Tim Burton, the famous film maker, grew up in Southern California. As a child, the only way he recognized the changing of the seasons was by the store decorations. He started his creative career as an animator for Walt Disney Productions. One day he noticed a store in the process of changing decorations from Halloween to Christmas and that gave him the inspiration to compose the poem “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” The poem was filled with interesting characters and eventually it became a movie, but that transformation took almost twenty years. Most everyone now knows the story of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, his dog Zero, girlfriend Sally, three ghouls Lock, Shock and Barrel, Santa Claus and Oogie Boogie. Jack becomes bored with just planning Halloween each year, learns about the fun of Christmas, has Lock, Shock and Barrell kidnap Santa Claus and take him to Oogie Boogie who wants to eat him for dinner. Long story short, Jack tries to be Santa, fails, rescues Santa, then walks off into the sunset with Sally. It sounds like a simple plot, but the music and the stop-motion figure interactions makes this a very special story. It is amazing the difficult time Mr. Burton had trying to transform his poem into a movie. He thought of selling the idea to the TV stations to become a Halloween special for children, but the TV stations refused. Everyone viewed it as an adult Halloween story. Finally, Disney gave the nod to Touchstone Pictures to make the movie. It was a stop-motion animated movie: each slight movement is shot frame by frame. It may have taken three or more days to shoot five seconds of the film. It took about three years to make the movie, which debuted in 1993. The parents were advised it was not suitable for children. Eventually, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” became a classic, loved by generations of children. In 2001, Disney decided to use “The Nightmare Before Christmas” theme in the Haunted Mansion for Halloween and Christmas. Each year, they change the decorations and Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King and his crew welcome you. The Haunted Mansion is the mainstay of the season, and people visit the ride many times. Thank you, Mr. Burton, for letting us enjoy your creation each year. Already, my grandson William and I have watched the movie twice together. Yes, this is Halloween, but with a twist!
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