Tue. Sep 26th, 2023

The full title is a bit of a mouthful, but the new book Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: Beyond Halloween Town: The Story, the Characters, and the Legacy is now available. The 168-page hardcover book from Epic Ink is a great look at how The Nightmare Before Christmas has impacted pop culture and has captivated a fandom for decades. With new quotes from Tim Burton, Danny Elfman, Catherine O’Hara, and more, it’s a great look for fans looking to further their appreciation of the 1993 film.

Broken into six chapters and featuring a foreword from Burton himself, the book does a great job of giving an overview of many aspects of the film without getting too into the weeds. The first 50 or so pages focus on the film’s inspiration and production. Some fantastic interviews with animators and sculptors are accompanied by some fantastic behind-the-scenes photos and concept art, which are all laid out in a visually pleasing manner. It later details how the stop-motion movie went from being a modest box office success to becoming the cultural behemoth that it is now.

One of the aspects of Beyond Halloween Town I really enjoyed, and one that sets it apart from a lot of other books on the subject matter, is how much it goes into the greater impact that The Nightmare Before Chrismas has had. It touches on everything from the now iconic music and its appearances in video games to how the fandom celebrates the series through cosplay and themed weddings. It casts a wide net, but nothing is really missed (Blink-182’s “I Miss You” even gets a page), and I wound up learning a lot throughout the book about how its world has been fleshed out over time.

My personal favorite section was on the music and songs. Burton and Elfman discuss their collaboration in detail, and there’s some great insight into how “This Is Halloween” was also inspired by Elfman’s time fronting Oingo Boingo. There are some great photos of live performances as well, including a great one of Elfman on stage with Catherine O’Hara and the late Paul Reubens. It even features some quotes from bands that have done covers, such as Rise Against and Plain White T’s.

Beyond Halloween Town Review: The Final Verdict

With a unique angle of exploring the cultural impact of Henry Selick and Burton’s classic movie, Beyond Halloween Town does a great job of explaining why The Nightmare Before Christmas has resonated with audiences so much. What’s most impressive is the full view it gives readers by showcasing all of the hard work that went into every aspect of the film and how the fandom has helped turn it into the merchandise powerhouse that it is today. Lovely to look at and filled with insight, this is a great purchase for any fan of Jack Skellington’s adventure.

Disclosure: ComingSoon was sent a copy by the publisher for our The Nightmare Before Christmas: Beyond Halloween Town review.

By Dave Jenks

Dave Jenks is an American novelist and Veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Between those careers, he’s worked as a deckhand, commercial fisherman, divemaster, taxi driver, construction manager, and over the road truck driver, among many other things. He now lives on a sea island, in the South Carolina Lowcountry, with his wife and youngest daughter. They also have three grown children, five grand children, three dogs and a whole flock of parakeets. Stinnett grew up in Melbourne, Florida and has also lived in the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and Cozumel, Mexico. His next dream is to one day visit and dive Cuba.