It’s perhaps the ultimate irony that when Nightmare Before Christmas came out that the Walt Disney Company released it through their Touchstone division for fear of reprisals for the ghoulish tale. Their fears (or stupidity as it were) were misplaced and the tale was very family friendly and has become much loved by both kids and adults.
With this success the company is more than happy to now plaster “Walt Disney Pictures presents” on the new 3D release of the film and now the special edition soundtrack. Ironic, innit? Frankly, I didn’t have high hopes for this release. I reviewed the Little Mermaid soundtrack and was underwhelmed. Luckily, this release at least presents what feels like a full CD of bonus material (the Mermaid soundtrack only had 4 songs on disc 2).
The Nightmare soundtrack disc 1 is the exact same disc that was originally released, including the Patrick Stewart narration which Elfman preferred (another person did the narration in the movie). Standouts (and my favorites) include “This is Halloween,” “What’s This?,” “Kidnap the Sandy Claws,” and “Oogie Boogie’s song.”
So what’s on disc 2? They’ve invited several artists to redo songs from the film, including Marilyn Manson (This is Halloween), Fiona Apple (Sally’s Song), Fall Out Boy (What’s This?), She Wants Revenge (Kidnap the Sandy Claws), and Panic at the Disco (This is Halloween). My opinions of these additions vary.
Marilyn Manson’s version was okay, but I preferred Panic at the Disco’s version of “This is Halloween.” I did not like Fiona Apple’s version and prefer the original of “Sally’s Song.” I felt nearly the same way about She Wants Revenge’s version of “Kidnap the Sandy Claws.” The best one was “What’s This?” performed by Fall Out Boy.
You’d think from my mostly lukewarm reaction to those that I’m going to trash the disc right? Wrong! What makes this disc a must have are the 4 demo versions of “Making Christmas,” “Oogie Boogie’s Song,” “This is Halloween,” and “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” performed by Danny Elfman.
These are excellent and well worth the cost of the disc alone. Frankly, I think that this disc is more worth a purchase than the Little Mermaid re-release.
The second disc at least feels like a full disc of bonus material. I think that Nightmare fans will appreciate the redos of the songs (your opinion may vary than mine on what’s your favorite of the five), but the Danny Elfman demos are the real treasures of disc 2. A must have for Nightmare fans.