3D Blu-ray Review The Nightmare Before Christmas: THE HTF 3D ADDICT BLU-RAY REVIEW

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    What can I say?  I love 3D!  From the moment I began watching 3D content in my home I quickly discovered that I needed more content.  I suspect that those of you just purchasing your first 3D hardware will acquire the same ferocious appetite.  That's why I became the HTF 3D ADDICT.  I personally love images that pop off the screen and come inches away from your face without becoming overly gimmicky.  However, I certainly appreciate the nature documentaries that offer beautiful depth and separation.  These are not necessarily reviews of the film themselves.  I am not going to concentrate on story or supplements -- you can find the 2D reviews elsewhere on this forum.  My job is to let you know exactly what kind of 3D experience to expect from the titles that are being released.   As I will be receiving a handful of new product from the studios expect to see more title coverage.






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    The Nightmare Before Christmas


    Studio: Walt Disney

    Product Release: August 30, 2011

    Ratio: 1.85:1

    Audio: 7.1 Dolby True HD; English & Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

    Running Time: 76 Minutes

    Rating: PG



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    ON A SCALE 0-5

    Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 4

    3D Separation: 3

    3D In Yo' Face Factor: 1



    What's this? What's this? There's color everywhere!


    One could say that my discovery of The Nightmare Before

    Christmas is very much like Jack the Pumpkin King's 

    discovery of the holiday itself.  Full of magic and wonder,

    Tim Burton has given his own contorted homage to the best

    known Christmas story in a film that has become his own

    personal masterpiece as well as my favorite animated tale.



    Released theatrically in 1993, this overly-dark animated

    musical has stood the test of time.  Thanks to its brilliant

    stop-motion animation and three-dimensional sets it remains

    one of the most innovative, quirky and spectacular classics 

    ever made.  


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    In a world where holidays are run by individual towns,

    Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon) is the undisputed

    Pumpkin King of Halloween who after years of heading

    up the celebration of the holiday, becomes depressed at

    his continued efforts.  Upon taking a walk into the forrest he

    happens upon an entrance way into a wondrous place called

    Christmas Town filled with beautiful colors, decorations and

    finely wrapped gifts.  In the film's most memorable musical

    number, Jack becomes enamored with this wondrous world.


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    After boasting the virtues of Christmas to his hobgoblin and

    monstrous friends of Halloween Town, Jack hatches a plan

    to kidnap Santa Claus and take his place for the upcoming

    Christmas holiday. Though Jack feels this to be a novel idea,

    he finds opposition from an adoring frankenstein-ish rag doll

    named Sally (Catherine O'Hara) who feels that these plans

    pose dangerous consequences.


    Collaborating with Tim Burton, Danny Elfman wrote the songs

    and composed the score for the film.  This partnership once 

    again proved to be a huge success as Elfman provides a devilish,

    dark underscore to Burton's story whichd features such memorable

    tunes such as "This is Halloween" and "What's This."


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    Though not originally conceived for 3D when theatrically

    released in 1993, The Nightmare Before Christmas has

    been recently upconverted to the format. The results are

    quite astonishing.  This is perhaps the best upconverted 3D

    title that I have seen.  Though there isn't that kind of blatant

    "pop up book" effect that I usually prefer, I was rather taken

    back by the more subdued layered effect of the 3D presentation.  

    There is definitely a sense of depth here between background

    and foreground images.  Some of it gets lost within the dark

    backdrop of the Halloween world (where slight ghosting issues

    are introduced) while some shots seemed to be framed so 

    perfectly that one could easily think the film was conceived

    for the format.  Mind you, this doesn't rank as the best 3D I

    have seen, but it's nice to see that the conversion has actually

    enhanced the 2D experience to something even more satisfying.


    There is very hardly any screen protrusion happening here,

    though there are moments where feet and fingers just seem

    to barely poke outwards.


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    As one would expect from a Disney transfer, The Nightmare

    Before Christmas just looks and sound top-notch.  The transfer

    is incredibly sharp and well defined.  Though the drab, Halloween

    town scenes through most of the film minimize any sort of color,

    the outstanding, deep and inky black levels give these scenes 

    amazing texture.  When the film switches to Christmas Town one

    can't help but be as wide-eyed as Jack Skeleton as you soak in

    all the beautiful, vivid colors.  Of course, the most impressive 

    eye-candy sequences involve Santa's encounter in Oogie

    Boogie's lair with it's eye-popping neon images that look even

    more impressive in 3D.  There is not a flaw to be found here.


    The film's 7.1 Dolby TrueHD (downconverted to 5.1 on my

    system) is a real head-turner, and I mean that in the respect

    that this is a totally immersive sonic experience that has a

    seemingly never-ending barrage of vocals and supporting

    effects emanating from every channel. Dialogue is well

    centered across the front three channels, never drowned

    out by the robustly presented musical numbers that come

    through with amazing clarity.  


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    The Nightmare Before Christmas is presented in a 3-Disc

    3D Blu-ray/2D Blu-ray/DVD+Digital Copy combo package.

    The 2D Blu-ray contains all the bonus material that includes

    a Tim Burton introduction, Jack's Haunted Mansion Holiday

    Tour, audio commentary, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes

    featurette and short films Frankenweenie and Vincent.  



    CONCLUSION




    Let's face it.  The Nightmare Before Christmas has 

    remained one of the most original and memorable animated

    films ever made. It is beloved by multitudes of fans who

    consider it to be a timeless classic.  And certainly, after

    18 years, this film has not lost a spec of its appeal.  It is

    one of those films that is no less deserving of an annual

    holiday viewing than It's A Wonderful Life would be.


    Disney has done an outstanding job with the transfer. In

    all, this is a demo-quality disc.  The 3D conversion is very

    good -- considerably better than most upconversions I have

    seen.  This certainly has whet my appetite for the forthcoming

    conversions of The Lion King and Beauty and The Beast.  


    This title belongs in every 3D collection. 


    Images are for illustrative purpose only not representative of the picture quality of this disc. 


    Equipment


    LG 60PX950 THX Certified 3D display

    Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu-ray Player

    Denon 3311CI Receiver

    Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear speakers

    SV Sound Subwoofer

     

     
  2. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Was this the first movie to be converted to 3D after the fact? Disney re-released it theatrically in 3D around Halloween at least a couple of years in a row, some time before the recent 3D fad really took off.
     
  3. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    I saw this 3D version when it was first released theatrically back in 2006, and again in 2007, hoping Disney would re-release the film every year (like the studios used to do in the old days for seasonally-themed movies). This version shows that 3D conversion can be done well, and both Tim Burton and Henry Selick supervised ILM's work very closely.
     
  4. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

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    Thanks Ron for the early review. Took my kids to see "The Nightmare Before Christmas" in 1993 and fell in love with it. Bought the CD and listened to the music on every Fall excursion my family went on until it was replaced by DVD where we could see it and hear it on our TV in its OAR. Got the Blu-ray and loved the HD upgrade and as soon as it came out in 3D, we went to see it, this time with my grandchildren.. Fell in love with the 3D version all over again. Didn't have much hope that I would ever have the means to OWN it and VIEW it in 3D.:rolleyes: Guess I'll always be a kid at heart.:) The chance to own the movie in high def and 3D with High Res multichannel sound was almost an impossible dream that is coming true. I'll be in heaven all over again! Paul
     

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