What’s This? ‘Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Soundtrack

sandyclaws-27135On this night before Christmas, I turn attention to one of my favorite albums of seasonal music: the soundtrack from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.,

Yes, you read that correctly. Featuring a bounty of great songs written by Danny Elfman, the onetime frontman of Oingo Boingo, this album is an unexpected holiday gem. Each and every one of the songs was written in a minor key, but they still manage to run a gamut of emotions, from joy to longing, sinister to funtastic.

The 1993 stop-motion animated film was directed by Henry Selick and produced by Burton, who conceived the story in 1982 while working at the studios of Walt Disney Feature Animation. It tells the story of Jack Skellington (voiced by Chris Sarandon and sung by Elfman), the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town — the source of the Oct. 31 holiday. One day Jack wanders into Christmas Town and becomes so fascinated by the candy-colored holiday that he decides to usurp Dec. 25 from Santa Claus.


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‘God Help the Girl’ Trailer

Here’s something different: Me plugging a film starring one of my favorite actresses. (Yeah, right.) What’s different about this particular flick is that it stars Emily Browning, not Jena Malone. (Uh, you’ve done that before, too, Joe.) The movie is called God Help the Girl. Set in Glasgow, Scotland, the movie tells the story of the emotionally troubled Eve (played by Emily), who turns to songwriting as a coping mechanism.

God Help the Girl, directed by Stuart Murdoch of the Scottish indie band Belle & Sebastian, opens Sept. 5.