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What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

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What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Old 10-25-10, 12:06 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
In theory the studio can pass all you want. But the filmmaker can then take the project somewhere else. If the studio passes too much they simply run the risk of pissing off the filmmaker and souring the relationship.
So you don't know of any projects that Disney did pass on?

The following is all my conjecture: In the case of TNBC, think about 1992. For animation, Disney was the only game in town... Burton pitches these two [projects] (Nightmare and James) and Disney picks them up because a) they "know" animation and b) even if they dump the [project] and lose money on it they control the rights and they'd rather control the rights to any and all animation properties than let another studio get the jump on R&D.
From my understanding, Disney already owned the rights to TNBC, since it was a project Burton developed while working at Disney in the 80s. So there was no danger of Burton taking the film to another studio.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nig...mas#Production

James and the Giant Peach may be another story, but that seems to have been produced due to the (relative) success of TNBC.

If another studio took nightmare and made it a big hit right out of the gate, that would extinguish Disney's flame as the "kings of animation" just a little bit. This is effectivly what happened when Dreamworks began having hit animated features in the late '90s.
What Dreamworks animated film did Disney pass on?
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Old 10-25-10, 04:22 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

What's the deal with airline food?
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Old 10-27-10, 02:41 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

I didn't know that bit about Disney retaining the rights from the development period in the '80s.

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post


What Dreamworks animated film did Disney pass on?
That's not what I meant. What I meant was that when Dreamworks (and Warner and to a tiny extent Fox) had animated hits in the late '90s it hurt their image as the only animation game in town.

Last edited by Mabuse; 10-27-10 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 10-27-10, 03:44 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
What I meant was that when Dreamworks (and Warner and to a tiny extent Fox) had animated hits in the late '90s it hurt their image as the only animation game in town.
That has more to do with the rise of CGI though. Dreamworks faltered on their cel animated films (Road to El Dorado, Voyages of Sinbad), as did Fox (Anastasia, Titan A.E.), and Warner (Quest for Camelot, The Iron Giant).

It's only after Pixar stole the animation crown with their CGI films did the other studios get a shot at it (usually by funding efforts from small CGI studios like PDI or Blue Sky). And Pixar's success is tempered by the fact that Disney co-produced and distributed those films.

I highly doubt that in 1990-1991, a stop-motion animated film about Halloween screamed "breakout smash" to anyone. Stop-motion is at least as old as cel animation, and it's never really taken the audience by storm.

Last edited by Jay G.; 10-27-10 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 10-27-10, 10:07 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
That has more to do with the rise of CGI though. Dreamworks faltered on their cel animated films (Road to El Dorado, Voyages of Sinbad), as did Fox (Anastasia, Titan A.E.), and Warner (Quest for Camelot, The Iron Giant).

It's only after Pixar stole the animation crown with their CGI films did the other studios get a shot at it (usually by funding efforts from small CGI studios like PDI or Blue Sky). And Pixar's success is tempered by the fact that Disney co-produced and distributed those films.

I highly doubt that in 1990-1991, a stop-motion animated film about Halloween screamed "breakout smash" to anyone. Stop-motion is at least as old as cel animation, and it's never really taken then audience by storm.
sure the box numbers are true, but to generalize that stop motion/cel films are in some way old school or flawed/ inferior is ridiculous, and I'm not singling you out Jay G, but it's a common new Hollywood belief that if it isn't CGI it will fail.

yet there are more CGI movies out there that have far worse scripts than cel/stop motion films, just because CGI animated films are spangley and eye candy sometimes (and usually) hides the fact that it's just a polished turd: Ice Age 2, Alpha & Omega, Fly Me to the Moon etc etc.
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Old 10-27-10, 10:32 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Originally Posted by Giles View Post
sure the box numbers are true, but to generalize that stop motion/cel films are in some way old school or flawed/ inferior is ridiculous..
Agreed. However, I wasn't saying either method was flawed or inferior. Rather, I was trying to point out the flaw in the logic that Disney "hated" TNBC, yet produced it and distributed it out of fear that some other studio could've taken it and produced a massive hit out of it.

