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The Nightmare Before Christmas Blu-ray 3D Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1/1.66:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4 (2D); MVC (3D)
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portguese (2D), Spanish
  • Rating: PG
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Discs: 3 (1 x Blu-ray 3D + 1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD + Digital Copy)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 30, 2011
  • List Price: $49.99

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BestBuy.com:
-

Purchase The Nightmare Before Christmas on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:5/5]

Video Quality
2D HD: [Rating:5/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:5/5]

Tim Burton wrote, produced and designed this perennial holiday classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas, which in turn was directed by Henry Selick (James and the Giant Peach) inspired by the classic holiday specials like How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Burton has commented that the inspiration for the story was sparked by watching the changeover of a store window from Halloween to Christmas decorations.

A Seussian tale with a twist of the macabre that really could be born from the mind of Tim Burton, The Nightmare Before Christmas tells the tale of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King and leader of Halloween Town. Jack has grown bored with the drudgery of leading the townsfolk of Halloween Town in the same creepy festivities every year. In his distraught state, Jack wanders off into the forest after the year’s festivities for some time alone where he comes upon a tree with a Christmas tree-shaped door. He opens it up and falls through landing in a wondrous and colorful world – “what’s this?!” It’s Christmas Town; bright lights, dazzling colors, smiling faces, a land of wonder and joy, Jacks heart is filled with warmth and joy!

He hurries back to the citizens of Halloween Town and tries to explain – next year, they’re going to have Christmas! But they just can’t grasp the concept. Going ahead with his plan anyway, Jack decides he is going to take over the Christmas duties from “Santy Claws” spreading his own brand of joy to children around the world. This can only mean trouble!

The film’s amazing stop-motion animation and the marvelously memorable songs are its strongest aspects. The stop-motion was and is ground-breaking and visually breathtaking, It is amazing to think what a giant leap forward this is when one looks at Nightmare in comparison to the work of Ray Harryhausen in films, even as recent as the original Clash of the Titans.

A wonderfully charming Holiday film that blends together classic Disney animation, Hollywood musicals and Dr. Seuss stories, this is one that the whole family, young and old, can enjoy every year. It successfully bridges the gap between October 31 and December 25, something that the poor misguided, but well meaning Jack Skellington failed to do.

Video Quality

2D HD: [Rating:5/5]

3D Effect: [Rating:4/5]

For its 3D debut on Blu-ray, The Nightmare Before Christmas has had its aspect ratio changed from the 1.66:1 of the 2D Blu-ray to 1.78:1. This is obviously a conversion from 2D so it doesn’t have the same sort of depth and pop-out of a native 3D production, but there is a nice subtle three-dimensional effect that offers a decent amount of front-to-back spaciousness and little artifacts. The detail remains in the image as well. One can still make out an ever-so-slight layer of grain, which anchors the image and gives it an unusual amount of texture for a modern 3D film, which we are used to seeing in such a sterile, digital look.

The 2D disc is exactly the same as before, arriving in its identical 1.66:1 AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 transfer. Even without the added 3D effect, this is a transfer from Disney that looks almost three-dimensional, like one can leap into the screen and touch the objects on the screen. Although this encodement has always looked as if it has had its grain cleaned up just a tad bit too much to me, one can still see just a thin layer of it remaining. Colors also really sparkle, especially in the Christmas Town scenes and blacks are nice and inky.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

There is a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack offered up on both the 2D and 3D discs. This has for a long time been one of my favorite go-to reference lossless 7.1 mixes on Blu-ray. Sounds engulf you in a total 360º circle. Dialogue and vocals are mixed discretely into all seven main channels and Danny Elfman’s musical score is breathy and balanced with a great sense of dynamics and natural spaciousness. Subtitles in instrumentation can be discerned and the low frequencies are nicely extended offering deep musical low notes and heft to sound effects. This is a true reference mix from start to finish.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:5/5]

All of the supplements reside on the 2D Blu-ray and it retains everything from the previous 2D-only release with no new supplements added other than the inclusion of the standard definition DVD.

