Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.
The movie opens with Jack Skellington, AKA the Pumpkin King, facing an identity crisis of sorts. Halloween has just ended in his hometown of Halloween Town, and he has been receiving kudos from everyone in town for making this year's Halloween the scariest ever. But Jack is seeking purpose in his life, and scaring people to death once a year just isn't doing it for him anymore. He takes a walk in the woods and he discovers a group of trees each with doors and different symbols on each door. He opens the door with the tree symbol on it, and finds himself in Christmas Town. While there, he is fascinated by the contrast of Christmas Town with his own world. Jack returns home, along with a sampling of trinkets from Christmas Town, to contemplate the meaning of what he has found there. Ultimately he decides that this year, Halloween Town is going to take charge of Christmas. Jack has also decided that he will replace "Sandy Claws" on his yearly sleigh ride, delivering presents to all of the children of the world. All of the citizens of Halloween Town are enthused by the idea except Sally, a creation of Halloween Town's mad scientist, who coincidentally is also looking for something new in her life. She alone sees the danger of Halloween Town hijacking the Christmas holiday.
While the Grinch tried to destroy Christmas and came away with a true understanding of the meaning of the holiday, Jack Skellington, with the best of intentions, is on the road to ruin Christmas. In preparation for the big event, he enlists the townspeople to help make toys, and they just can't get the hang of making or doing anything that is not designed to terrify. In fact, when Jack makes his Christmas ride and the town hears on the radio of the terror Jack is causing, they actually see this as a sign of success. To them, horror equals happiness.
Like most good films designed for all age groups, the movie is actually weaving a tale on two levels. The story itself is very straightforward so that children can easily follow it. On a second level, there is deft humor and one-liners that are obviously aimed at adults, such as the mayor's plea to Jack -"I'm only an elected official here! I can't make decisions!" Or when the scientist who created Sally gets tired of her running away and builds a new creation to replace her. This one turns out to be just a female version of the mad scientist himself to which he has endowed half of his own brain. His conclusion is "You will be a decided improvement over that treacherous Sally. We'll have conversations worth having." You'll see quite a bit of similarity between the style of art design here and that done in some of Tim Burton's other films, such as "Beetlejuice". You'll also probably recognize Danny Elfman's style of score that has come to decorate so many of Burton's other films. I highly recommend this film as great entertainment for the whole family.
- Oct 19, 2010