Issue #21 – The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Polar Express

 

 

 

The Nightmare Before Christmas, directed by Henry Selick (who also directed Coraline) and produced by Tim Burton (director of Beetlejuice, Mars Attacks!, and Frankenweenie), is a stop-motion animated movie released on October 29, 1993 by Disney’s Touchstone banner, and features the voices of Chris Sarandon as Jack Skellington; the Pumpkin King, and Catherine O’ Hara as Sally; the ragdoll, and Jack’s love interest. The movie is about the city of Halloweentown, full of ghosts, goblins, monsters, witches, vampires, and werewolves (yes; that’s the city that has werewolves and vampires), and the king is none other than Jack Skellington, and he gave the folks a frightening scare in Halloweentown. However, time progresses as he got tired of the same thing, having Halloween every day, so he goes to Holidaytown, where said city celebrates the Holidays. His obsession of Holidaytown results him to have a plan for Halloweentown, and that is to kidnap Santa Claus (or as he refer to as, Sandy Claws), and also vision a scary themed version of the Holidays. Though, the Holidays to me are the worst, thanks to family coming over.

This movie is an amazing combination between Halloween and the Holidays. Usually, having an idea where it intertwined can go overboard, but this movie, even execution alone, is outstanding. The character depth also works in the film, where the personalities are to be scary, but also care. The songs, composed and written by Danny Elfman, are some of the best in Holiday musicals. It could be good as a play, even. So, Circles Magazine recommends you see it! It’s a spirit you’ll see every Halloween or the Holidays, and you won’t regret this. For this is no nightmare, it’s a happy dream come true, especially for Jack Skellington!

polar express movie poster

 

Welcome to the Polar Express, a book written in 1985 by Chris Van Allsburg. It’s a book about a little boy who hears a train whistle, and what luck! It’s a train that would take him and the rest of the kids to the North Pole to see Santa and the elves. It is an outstanding Christmas book for many people. The book was listed on the Top 100 Best Picture Books during the 2012 poll by School Library Journal. Heck, there’s even a movie with Tom Hanks as the train conductor. What I learned is the fact that you believe what you believe, and as you grow older, Santa will always be there. You’ll never find a train ride that’s more exhilarating than this!

Based on the book, the Polar Express movie is the story of a nameless boy living in a 1950’s American suburb whose crumbling belief in Santa Claus is bolstered when on one snowy Christmas Eve, a phantom steam train pulls up in front of his house, and a kindly conductor invites him to take a ride to the North Pole. Most of the movie, was

created by digital animators, an example of what you see in big budget blockbuster movies these days. Many of the body movements and voice performances are done by Tom Hanks, whom also happens to be the executive producer. It is one amazing magical ride, and one with a real life rendition you can visit.

Every year, during the Christmas Holiday Season, children can go with their parents and other family members to the Williams Train Depot in Williams, Arizona on specific dates and times so the train can take your family as well as all of the other attending families on a train ride that lasts exactly 90 minutes. From November, the train becomes a magical journey to the North Pole. Everyone hops on the train, sings Christmas carols, drinks hot cocoa, and listens to the story of the Polar Express. There is even a fun surprise for the kids, they are each given a bell to remind them of the Christmas spirit just like in the book! The train at the railway has also done a great job to create memories for the children. The train ride is about 30 minutes each way to and from the North Pole, even if you don’t know the story very well, you will have a stupendously fun time. The train is operated by Santa’s elves and during the train ride Santa and his elves will be singing Christmas Carols and spreading Christmas joy and merriment throughout the entire ride. All passengers of the train, will be given gifts and the best of wishes by Saint Nicholas himself! So if you would like to join in with the fun you’re going to need to book your ride way in advance, because space on the train is limited. So good luck with the task of being on the train. In addition, if distance or scheduling conflicts get in your way a Boulder City version is right next door. Ranging in cost from 14-20 dollars a person “The Pajama Train” is correctly named, because you must arrive in pajamas to ride it. Dress code is strictly enforced… only kidding, so grab a ticket and catch a ride for the holidays.

polar express real life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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