The supplements included with this release are:

  • What’s This? Jack’s Haunted Mansion Holiday Tour (1.78:1/HD) — A promo spot for the Disney theme park attraction. Contains an optional trivia track that displays factoids about the Haunted Mansion attraction, which is installed at all four of Disney’s theme parks.
  • Tim Burton’s Original Poem Narrated by Christopher Lee (1.78:1/HD) — The original poem written by Tim Burton, which served as the inspiration for the film illustrated with artwork based on Burton’s original sketches. It really shows the influence from Dr. Seuss on The Nightmare Before Christmas.
  • All-New Audio Commentary by Producer Tim Burton, Director Henry Selick, and Music Composer Danny Elfman
  • Frankenweenie with All-New intro by Tim Burton (1.33:1; 480i/60) — A 1984 short film by Tim Burton starring Shelley Duval and Daniel Stern about a boy named Victor Frankenstein who resurrects his recently deceased dog using electricity.
  • Vincent (1.33:1; 480i/60) — An early stop-motion animated short by Tim Burton narrated by vincent Price resurrected from the Disney archives tells the story of a boy fascinated with the creepy and the spooky who fantasizes of being Vincent Price.
  • Deleted Storyboards (1.33:1; 480i/60) — Storyboard sketches for sequences cut from the film that never made it to the animation process.:
    • “Behemoth Singing”
    • “Ooogie Boogie Dancing with Bugs” — Cut mainly because it would have been far too complicated to animate the bugs
    • “Alternate Identity of Oogie Boogie” — A storyline that originally had the Dr. Finkelstein character being revealed as Oogie Boogie
  • Deleted Animated Sequences (1.33:1; 480i/60):
    • “Jack’s Scientific Experiments”
    • “Vampire Hockey Players”
    • “Lock, Shock, and Barrel”
    • “Oogie Boogie Dance”
  • The Making of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1.33:1; 480i/60) – A highly informative making of featurette that offers up oodles of information on the stop-motion process.
  • Halloween Town — Still galleries of character design sketches, concept art, and some brief animation tests with audio commentaries by by Tim Burnton for the characters and scenery from Halloween Town:
  • Jack Skellington:
    • Character Designs
    • Animation Tests
    • Jack’s Tower Concept Art
  • Sally:
    • Character Designs
    • Animation Tests
    • Kitchen Concept Art
  • Oogie Boogie:
    • Character Designs
    • Oogies Lair Concept Art
  • Evil Scientist and Igor:
    • Character Designs
    • The Laboratory Concept Art
  • Lock, Shock, and Barrel:
    • Character Designs
    • The Treehouse Concept Art
  • The Citizens:
    • Character Designs
  • Zero Animation Tests:
  • Halloween Town Concept Art
  • Christmas Town – A slide show of sketch art and concept designs for Christmas Town:
    • Santa Claus Character Designs
    • Santa’s Helper’s Character Designs
    • Concept Art
  • The Real World — A Slide show of Character designs and sketch art for the Real World film segments:
    • Character Designs
    • Concept Art
  • Storyboard-to-film Comparison (1.33:1; 480i/60) — A side-by-side comparison of storyboard sketches to the same completed scene from the film in which Jack attempts to explain the idea of Christmas to the citizens of Halloween Town.
  • Posters and Trailers (1.33:1; 480i/60)– A slide show of promotional posters and the trailers for the film include.
  • DVD
  • Digital Copy – For Mac/PC and iTunes/Windows Media Compatible Devices.
  • D-Box Motion Code

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4.5/5]

Excellent, excellent, excellent! The Nightmare Before Christmas was spectacular on Blu-ray before and now it offers even more fun options in this three-disc Blu-ray 3D combo, continuing Disney’s reputation for high quality animation and 3D on Blu-ray.

Additional Screen Captures


[amazon-product align=”right”]B00540G3G6[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
-

Purchase The Nightmare Before Christmas on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:5/5]

Video Quality
2D HD: [Rating:5/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:5/5]

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