Get ready for Halloween, in 3-D

I’d been so busy fending off my daughter’s pestering to please please oh please please PLEASE let’s go see Flicka, that I nearly forgot that one of my favorite movies was back. (Do you see what a tween girl can do to your brain? It’s damaging.)

Of course, you may have seen The Nightmare Before Christmas when it came out in 1993. I remember thinking it was a pretty cool film, even then, but then being somewhat disappointed when my kids didn’t seem too interested in it a couple of years ago. I was all ready to share it with them, and they were perhaps a little too young.

But my kids are older now, and Nightmare is back on the big screen—in 3-D! I can’t think of a better way to get ready for Halloween. Heck, I can’t think of a better way to spend a couple of hours regardless of the season, but that may just be be. You could say I am just a wee bit fond of Tim Burton’s work.

If you missed Tim Burton’s appearance on Leno last week, never fear; YouTube to the rescue:

(I especially like how he always looks like he just woke up, maybe from a nap in the dumpster out back. All geniuses seem smarter when they appear to be just a step or two away from complete dereliction.)

Want more background? ToonZone posted a great interview with producer Don Hahn about the 3-D remake. I found the interview right after I’d figured out that Nightmare isn’t playing anywhere in my area, and I was busy being befuddled (and, frankly, annoyed) when I read this:

TZN: As far as getting the film in theatres, do you need special projection equipment, or can any theatre project it?

DH: No, it does need special projection equipment. It’s a digital cinema projector, so it’s projecting at a really high frame rate. It also is a silver screen so that the 3-D effect has integrity by the time it’s projected on the screen and comes back to your eyeball. You wear lightweight 3-D glasses to decode what comes back to your eye. That process does require a special installation in all the theatres that are showing it.

Part of what makes this Disney digital 3-D thing work is it’s an incredibly stable image. A lot of the older 3-D, especially if you go back to the 50′s and the Dial M for Murder era, it’s really terrific and it’s great to watch but it was usually 2 projectors and you had to wear the red-blue anaglyph glasses, and it was a headache-inducing experience. I think what’s great about this technique is it is a stable image. The glasses are not red and blue, they’re just the standard neutral polarizing glasses and because of the high frame rate and because there’s no shudder (or) gate weave. It’s a really pristine experience. You can sit there and watch a feature-length film without getting the usual kind of residual headache you might have gotten 50 years ago when you watched original 3-D.

(That’s all well and good, but I want it at my local mall. Hmph.)

And just when I’d resigned myself to maybe just missing it, I discovered that The Nightmare Before Christmas has garnered the highest review score I’ve ever seen at Rotten Tomatoes. Well. That settles it.

You know what this means, right? Road trip!

If Nightmare is showing near you—or if you’re willing to drive a bit just for a pair of goofy glasses and a great movie—get out there and see it. After all… tis the season.

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