Friday, December 26, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Movies, Day 12

"A Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993)

"That's right! I am the Pumpkin King!"

This throwback to those Rankin-Bass Christmas specials packs in a lot of holiday cheer, which is no mean feat considering there's two holidays involved. With some notable exceptions - "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Blues Brothers" being among them - I usually shun films packed with musical interludes, but you can't help enjoying some of the musical excursions in the film, notably the infectuous, up-with-yuletide "What's This?" and the "Oogie-Boogie Song."

This is also the film that threw a sizable monkey wrench into the working relationship between Danny Elfman and Tim Burton. The outline of the story was undoubtedly Burton's - allegedly, he came up with the idea watching a Halloween store display being changed over to a Christmas display. However, because much of the songwriting fell upon Elfman's shoulders, he claimed partial credit for creating the story for "Nightmare," which apparently demands more money or there wouldn't have been as big an issue. As a result, a rift formed between Burton and Elfman, where Burton would use Howard Shore to score "Ed Wood." Elfman and Burton would patch things up by the time 1996's "Mars Attacks" would roll around.

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