The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D (PG)

The not-so-lovely bones
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The Independent Culture

3D films are Hollywood's latest method to tempt teenagers away from their PlayStations and back into the cinema. I'd have thought that a better tactic might be to make more good films, but this three-dimensional revamp of Tim Burton's ghoulish pantomime certainly makes a case for the format. Put on your hi-tech specs and it looks splendid, the 3D process enhancing the illusion of tactile solidity which has always been one of the charms of stop-motion animation. It's just a pity that the third dimension stretches back into the screen, not out in front of it. It feels like a wasted opportunity not to have any bony fingers reaching towards us.

As for the film itself, it's the rollicking tale of Jack Skellington, the Giacometti-limbed king of Halloweentown, who gets a new lease of life - or undeath, anyway - when he kidnaps Santa and takes charge of Christmas. Alas, it's let down by the tuneless music, the humdrum lyrics, and by Jack's poor singing - and the man to blame for all three is Danny Elfman. Thanks to him, The Nightmare Before Christmas is best watched with 3D glasses hooked over your ears and cotton wool stuffed in them.

n.barber@independent.co.uk

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