“The Nightmare Before Christmas” came out when I was ten years old, and both the movie and the soundtrack were pretty much on constant repeat until I was twelve in my house. The music was winsome and creepy at the same time, and never seemed as much a “traditional” Disney musical as a goth-punk rock opera.
Fifteen years later, the music is still every bit as enchanting to me, and a number of bands that I LOVE seem to feel the same way. DeVotchKa, Shiny Toy Guns, the Polyphonic Spree, Rodrigo y Gabriela and many other talented artists provide energetic updates to the lyrics and score. Standouts are Marilyn Manson’s twisted take on “This Is Halloween” and Flyleaf’s breathy rendition of “What’s This?”. Danny Elfman’s “Closing” is a charming epilogue to the story.
In a world where Jack and Sally are stamped on tubes of lip gloss, throw pillows, shot glasses, and thongs in Hot Topics and Spencers the world over, it’s easy to feel like “Nightmare” has lost most of its cultural relevance. “Nightmare Revisited” proves that this is not the case, and I can’t wait to see what musical treats we might get in five or ten more years.