. The land is led by Jack Skellington, a slender undead creature who is thought to be the scariest being in the entire world. As the townspeople celebrate their annual ceremony, Jack feels depressed, wishes for variety, and wonders whether there is more to life than scaring people. Meanwhile, Jack's secret admirer, Sally the Rag Doll, watches him from afar, although she is constantly abused by her control-seeking creator, Doctor Finklestein.
While wandering in the woods, Jack and his ghostly pet dog, Zero, encounter portals leading to other holiday-themed worlds. Jack accidentally enters Christmas Town, a land of eternal joy and winter, and is amazed by the population's joyous behavior. Jack, wishing to embrace this culture, quickly returns to Halloween Town, where he presents the townspeople with his slightly inaccurate impressions of Christmas. The townspeople, interested in the holiday, agree to celebrate Christmas this year.
Jack decides to operate the holiday, eventually becoming obsessed with Christmas and deciding to usurp the role of Santa Claus. Every resident is assigned a task, although Sally believes that his plans will lead to ruin. There is some foreshadowing to suggest that she is correct; because the people of Halloween Town have lived all their lives by scaring people, the Christmas gifts and decorations they create are more frightening and grotesque than pleasing. Jack ignores Sally's warning and commissions her to create his Christmas outfit. Jack then assigns Lock, Shock and Barrel, a trio of mischevious, child-like monsters, to transport Santa to Halloween Town. They, after mistakenly capturing (and, on Jack's orders, returning) the Easter Bunny, successfully kidnap Santa Claus. Against Jack's wishes and largely for their own amusement, the trio deliver Santa to the lair of Oogie Boogie, a sadistic, compulsive gambler who plots to play a game with Santa's life. Here, Oogie refers to himself as a "boogie man", which is both an alternative spelling of "bogeyman" and a term meaning "one who dances". Oogie does indeed dance at several points in the film.
December 25 soon arrives; although Sally attempts to stop him, Jack embarks into the sky on a coffin-like sled pulled by skeletal reindeer (both created by Finklestein), hoping to deliver presents to children around the world; while the townspeople are overjoyed, Sally wanders off alone to be miserable. As Jack begins delivering gifts, children are horrified by their monstrous, animated presents, while their parents believe Jack to be a monster attempting to imitate Santa Claus. The military shoot him out of the sky, destroying his sleigh. Although Jack is initially depressed, he realizes he is still the ruler of Halloween Town and can bring joy to the world in his own way.
Sally attempts to free Santa, only to be captured by Oogie Boogie. Just as they are about to be killed by immersion in a foul stew, Jack arrives and challenges their captor. Oogie Boogie flees, placing his complex, sophisticated, deadly gaming machines in Jack's path as obstacles. However, Oogie Boogie becomes tangled in one of his own machines and is (with Jack's intervention) split open, revealing himself to be merely an animated sackful of insects. This introduces a pun on the word "bug", which meant in Shakespearean times "Bogeyman" and in the twentieth century "arthropod". Most of Oogie's "bugs" fall into the stew and are boiled alive.
Santa Claus, freed, reprimands Jack, and then sets off to correct Christmas by exchanging Jack's frightening toys for more pleasant playthings. This he does successfully. Jack and Sally return to Halloween Town, aided by a reformed Lock, Shock, and Barrel. There, they kiss atop a spiral-shaped, flexible extension of land, while Zero looks
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