Filmsite Movie Review
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
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Plot Synopsis (continued)

Jack's Disastrous Delivery of Gifts on Christmas Eve to Christmas Town Residences:

Sally entered the town's public square and poured the entire "Fog Juice" contents from her jug into a fountain, as the Zombie Band played and the Mayor and imposter Jack (now in his red Santa suit) appeared before the crowd. From a long parchment paper (with his entire speech printed out), the Mayor delivered a congratulatory speech about Jack's accomplishments:

Think of us as you soar, triumphantly, through the sky, outshining every star, your silhouette a dark blot on the moon. You, who are our pride, you, who are our glory, you, who have frightened millions into an early grave, you, who have, uh, devastated the souls of the living?

The thick and dense fog (as thick as "jellied brains" - as described by the gray-skinned one-eyed monster Cyclops) began to develop and produce blinding conditions, for both the Mayor's speech, and Jack's proposed sleigh ride. Sally's brave and desperate attempt to sabotage and stop Jack's plan to deliver the gifts on Christmas Eve by creatively fogging the air worked momentarily, causing Jack deep despair: "There go all of my hopes, my precious plans, my glorious dreams," and the Corpse Kid echoed Jack's depression as he moaned: "There goes Christmas."

But then the sabotage plan failed. Jack was guided on his way by the bright and glowing Rudolph-sized bulbous nose on his loyal dog Zero. He commandeered the sleigh pulled by three reindeer skeletons (not the traditional number of 9), and steered it to Christmas Town - to deliver scary Halloween gifts instead of Christmas presents.

After she realized that her plan to deter Jack had failed: ("Good-bye, Jack. My dearest Jack. Oh, how I hope my premonition is wrong"), she sang "Sally's Song" to express her worried feelings about Jack's safety, her concerns about Jack not recognizing her feelings for him, and her fear that Jack's mission would jeopardize their potential relationship:

I sense there's something in the wind / That feels like tragedy's at hand / And though I'd like to stand by him / Can't shake this feeling that I have / The worst is just around the bend / And does he notice / My feelings for him? / And will he see / How much he means to me? / I think it's not to be / What will become of my dear friend? / Where will his actions lead us then? / Although I'd like to join the crowd / In their enthusiastic cloud / Try as I may, it doesn't last / And will we ever / End up together? / No, I think not / It's never to become/ For I am not the one

Jack landed on the rooftop of the first home that he visited with a loud thump and dislodged four decorative Chrismas angels. He jumped down the chimney with his large bag of presents as a young toddler was stirred from his bed and raced downstairs to see Jack depositing presents under the tree and in three stockings hung above the fireplace. [Note: Look carefully as the boy entered the living room for two small, round commemorative Elvis Presley plates to his left hung on the wall of the living room - a reference to Presley's 1964 song "Blue Christmas" (and its apropos line: "I'll have a Blue Christmas without you").]

The stunned child opened up a "special present" personally handed to him as 'Santa' disappeared up the chimney. The mother asked: "And what did Santa bring you, honey?" Both parents screamed as the young boy reached inside the opened gift box and pulled out a decapitated shrunken head - a horrific and menacing present. A police station's phone rang, with parents beginning to report Christmas toys that were attacking.

In the second house that Jack visited, he placed a wreath on the interior of its front door - a living wreath with strangling vines, and his bag also revealed a large toy snake that soon ate the family's Christmas tree. Two presents put under the tree turned out to be a terrifying, squacking yellow duck on a skateboard, and a scary flying doll with a black cape, round head and sharp teeth. More presents deposited down chimneys included bats and a snapping Jack O'Lantern Jack-in-the-Box. When warnings were issued by the town's authorities about the Santa impersonator who was spreading mayhem and wrong-doing, Christmas Town residents began to protectively lock their doors, turn off their lights, stoke their chimney fires, and bar their windows. Of course, Jack mistook all of the town's screams as joyful. Reports of the "mocking and mangling (of) this joyous holiday" disturbed Sally, but other citizens of Halloween Town rejoiced over how their 'scares' were a tremendous success.

