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Tim Burton's The nightmare before Christmas (edition 2005)

by Jun Asuka, Tim Burton

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1611074,103 (3.5)1
Member:bertilak
Title:Tim Burton's The nightmare before Christmas
Authors:Jun Asuka
Other authors:Tim Burton
Info:New York, N.Y. : Disney Press, c2005.
Collections:Your library, Read in 2012
Rating:***1/2
Tags:source=TheAttic, cost=50, retail=899, manga, halloween, Halloween Town, routine, emptiness, Christmas Town, trick or treat, Christmas Eve, Sandy Claws, scary Christmas, chilling New Year, abduction, contentment

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Disney Manga Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas by Jun Asuka

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Review originally found on Looking Glass Reads.

It took an awfully long time for me to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas. Decades, in fact. I wasn’t quite five when it came out, and my parents banned me from watching it on account of me being too scared. This was probably a smart move in retrospect as I vividly remember being terrified that Halloween by a fellow trick or treater dressed up as a ghost (quite literally a middle schooler under a sheet with two eye holes cut out) and ran down the block, screaming, and refused to believe it wasn’t a real ghost. (Sorry, Dad).

Now, at long last, I can say that I have officially watched the movie. And read the manga.

November 22, 2016 will mark the release of Disney Manga Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, written by Jun Asuka. This is a hardcover special collector’s edition manga featuring the story of The Nightmare Before Christmas, published by TokyoPop.

Yes, you read that right. The official title is Disney Manga Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, a thing of truly asinine length.

Inane additions to the movie title aside, this is a manga adaptation of the iconic movie. And I have some mixed reactions.

First off, let’s look at the dialogue. For the most part, it’s very good. Text from the songs weaves its way through the narrative. The humor and macabre charm of the movie are retained, and retained well. However, every once in a while there is a line that makes you pause, and go ‘what?’

Now, this didn’t happen often, but it shouldn’t have happened at all. If this were a normal manga translated into English I could understand this happening. I would not condone or excuse it, but I do understand. Translating fiction is more of an art than a science. Some words have no direct translation, and nuance can be lost. But this is not a translation. The movie the story is taken from was originally in English. And, even if these bizarre, grammatically baffling lines were in the movie, they simply cannot be retained in original form within the manga. This is, after all, a much different medium. Flaws in dialogue may not be immediately obvious, or else covered well by on-screen distractions or sheer acting skill. Manga, by and large, does not have such distractions.

But this is a manga, isn’t it? So how does the iconic character and world design translate into a manga?

Some pages are beautifully drawn with immaculate detail. Other pages are virtually blank, with little to nonexistent backgrounds. It’s almost as if the assistant in charge of background was on sick leave and no one bothered to finish drawing those cells. Now, lack of background can be fine with well detailed characters. However, the character design does not work in favor of this technique. Long, thin limbs and extraordinarily round heads make Jack and Sally look like stick figures on a blank page. And this is a real shame, because where they actually tried the drawing is very beautiful.

I also want to mention another aspect of the drawing style. In some sections a more western comic book style of shading is used, namely the myriad of dots, etc., we are used to seeing. The blend of styles works well together. It’s just a little bit different, an interesting combination. However, it suffers from the same thing the rest of the art suffers from. Inconsistency. This design choice isn’t used everywhere, popping up only sometimes throughout the book with no clear rhyme or reason I could discern.

I struggled to give this a proper rating. Everything that really shines – the plot, the characters – are pulled from the original movie. The inconsistency of the art is where this book really falls short. In the end, I gave Disney Manga Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas a solid three stars. I expect many fans will buy a copy or receive one as a gift, even if its purpose will only be to sit on a shelf and round out a collection of related merchandise, the cover doomed to never open. If you are not a fan of the movie, but you enjoy manga, do keep in mind that the art is less than stellar in places and does leave something to be desired.
( )
  kateprice88 | Jan 30, 2017 |
This story loses a lot of its magic in translation. It just doesn't come across with the same feeling. Super fans are still going to need it for their collection, but it was a let down for me.

***copy given in exchange for an honest review*** ( )
  ToniFGMAMTC | Jan 19, 2017 |
This story loses a lot of its magic in translation. It just doesn't come across with the same feeling. Super fans are still going to need it for their collection, but it was a let down for me.

***copy given in exchange for an honest review*** ( )
  ToniFGMAMTC | Jan 19, 2017 |
Pros: great artwork, good condensing of the story, one scene is moved creating more tension

Cons: abrupt opening, inclusion of lyrics makes for disjointed storytelling

Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, is tired of his job. When he stumbles across a doorway to another holiday land, he comes up with a plan to take over Christmas.

This is a manga version of the Disney film The Nightmare Before Christmas, based on Tim Burton’s children’s story of the same name. It follows the film exactly, even going so far as to reproduce song lyrics and dialogue verbatim.

I enjoyed the stylized manga artwork. The characters had a vibrancy and motion to them.

The story is condensed well, keeping the essentials but not including everything. One scene towards the end was moved to a different place, creating significantly more tension than that scene has in the film.

The opening is quite abrupt, starting with the line about discovering where holidays come from rather than the lead in lines the movie has.

Unfortunately the inclusion of lyrics made some dialogue and narration feel clunky and disjointed. There’s unnecessary repetition in some scenes, while others have phrases that go nowhere. The scene where Lock, Shock, and Barrel discuss plans for kidnapping Sandy Claws goes like this:
“I heard he has razor sharp claws!”
“We’ll kidnap Mr. Sandy Claws!”
“First we’re going to set some bait.”
“I can’t wait to see how scary he is.”
“But you know… Mr. Oogie Boogie Might be even scarier.”
In the film, the bait line in the song is followed by the rest of the plan to use the bait to catch Santa. Here, it’s mentioned but not referred to again, making it feel out of place. The end of the comic has fewer song lyrics, and the storytelling becomes more coherent. Instead of forcing one or two lyric lines into the text and explaining what the missing lyrics would have, the writer was able to simply tell a good story.

Despite my annoyance with the text at times, it is a good physical rendition of the film, for those who love it. ( )
  Strider66 | Nov 29, 2016 |
I may be the only person left alive who hasn't seen this movie.The first time it came on television I do remember starting to watch it but for some reason switched it over. I love the art, though, which any person who ventures into the world of merchandise has seen. The art is great in this manga retelling and from what I can tell everyone looks exactly as they should. It is a decent story but doesn't make me want to watch the movie, as it has songs in it and I'm not partial to musicals. ( )
  ElizaJane | Nov 28, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Asuka, Junprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Muell, JasonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786838493, Paperback)

Jack Skellington’s got the blues. He’s sick and tired of his hometown holiday, Halloween, and is longing for something new. But when his soul searching leads to his good-intentioned kidnapping of Santa, things start getting pretty hairy! Now, for the first time, fans can read the story of how Jack almost ruined Christmas in manga form. This Japanese comic retelling of one of Disney’s most enduring films is the coolest thing to hit the shelves this season.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:45 -0400)

The story of Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king, who decides to bring the magic of Christmas back to Halloween Town.

(summary from another edition)

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