Other studios were interested in copying Disney's success, but they did so by literally copying Disney's successes, which meant mainly producing cel-animated princess and/or musical adventures. It was really Disney that was taking risks, producing two stop-motion features after a dearth of them in theaters (the last one being The Adventures of Mark Twain in 1985), and then producing a fully CGI film from a little upstart studio spun off from Lucasfilm.

it's a common new Hollywood belief that if it isn't CGI it will fail.
True, although WB did produce The Corpse Bride, Dreamworks produced Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit with Aardman, and Universal distributed Coraline. So stop-motion has done better this past decade than cel animation. Maybe the fact that Coraline was 3D has something to do with it; you can shoot stop-motion in 3D and render CGI in 3D, but not so much with cel animation.

yet there are more CGI movies out there that have far worse scripts than cel/stop motion films, just because CGI animated films are spangley and eye candy sometimes (and usually) hides the fact that it's just a polished turd: Ice Age 2, Alpha & Omega, Fly Me to the Moon etc etc.
You picked two bad examples there, since Fly Me to the Moon made under $14 mil domestically, while A&O has so far only made about $23 mil, so they're not big hits, despite being CGI. Audiences don't seem any more inclined to see crap CGI than they are inclined to see crap of any genre or format.
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Old 10-28-10, 08:46 AM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Originally Posted by KillerCannibal View Post
Because it's everywhere, and it annoys me. Maybe if I didn't go to Disneyland all the time I wouldn't see it so much, but I do and it's so commercialized and merchandized and cutesy that I just get irritated. I know that I probably love a thousand other things that could fit into that category, but for some reason this irks me more than anything else.
Like... Oh... I don't know... Disneyland?
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Old 10-28-10, 08:18 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

but Disney is certainly milking the Nightmare Before Christmas franchise - I saw NEW stuff over at Barnes and Nobles the other day.
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Old 10-29-10, 07:56 AM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Originally Posted by Giles View Post
but Disney is certainly milking the Nightmare Before Christmas franchise - I saw NEW stuff over at Barnes and Nobles the other day.
Is this a bad thing?
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Old 10-29-10, 12:23 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
That has more to do with the rise of CGI though. Dreamworks faltered on their cel animated films (Road to El Dorado, Voyages of Sinbad), as did Fox (Anastasia, Titan A.E.), and Warner (Quest for Camelot, The Iron Giant).

It's only after Pixar stole the animation crown with their CGI films did the other studios get a shot at it (usually by funding efforts from small CGI studios like PDI or Blue Sky). And Pixar's success is tempered by the fact that Disney co-produced and distributed those films.

I highly doubt that in 1990-1991, a stop-motion animated film about Halloween screamed "breakout smash" to anyone. Stop-motion is at least as old as cel animation, and it's never really taken the audience by storm.
Nothing you've said is wrong, but you are forgeting that Dreamworks had a hit with Prince of Egypt and Anastasia was a hit for Fox. But after that the box office dwindled for cel animation.
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Old 10-29-10, 01:18 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Nothing you've said is wrong, but you are [forgetting] that Dreamworks had a hit with Prince of Egypt and Anastasia was a hit for Fox.
Anastasia was not a hit for Fox. It only grossed $58 million domestically, and only $81 million worldwide. In comparison, Hercules by Disney, released the same year, grossed around $100 million domestically, and that film's largely considered a box-office flop.
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=anastasia.htm
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/...yr=1997&p=.htm

Speaking of $100 million, Prince of Egypt grossed approximately that amount domestically when it was released, so it wasn't that big a hit either. Mulan grossed $120 million the same year, and A Bug's Life grossed $170 million. Now, maybe with worldwide grossses factored in, Prince of Egypt made money, but it was nowhere near the $220 million of Aladdin or the $170 million of Beauty and the Beast.

