An alternative sort of Christmas

Tim Burton's alternative view of the festive season.
Tim Burton's alternative view of the festive season.

For those who have not yet been acquainted with Tim Burton’s 1993 film ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ this is the year to do it.

A typically oddball animation, ‘Nightmare’ quickly entered cult status as the alternative Christmas film to all the tinsel and glitter of the usual festive offerings.

The film tells the story of Jack Skellington, a skeleton (funny that) type chap from Hallowe’en Town who is pretty dissatisfied with life.

Then one day he opens a portal to Christmas Town and decides he has found the missing link in his life.

But of course, with Hallowe’en a holiday focused on the grim and the scary and Christmas its polar opposite in the cheerfulness stakes, Jack’s mad plan obviously descends into chaos.

And of course, as with many of Burton’s films, there is a weird love story right in the centre of the action. This time between Jack and rag-doll Sally - the daughter of Hallowe’en Town’s resident nutcase scientist.

The stop-frame animation is the perfect medium for a film filled with the unusual and sublime.

With a sound track by Burton’s usual partner in crime, Danny Elfman, there are songs that will stick in your head for weeks, years even, whether you like it or not. Personally I quite like the songs from the film, and that’s coming from someone allergic to musicals.

‘Nightmare’ has it all - it will make you laugh, cry, count the seconds to Christmas and sing whether you want to or not.

If you struggle with the incessant chirpiness of the Christmas season this is definitely one for you.