Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Visual Companion is a coffee table book by David Bossert that takes a deep dive into the creation of the film as it celebrates its 30th anniversary.
I really enjoyed reading this book and learning more about the team and effort that went into making this film. Over they years I have seen a number of pieces on the making of the film which I have always found interesting the amount of effort and skill that goes into stop-motion animation. So I was interested in the book once I heard about it and Dave delivered a great read. Dave talked with a number of the people involved and included their first hand accounts and insights from the creation of the film throughout the book adding a very personal feel to the narrative.
I found the “Visual Companion” in the title to be a little misleading… this is substantially more than just an art or visual book. The book is a look at the development and history of the film told by many involved. To me the narrative is the highlight of the book. Having the first hand accounts captured and history of the film was the keystone. Dave put together the story off the film into a compelling read and great reference book going forward. As you would expect for something billed as a visual companion there are a large number of great photographs from the creation process including on set, storyboards, concept art, the team, and some finished images too.
I also thought it was a nice touch that the story went through the release and some of the subsequent growth of the film from cult classic to holiday standard for many. The Haunted Mansion overlays are referenced, but me being the park geek that I am would have liked to have seen more on this.. maybe a full chapter (or two.. one for Anaheim and one for Tokyo).
David Bossert is a name many of you may recognize. He has been with the Walt Disney Company for over 30 years working a variety of roles spanning many films and in recent years many books including Claude Coats: Walt Disney’s Imagineer, The House of the Future, 3D Disneyland: Like You’ve Never Seen it Before, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoon, and Remembering Roy E. Disney.
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Visual Companion would make a great addition to your library if you are a fan of the film or just want to learn more about stop motion animation.
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** A review copy of this book was provided to us