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/...nceofegypt.htm
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/...yr=1998&p=.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DreamWorks_Animation#Films


It should also be noted that it wasn't like the other studios were waiting until the late 90s, or even for CGI, to make animated films. There were sporadic attempts at animation throughout the previous decade, the most prominent example being Don Bluth's (relative) success during the 80s.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Blu...ependent_years
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Old 10-29-10, 01:31 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Never been a huge fan. I enjoyed it, that's all. Now Coraline, that I loved.
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Old 10-29-10, 02:35 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Originally Posted by jrsl76 View Post
Never been a huge fan. I enjoyed it, that's all.
agreed
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Old 10-30-10, 07:29 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
Is this a bad thing?
oh no, I just find it odd but logical that a studio would be wary of the film's initial theatrical release, but some 17 years later the merchandise still is popular.
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Old 11-02-10, 01:30 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
Anastasia was not a hit for Fox. It only grossed $58 million domestically, and only $81 million worldwide. In comparison, Hercules by Disney, released the same year, grossed around $100 million domestically, and that film's largely considered a box-office flop.
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=anastasia.htm
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/...yr=1997&p=.htm

Speaking of $100 million, Prince of Egypt grossed approximately that amount domestically when it was released, so it wasn't that big a hit either. Mulan grossed $120 million the same year, and A Bug's Life grossed $170 million. Now, maybe with worldwide grossses factored in, Prince of Egypt made money, but it was nowhere near the $220 million of Aladdin or the $170 million of Beauty and the Beast.

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/...nceofegypt.htm
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/...yr=1998&p=.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DreamWorks_Animation#Films


It should also be noted that it wasn't like the other studios were waiting until the late 90s, or even for CGI, to make animated films. There were sporadic attempts at animation throughout the previous decade, the most prominent example being Don Bluth's (relative) success during the 80s.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Blu...ependent_years
You are stating that since Fox/Dreamworks didn't match Disney Sized BO, they were not hits. I remember both this films being "a success" at the BO. Maybe not Disney animated success, but still successful...
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Old 11-02-10, 02:06 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Originally Posted by Chrisedge View Post
You are stating that since Fox/Dreamworks didn't match Disney Sized BO, they were not hits. I remember both [of these] films being "a success" at the BO. Maybe not Disney animated success, but still successful...
There's a difference between being a film being successful, and a film being a "hit."

For example, TNBC made $50 million in 1993, while Anastasia made $58 million in 1997. Ticket prices inflated about 10% in that time, from $4.14 to $4.59. Adjusting TNBC's domestic gross for inflation puts it at about $55 million in 1997 dollars. So if Anastasia was a "hit" when it was first release, so was TNBC.

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/...echristmas.htm
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/about/adjuster.htm

And again, Prince of Egypt grossed about as much as Disney's Hercules did the year before. So if Prince of Egypt was a "hit", then so was Hercules.

However, the common wisdom is that both TNBC and Hercules were not hits.

Last edited by Jay G.; 11-02-10 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 11-02-10, 02:19 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

I've been a fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas since I was a kid, before all of the Hot Topic merchandising. Sure, it annoys me to see all the emo/goth kids wearing stuff with Jack Skellington, etc. but I also don't really care what they do. It doesn't affect my enjoyment of the movie at all. Loved it as a kid and still love it today.

I also enjoy James And The Giant Peach, although it wasn't nearly as good as The Nightmare Before Christmas. Coraline though, I'd argue is probably better than The Nightmare Before Christmas.
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Old 11-02-10, 07:22 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Box office figures are only part of evaluating an animated film with a strong merchandising campaign. Remember The Prince of Egypt had three different soundtracks, featuring every big name artist in pop, country and Christian music they could recruit? Jessica Andrews was introduced to the world through the country version (and promptly forgotten within a year), but otherwise none of them amounted to much. Toys collected dust on shelves and no kid went as Anastasia or Moses for Halloween. It shouldn't factor into how a movie is evaluated, but it does because the movie was really just one cog in the merchandising wheel...and that wheel didn't turn.
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Old 11-02-10, 08:09 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Originally Posted by MinLShaw View Post
Box office figures are only part of evaluating an animated film with a strong merchandising campaign... It shouldn't factor into how a movie is evaluated...
Just to be clear, I'm not passing judgment on the quality of the films I cited (although I had literally forgotten that I had seen Prince of Egypt until this post). There are plenty of films I've loved that were, at best, modest successes and, at worst, outright flops.

