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October 31st, 2013

The Nightmare Before Christmas had to grow on me.

It should've immediately touched me in my special touch-y places. I was a big fan of Tim Burton; you should've seen me get emotional at Edward Scissorhands. I was perhaps an even bigger fan of Danny Elfman, already listening to a grip of his film scores and following his career. Well-done stop-motion animation impresses me. (Related: recently I imagined a remake/TV special spinoff version of The Nightmare Before Christmas done in computer-generated animation a la Shrek, and what I imagined looked horrible. Please, let that never happen.) And I like to support kids' films that are trying something different: not the standard storytelling beats, not needing radio-friendly showstoppers among the tunes (if there are tunes; not all kids' films need to be musicals!), having an edge to them. I'd love to see more Time Bandits-type kids' films, is maybe the simplest way to put that.

I saw it while family was gathered in Portland for the holidays, probably Thanksgiving weekend 1993, with my cousin Amy (she goes by Max now, a name which fits her MUCH better, but I digress). She verbalized what was in my head: "That was fine, but that's what everyone was getting so excited about?" And we'd wanted to get excited; we like being enthusiastic. But it hadn't quite clicked with me, though I liked it more than Batman Returns the year before, where I'd left the theater with my brother T.J. and said "That was a screwed-up movie." (Though it was and it is.)

Maybe I was cranky. After seeing A LOT of really strong films in 1991, the first full year I could both drive to the theater and get into R-rated films without hassle*, my film choosing-fu in 1992 was weak; I saw a lot of films I found sub-par. I missed most good films -- didn't see, say, Unforgiven or The Player until years later on video -- and for a long time, the most satisfying film I saw in 1992 was Wayne's World. Which is a fun, funny film (and still quotable! "Marriage is a punishment for shoplifting in some countries..."), but we're not talking Oscar quality. I did better at year's end -- um, at least there was Aladdin? And hey, I genuinely liked Bram Stoker's Dracula -- but maybe I was getting harder to please.

I mean, 1993 was when I saw Army of Darkness first-run and thought, The film's trying too hard. Which MISSES THE POINT OF THE WHOLE MOVIE: it's supposed to be Too Much. That's another one that had to grow on me. (Though I immediately loved Joseph LoDuca's insane score and got it on CD as soon as I could find it.)

So...I don't know why I wasn't as impressed as a lot of us, but I've grown more fond of The Nightmare Before Christmas over the years. There've been 20; you hope it grows.

This entry is also an excuse to link to Danny Elfman himself singing Jack Skellington's songs at a recent London event, the first time he's sung publicly since the final Oingo Boingo concert on Halloween 1995.



* In news that might surprise some of you, I wasn't one to sneak into R-rated films, at least in the theater. Though in the Eighties, I did sneak peaks at R-rated films on video and cable.

Oh, was that comedy?

Today, gravity was not my friend.

I had a dropping-stuff day, it felt like. Got almost comic when I was preparing to floss, and when I grabbed the loose end of the floss I accidentally let go of the container full of floss, and ZWWWWWWWIP it felt toward the floor pulling out feet and feet of floss...and my first reaction was to try to pull it back up quicker than the floss was unspooling. AND I ALMOST DID IT. But the floss container did hit the floor. Um, I think twice. And while leaning over in my attempt to stop it, my glasses fell out of my shirt pocket.

I just need not to pay the gravity bill.

Some dropping happened at work, too. And other drama, thank goodness mainly over the phone, except when my crankiness spilled out. I asked a supervisor (facetiously) if I could make fun of one demanding customer. It was that kind of day.

How soon will I fall into bed? Probably by the time y'all read this.