Story: 4.5 / 5
Video Quality: 3.5 / 5
Audio Quality: 4 / 5
Extras: 4 / 5
In 2003 Tim Burton’s bizarre stop animation opus, The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D, an ingenious fable that blends Halloween and Christmas, was theatrical released to critical acclaim. It’s fitting then that nearly two decades later it’s been converted and released on Blu-ray 3D, allowing fans, which includes both adults and children alike, to bask in the wonder of these Halloweenish characters once again. “And what’s this? What’s this? There’s eye-popping 3D everywhere!”
I’m certain that not a year passes that The Nightmare Before Christmas isn’t screened on television during the festive season, when the two holidays collide. Its story, the brainchild of wacky director Tim Burton, although weird, dark and eerily unexpected, proves to be so offbeat that it’s developed a bit of a cult following amongst audiences. It just might be too creepy for little kids, but anyone 10 and older will have the fondest memories of a tale filled with clever songs, strange gothic models and witty characters matched with unforgettable charm. “Boys and girls of every age, wouldn’t you like to see something strange?”
What’s this? As I’ve mentioned before, The House of Mouse, always do an amazing job of retreating their classics into 3D, of course, The Nightmare Before Christmas is no exception. Disney once again does a marvelous job of adding wonder and charm to the Halloween musical. Generally, I’m against the idea of converting 2D films into 3D (post-conversion), but every now again something 3D worthy comes along that might deserve a reworking. This title is certainly one of them.
A bored Pumpkin King, Jack Skellington, has grown tired of the same old Halloween festivities. His frustration leads him to wonder off into the woods, where he discovers the cheerful village of Christmas Town. In awe of the idea of Christmas (the lights, the cheer, the gifts and decorations), Jack kidnaps Santa Claus and carries him back to the town of Halloween. Soon he enlists the help of the town to embark on a Christmas of their own, replacing Santa with himself (Sandy Claws). When his plan goes awry, with kids everywhere receiving nightmarishly creepy gifts, Jack attempts to restore Santa to his rightful place.
What’s this? The Nightmare Before Christmas comes to Blu-ray Disc featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 Mbps and a full-screen aspect ratio of 1.78:1. For a film shot in 1993, the video quality is stunning. Although it’s lacking in places, the 3D conversion was tastefully done, with a few genuine eye-popping moments here and there. The 3D conversion mostly adds depth with layering, separating the foreground from the characters and the background. The 3D isn’t mind-blowing, but it does enough to keep you interested and entertained. Grain has been kept to a minimum, and most of the stop-motion characters and set designs are nicely graded to fit into the dark and gothic world. Oranges, reds and yellows look amazing against the darker shaded backgrounds. You’d find it hard to believe that this wasn’t a film created more recently.
What’s this? The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD sound that has an average bitrate of 4.9 Mbps. The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack on the 3D disc is identical to that on the original Blu-ray – crisp and clean. The music fills up all the spaces and delivers remarkably good audio, which is of key importance with a musical such as this. The vocals and instruments can all be heard clearly and distinctively. It’s not the loud, earth shattering bass and treble we experience from today’s Blu-ray releases, but it’s very satisfying. The music of The Nightmare Before Christmas has always been catchy and hearing it this good only adds to the charm.
What’s this? The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D Blu-ray is jam-packed with extras, from never been seen footage to extras and introductions from Tim Burton himself. Fans who have recently seen the black and white, stop-motion film “Frankenweenie” will certainly enjoy seeing the original live-action short film version that Burton created for Disney years ago included on this release.
• Audio Commentary: Producer Tim Burton, director Henry Selick and composer Danny Elfman chat.
• Tim Burton’s Original Poem (12 mins)
• The Making of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (25 mins)
• The Worlds of The Nightmare Before Christmas
• Deleted Storyboards (3 mins)
• Deleted Animated Sequences (5 mins)
• Storyboard to Film Comparisons (4 mins
• What’s This? Jack’s Haunted Mansion Holiday Tour (37 mins)
• Frankenweenie (31 mins)
• Vincent (6 mins)
• Posters and Trailers (3 mins)
Those who don’t already own The Nightmare Before Christmas on Blu-ray should quickly snatch up this new combo pack. It not only offers the best home release of the film to date, with high-quality high-definition visuals, matched to crisp clean audio, but it also has a ton of extras to keep you entertained. The 3D adds a touch of charm to an already charming film. If you own a 3D television and you love Tim Burton films, consider this your permission slip to go out and purchase it.