For example, The Iron Giant, one of the best animated films ever, grossed a paltry $23 million domestic. As much as I love that film, there's no denying that it was a box-office bomb.

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=irongiant.htm

I do agree with the point about merchandising also being a factor in determining whether a film is a "hit" in terms of financial success and popularity. However, there's not typically numbers for how much a film has grossed via merchandising, so it's much harder to quantify than box-office.

However, as far as enduring popularity goes, it interesting to look up the prices for the movies' respective soundtracks. All three of Prince of Egypt's soundtracks can be gotten these days for $1-$2 new, while TNBC soundtrack and spinoffs command a higher price (the lowest being a $4.99 sale price for the 2-disc SE from Amazon and Best Buy this week).

http://www.google.com/products?hl=en...ypt+soundtrack
http://www.google.com/products?q=nig...mas+soundtrack
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Old 11-02-10, 08:18 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
I do agree with the point about merchandising also being a factor in determining whether a film is a "hit" in terms of financial success and popularity. However, there's not typically numbers for how much a film has grossed via merchandising, so it's much harder to quantify than box-office.
I think the easiest way to get a sense of it is just to ask, "Was there a sequel or a spin-off?" Because studios have been absolutely shameless in that behavior with anything they think they can sell to families. Granted, it's kind of hard to do a sequel to Anastasia or Prince of Egypt, but they could easily have done some kind of outside-the-movie spinoff if they wished.

However, as far as enduring popularity goes, it interesting to look up the prices for the movies' respective soundtracks. All three of Prince of Egypt's soundtracks can be gotten these days for $1-$2 new, while TNBC soundtrack and spinoffs command a higher price (the lowest being a $4.99 sale price for the 2-disc SE from Amazon and Best Buy this week).
Again, like box office totals, I wouldn't defer entirely to this but it's certainly one more part of the puzzle. Like I said, it seems that people clearly went to see those movies, but they didn't seem to respond to them very strongly once they'd seen them. And it's a shame, too, because I personally would have preferred to see Fox produce more Anastasias than Ice Ages; ditto Dreamworks with Prince of Egypt and Shreks (though I did enjoy Shrek 2 quite a bit).

Wisecracking animals > animated takes on historical figures.
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Old 11-02-10, 08:37 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Originally Posted by MinLShaw View Post
I think the easiest way to get a sense of it is just to ask, "Was there a sequel or a spin-off?" Because studios have been absolutely shameless in that behavior with anything they think they can sell to families. Granted, it's kind of hard to do a sequel to Anastasia or Prince of Egypt, but they could easily have done some kind of outside-the-movie spinoff if they wished.
Anastasia had the DTV spin-off Bartok the Magnificent in 1999:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartok_the_Magnificent

Prince of Egypt had the DTV prequel/spin-off Joseph: King of Dreams in 2000:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph:_King_of_Dreams

Granted, those spin-offs are even less memorable than the original films, but they happened.
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Old 11-02-10, 10:42 PM
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Re: What's the deal with 'The Nightmare Before Christmas?'

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
Anastasia had the DTV spin-off Bartok the Magnificent in 1999:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartok_the_Magnificent

Prince of Egypt had the DTV prequel/spin-off Joseph: King of Dreams in 2000:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph:_King_of_Dreams

Granted, those spin-offs are even less memorable than the original films, but they happened.
Huh. Wouldja look at that? Now that you mention it, I vaguely recall those. Existing, that is; I've never seen either.
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