Friday, October 3, 2014

A Life on the Cutting Edge

So when did The Nightmare Before Christmas become a thing?

I remember when that movie came out.  I went to see it in the theater with some grad school friends of mine, and we were practically the only people there.  I have no idea why the place was that empty – it was a great movie, and this was a college town full of students just eager as all get out to demonstrate their cutting edge cultural bonafides.  Granted, it was Iowa, so perhaps the cutting edge was a bit blunter than it might have been elsewhere, but still.  College students are college students, and the fact was that it was a great little movie.

I really loved the main character, Jack Skellington.  He had such a goofy expression for most of the film.

But whenever I would try to talk about it with people, most of the time I would be greeted with puzzled stares and blank looks.  “What movie?” they’d ask.  “Are you sure that’s a real film and not some whiskey-induced hallucination you’re trying to ret-con your life around?

You have no idea how weird it is for me to have seen a film that others had not.  Usually it’s the other way around, and usually with films a lot more popular than the latest animated Tim Burton movie.  There was a period of my life – stretching from, oh, all of it to the rest of it – where I was fairly unlikely even to see the Oscar winners, let alone anything less mainstream.  And yet here I was, a proto-hipster shilling for a film nobody else seemed to have heard of, except that I really wanted them to have heard of it.  I’ve never understood the whole thing about only liking the obscure and unpopular.  It seems to me that if you like something you should let people know so that whoever made it might be inspired to make more things like it.

And now it’s a thing.

A big thing.

I went over to the nearby Big Chain Drugstore the other day to collect some small subset of the pharmaceuticals which course through out house and what should appear before my wondering eyes but an entire endcap of Nightmare Before Christmas tchotchkes.

You can get your own Jack Skellington figure in sizes ranging from a hand-width up to taller than you are.  You can get Oogie-Boogie Man dolls that light up (no word on whether they come with their own sawmill blades).  You can get notebooks, mugs, and other assorted paraphernalia.  I keep thinking I should get one of those Jack Skellington figures to hang in my office.

It’s kind of a cool thing, really, to see the film become so popular so long after it was released.

I should go watch it again.


KimK said...

One of my students told me yesterday it's her favorite movie. We made a pact to watch it again sometime this month, so I've got homework! (You should but your little Dr. Finkelstein figure on your office desk!)

Random Michelle K said...

My ID badge holder, that I bought years ago when Michael had a conference a Disney, is Nightmare Before Christmas one.

I get lots and lots of comments on it, most of which are "I LOVE that movie!"