Military units were mobilized in Christmas Town to "stop the perpetrator of this heinous crime," and searchlights were directed skyward. Jack heard blasts from cannons and misinterpreted them: "They're celebrating! They're thanking us for doing such a good job!" However, once Jack realized he was deliberately being targeted, it was too late. The sleigh was struck by one missile's direct hit and he was blown out of the sky, as he called out:

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Back in Halloween Town, the Wolfman howled at the apparent demise of the Pumpkin King. The Mayor, who now had second thoughts ("I knew this Christmas thing was a bad idea. I felt it in my gut"), drove through town in his mobile vehicle to announce Jack's death through his loudspeaker: ("The worst tragedy of our times. Jack has been blown to smithereens!...Skeleton Jack is now a pile of dust"). At the same time in Christmas Town, a police officer drove through residential areas to also announce other terrible news to upset children:

There's still no sign of Santa Claus. Although the impostor has been shot down, it looks like Christmas will have to be cancelled this year.

Jack's Realization of His Tremendous Misdirected Goal to Steal Christmas:

Unhurt, Jack had landed back in Halloween Town's cemetery with his coffin-sled in flames, while the skeletal reindeer had been blown to bits. Jack's descent had been cushioned by his fall being cradled in the arms of an angel headstone holding an open book.

In the fantastic and emotional "Poor Jack" torch song, Jack realized his disastrous and mad mistake to steal Christmas. He lamented and bemoaned how wrong he had been, and that he had ruined Christmas. At first, he contemplated suicide inside a deep cave where he wouldn't be found, but then realized that his intentions had been pure, and that he should finally accept and embrace his fate - to again lead Halloween Town as the Pumpkin King. After the experience, Jack felt that his true love was Halloween:

What have I done? / What have I done? / How could I / Be so blind? / All is lost / Where was I? / Spoiled all / Everything's / Gone all wrong / What have I done? / What have I done? / Find a deep cave to hide in / In a million years they'll find me / Only dust / And a plaque that reads / 'Here lies poor old Jack'

But I never intended / All this madness, never / And nobody really understood / Well, how could they? / That all I ever wanted was to bring them something great / Why does nothing ever turn out like it should?

Well, what the heck? / I went and did my best / And, by God I really tasted something swell / And for a moment Why, I even touched the sky / And at least I left some stories they can tell, I did / And for the first time since I don't remember when / I felt just like my old bony self again / And I, Jack, the Pumpkin King / That's right I am the Pumpkin King / (cackling) Ha-ha-ha-ha / And I just can't wait until next Halloween / 'Cause I've got some new ideas that will really make them scream / And, by God/ I'm really going to give it all my might

However, Jack came to his senses and knew that his most immediate task was to restore order in both towns: ("I hope there's still time to set things right").

Jack's Rescue of Sally and Santa, and Oogie Boogie's Destruction:

Rightfully fearing for Jack's life, rag-doll Sally had earlier decided that the only way to aid Jack (and to save Christmas) was to rescue and liberate 'Sandy Claws' from Oogie Boogie's lair. In her single-handed attempt to infiltrate his headquarters, Sally (with her detachable body parts) extended her sexy rag-doll leg to distract and entice the bogeyman, as her disembodied hands slid down the metal hook's cable holding Santa's tied-up hands. Sally untied the ropes holding him and extended a rope ladder to help Santa escape the lair. However, Oogie Boogie realized he was being duped and caught them - and now both were imprisoned.

After his sleigh had been blown up, Jack ran back to Halloween Town to rescue both Sally and Santa Claus from the Oogie-Boogie Man ("Come on, Zero. Christmas isn't over yet"), although the residents had lost all hope that Jack was alive and could save them.

Oogie Boogie had set up a mechanism - a slanted platform that could be raised to slide both Sally and Sandy Claws into a molten lava vat or cauldron. As he rolled a pair of dice, the platform was ratcheted up further and further one notch at a time. When he cheated on another roll after throwing "snake eyes" and the dice were manipulated to show "Eleven," he proclaimed: "Looks like I won the jackpot! Bye-bye, doll face and sandman." However, Jack had already entered the lair to stop and confront Oogie. To fight back, Oogie stepped on a spider-shaped button that caused a trap to activate. Huge metal playing cards popped up around the outside of the roulette wheel, each portraying a King (of various suits) wielding swords that began to spin out of control. Jack was able to evade the twisting swords with cleverly-timed jumps and by contorting his spindly body.

