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Review: Nightmare Before Christmas 25th Anniversary Home Video Release

Nightmare Before Christmas 25th Anniversary EditionTim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas turns twenty-five this October and to celebrate the occasion Disney has released a new home video version on Blu-ray/Digital HD/DVD.     This stop-motion classic shares the adventure of Jack Skellington’s attempt to bring  Christmas to Halloween Town.  New with this release is the option to turn on a sing-along mode for all the songs.

I was disappointed to find this release is very light on new offerings.  I thought for the 25th anniversary there would be new features or retrospectives.  The only new feature is a sing along version of the film.   The release does feature an extensive set of classic bonus features though including a making of, deleted scenes, several shorts, and a tour of the Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland.  For a full listing of the included bonus material see the press release below.

Two of the features stand above the rest to me.  The Making Of and the Haunted Mansion Tour.  I really enjoyed watching both.  They are both longer than traditional featurettes.  The Haunted Mansion Holiday piece is over 37 minutes.   So you get a fairly extensive tour of the mansion.  I thought the ending felt a bit rushed compared to the beginning.  I would have really liked to have seen an update on this featuring some of the changes to the attraction over the years and a look at the Tokyo Disneyland version and its differences would have been a great addition.   The Making Of piece really drives home the amount of effort stop-motion animation takes and the skill and patience involved to produce films using this method.

If you already own a Blu-ray or digital version of the film there really is nothing new this time around unless the sing along interests you or your family. If you do not own the film or the a version with the classic bonus features you may want to consider it.  The Making of and Haunted Mansion Holiday pieces are both well done.


Press Release:

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” 25th Anniversary Edition
Arrives on Digital and Blu-ray™ Sept. 2

The new edition of the cult classic treats viewers to stunning stop-motion animation, memorable music, edgy extras and for the first time—a full sing-along!

BURBANK, Calif. (July 31, 2018) — Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” the stop-motion animated musical-fantasy following Pumpkin King Jack Skellington’s misguided mission to make Yuletide his own, was hailed as a macabre masterpiece when it debuted in 1993 and holds a 95% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Twenty-five years later, fans can relive the merry misadventure—and sing or shriek along in brand-new sing-along mode—with the 25th Anniversary Edition of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Viewers can get their spook on instantly via Digital, Movies Anywhere and on Blu-ray Sept. 2.

The new edition audiences to experience “The Nightmare Before Christmas” two different ways: the original, full-length film, in which the holidays collide with chaotic and comical consequences, and all-new sing-along mode, which includes pop-up lyrics to 11 unforgettable songs like “What’s This” and “This Is Halloween.” The Multi-Screen Edition of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” includes a Blu-ray and Digital Code giving viewers the flexibility to watch the film on different devices.

In “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Jack Skellington (singing voice of Elfman and speaking voice of Chris Sarandon), Halloweentown’s beloved Pumpkin King, is bored with the same old annual scare-and-scream routine and longs to spread the joy of Christmas. But his newfound obsession puts Santa in jeopardy and creates a nightmare for good little boys and girls everywhere. Jack is surrounded by a creepy and captivating cast of characters, including Sally (voice of Catherine O’Hara), a resourceful rag doll that has trouble fitting in, like her good friend Jack; mad scientist Dr. Finklestein (voice of William Hickey); the two-faced Mayor of Halloweentown (voice of Glenn Shadix); Oogie Boogie (voice of Ken Page), a rambling, gambling bag of bugs; and Lock (voice of Paul Reubens), one in a trio of trick-or-treating troublemakers.


Bonus Features*:


  • ALL-NEW BONUS FEATURESSong Selection – Shriek along with these ghoulish tunes from the movie, or just lend an ear if you find singing to be particularly ghastly.
    • “This Is Halloween”
    • “Jack’s Lament”
    • “What’s This?”
    • “Town Meeting Song”
    • “Jack’s Obsession”
    • “Kidnap the Sandy Claws”
    • “Making Christmas”
    • “Oogie Boogie’s Song”
    • “Sally’s Song:
    • “Poor Jack”
    • “Finale/Reprise”
    • The Beginning – Tim Burton and the filmmakers detail the early stages of the beloved film.
    • Music – Discover how composer and lyricist Danny Elfman expressed Tim Burton’s unique vision through the timeless songs heard in the film.
    • Storyboards – In the storyboard phase, visual representations are first drawn for each scene and then put together in sequential order.
    • Art Direction – From camera angles to miniature sets, just about every detail of the film was meticulously plotted by the filmmakers.
    • Puppets – All of the characters’ puppet models are constructed in a process that takes them from their metal base to the final painted mold.
    • Animation – An incredible mix of artistry and patience is required to produce the stop-motion magic of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
  • Deleted Storyboards
    • Behomoth Singing – In this unused storyboard sequence, we learn there may have been more to Behemoth than the overalls let on.
    • Oogie Boogie with Dancing Bugs – Unused because of its difficulty to animate—take a look at this storyboard sequence where Oogie Boogie cuts a rug with some bugs.
    • Alternate Identity of Oogie Boogie – Although never used in the final film, Oogie Boogie was almost a mere alter ego for someone very close to Jack and Sally.
  • Deleted Animated Sequences
    • Vampire Hockey Players – Tim Burton almost had quite the grotesque cameo, but he was replaced by a pumpkin in the final film.
    • Lock, Shock and Barrel – Lock, Shock and Barrel settle in for a front-row seat while Oogie Boogie terrorizes Santa and Sally.
    • Oogie Boogie Shadow Dance – The Boogie Man was never one to shy away from the spotlight, as is evident in this deleted dance sequence.
  • Tim Burton’s Early Film: “Frankenweenie” (Uncut Version) – Before Tim Burton gave us all nightmares, he created this electrifying short film that replaces Frankenstein’s monster with a dog.
  • “What’s This?” Jack’s Haunted Mansion Tour – Take a ride through Jack’s Haunted Mansion Holiday and see how Disney Imagineers transformed an iconic Disneyland attraction.
  • Tim Burton’s Original Poem Narrated by Christopher Lee – Hear Hollywood legend Christopher Lee narrate the poem that inspired the movie. Set over illustrations based on Tim Burton’s art.
  • Storyboard-to-Film Comparison – See the final version of Jack’s Christmas pitch to the people of Halloween Town next to the original storyboards.
  • Theatrical Trailer – In this theatrical trailer, enter a place where every day is Halloween—till Jack Skellington shares his unique view of Christmas!
  • Teaser Trailer – This trailer highlights Disney’s long history with technology in filmmaking and heralds a new collaboration with Tim Burton.


  • Tim Burton’s Early Film: “Vincent” – Vincent Price himself narrates this stop-motion tale of little Vincent Malloy and his fascination with the macabre.
  • Posters – Take a look at some promotional posters from the movie’s release.

*Bonus features may vary by retailer.



Feature Run Time:
Approximately 77 minutes

PG in U.S. (Bonus Materials Not Rated)

Aspect Ratio:
Blu-ray Feature Film = 1080p High Definition / 1.66:1
DVD Feature Film = 1.66:1

Blu-ray = English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, English DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks
DVD = English, Spanish, and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks

English SDH, Spanish, French

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