Celebrating 30 Years of 'The Nightmare Before Christmas': Ultimate Collector's Edition 4K Review 4K Review

Aug 29, 2023 09:40 AM EST
By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

In 1993, The Nightmare Before Christmas premiered to moderate success but has since gone on to become a huge money making franchise for Disney.

Over forty years ago a young animator by the name of Tim Burton (Batman Returns) worked at Disney Animation Studios. While there he wrote a poem entitled The Nightmare Before Christmas which he hoped to turn into a short film or thirty-minute television special.  However, that project never came to fruition and Burton left Disney a short time later.  Fast forward ten years and Burton, who had since become a famous filmmaker, returned to Disney with the idea of creating a stop-motion feature film.  In 1993, The Nightmare Before Christmas premiered to moderate success but has since gone on to become a huge money-making franchise for Disney.  As the movie reaches the 30-year mark, it is being released in 4K for the first time ever.

Each Holiday has its own town in Fantasy World and each holiday's inhabitants spend all year planning the next year's events. However, after yet another successful Halloween, Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon; Fright Night), the Pumpkin King, has become tired and bored of the same old thing. After wandering the woods all night, he stumbles across seven trees with various holiday markings, which lead to other "towns".  Accidentally stumbling into Christmas town, Jack is amazed and intrigued and decides, that this year he is going to put his own spin on Christmas.

Bringing his discovery back to Halloween Town, Jack tells everyone of his plan and enlists their help.  However, Sally (Catherine O'Hara; Best in Show) tries to warn Jack as she has had a terrible vision of Jack's plan going horribly wrong. Unwilling to listen to Sally, Jack, after having "Sandy Claws" kidnapped, heads off to offer the people of Christmas Town his version of the holiday.  Unfortunately, the people see Jack as a threat and shoot him out of the sky. Realizing his mistake, Jack returns to Halloween Town and frees Santa who sets Christmas right again.

While 4k versions of movies usually offer upgraded visuals, The Nightmare Before Christmas' 2160p resolution is absolutely incredible.  Yes, the color palette is cleaner, even while remaining rather muted and dark, but the clarity of the details is unbelievable.  This has to be one of the best transfers I have ever seen which makes watching this improved version all the more enjoyable.  

Interestingly, the lossless 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is the same as found on the previous Blu-ray releases. One would think with the 4k upgrade the audio would get the same treatment.  Alas, despite this, the audio is excellent.  The orchestration of Danny Elfman's songs is beautifully represented, especially the bass and drums.

The Ultimate Collector's Edition has a 4k Disc, a Blu-ray Disc, and a Digital Download, and, while the extras can be found on the Blu-ray Disc, sadly, all of them were previously released.  They include: Audio Commentary with Tim Burton, Henry Selick, and Danny Elfman, Song Selection (11 tracks with a Play All option), What's This? Jack's Haunted Mansion Holiday Tour, Tim Burton's Early Film: Frankenweenie, Tim Burton's Original Poem Narrated by Christopher Lee, The Making of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, Deleted Storyboards: Behemoth Singing, Deleted Storyboards: Oogie Boogie with Dancing Bugs, Deleted Storyboards: Alternate Identity of Oogie Boogie, Deleted Animated Sequences: Vampire Hockey Players, Deleted Animated Sequences: Lock, Shock, and Barrel, Deleted Animated Sequences: Oogie Boogie Shadow Dance, Storyboard-to-Film Comparison, Posters, Teaser Trailer, and Trailer.

It is hard to believe The Nightmare Before Christmas is 30 years old (and I am even OLDER!) but this new Ultimate Collector's edition with the 4k transfer is a perfect way to celebrate.  I recommend buying a copy before they are all sold out.

Grade: A

Directed By:
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 73 minutes
Distributed By: Touchstone Pictures

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For more information about Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas images are courtesy of Touchstone Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.


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