When the first trap didn't work, Oogie stomped on a second button that caused a row of metallic, robotic skull-headed cowboys (with hats and one-armed bandit slot machines for bodies) to move forward and fire their guns at Jack, but again, Jack was able to dodge their bullets. He also jumped atop their arms holding revolvers to deflect the shots. Oogie stepped on a third skull-shaped trap button that brought forth a giant spinning buzzsaw (with a skeleton strapped to it), but Jack was able to jump away to safety.

All the while, Oogie's burlap-bag outer garment was trailing a loose thread that was beginning to unravel. Jack shouted as Oogie jumped away: "How dare you treat my friends so shamefully!" The thread became caught on the spinning buzzsaw, and completely ripped his garment apart. He was unmasked and revealed to be a living, swirling mass of bugs, insects, and squirmy worms that comprised his body. He angrily screamed: "Now look what you've done! My bugs! My bugs!" Without the garment covering, the bugs no longer could coalesce together and began to spill down into the hot lava vat or cauldron. The Oogie Boogie Man had been defeated.

The Magical Restoration of Order in Christmas Town by Santa:

Jack apologized to Santa for his actions: ("I'm afraid I've made a terrible mess of your holiday"). Santa was still furious at Jack and scolded him with a harsh reprimand for co-opting the Christmas holiday, as he reached for his stolen red cap and took it back:

Bumpy sleigh ride, Jack? The next time you get the urge to take over someone else's holiday, I'd listen to her (pointing to Sally). She's the only one who makes any sense around this insane asylum.

However, Santa then assured Jack that he could still return to Christmas Town, magically fix things, and save Christmas. Just before leaving Oogie Boogie's den, Santa Claus laid a finger to the side of his nose, as in the original poem "The Night Before Christmas," in order to rise up.

Sally reassured Jack: "He'll fix things, Jack. He knows what to do." As they spoke and Sally bashfully tried to explain that she had tried to help and rescue him due to her love for him, and Jack was about to tell her how he felt about her, the two were interrupted by the arrival of the Mayor with the three trick-or-treaters - they were happy that Jack had survived and was alive.

Back in Christmas Town, a broadcaster reported good news: "Santa Claus, the one and only, has finally been spotted. Old Saint Nick appears to be traveling at supersonic speed. He's setting things right, bringing joy and cheer wherever he goes. Yes, folks, Kris Kringle has pulled it out of the bag and delivered Christmas to excited children all over the world." Santa was replaciing Jack's repulsive and scary gifts with genuine X-mas presents to children throughout the world.

The townsfolk in Halloween Town were thrilled to view the return of Jack to their town and paraded in the Mayor's car. He told the grateful citizens: "It's great to be home." Just then, Jack and the others looked up into the dark night sky (with a full moon) to watch as Santa flew over in his reindeer-driven sleigh, and spread magic in the form of snowfall, as he shouted out: "Happy Halloween!" and Jack replied by shouting, "Merry Christmas!" Snowfall was totally unknown, confusing and unexpected as they marveled at the snow falling and then played in the winter wonderland - which in a way, fulfilled Jack's original dream. They sang:

What's this? What's this? / I haven't got a clue
What's this? Why, it's completely new
What's this? Must be a Christmas thing
What's this? It's really very strange

They began playing ice-hockey with a pumpkin head and making snow-angels. The trick-or-treaters threw snowballs at Jack, and the Corpse Kid was happily rolled up in the snow, as Dr. Finkelstein was wheeled out by his new Bride-creation that he had named Jewel ("Careful, my precious jewel").

The Romantic Finale - Jack and Sally Together:

Now that it was snowing, Sally had slipped away by herself from the town to walk to the top of the snowy curlicued Spiral Hill (silhouetted in front of the full moon) next to the town's graveyard. Jack spied on her from afar as the patchwork girl Sally plucked petals from a flower. Jack followed after to sing to her, and to tell her of his true feelings for her.

In the sweet, tender, triumphant and romantic ending in the film's short "Finale," Jack had finally realized his love for her all along. He approached her, and while clutching his breast, he sang about his attraction to her, and that they were meant to be together:

Jack: My dearest friend / If you don't mind / I'd like to join you / By your side / Where we can gaze / Into the stars
Jack and Sally (in union): And sit together / Now and forever / For it is plain / As anyone can see / We're simply meant to be

Jack confessed that he was just as strongly romantically attracted to Sally as she was to him. The couple embraced in the light of a full moon and shared a first kiss on the curlicue hill, as Jack's red-nosed, ghostly pet dog Zero flew into the sky to become a twinkling star.

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