Ostensibly a picture book adaptation of the film of the same name, The Nightmare Before Christmas is quite the disappointment. Within the span of thirty-seven pages, the book manages to completely change Jack’s motivation, remove most Jack’s supporting cast, and rewrite of the story’s ending. Frankly, it’s kind of upsetting.
In the movie, Jack is bored with the repetitive nature of life in Halloween Town. In this book, he is sick of “Halloweenland” in general, going so far as to say he–the friggin’ Pumpkin King–doesn’t like graveyards. Um, what?
In the movie, Jack’s plotline is supported by Sally’s. In this book, there is no sign of Sally’s existence.
In the movie, Jack’s main antagonist is Oogie Boogie while Sally’s is Dr. Finklestein. In this book, there is no sign of Oogie or the doctor’s existence.
In the movie, Jack must save Santa after Lock, Shock, and Barrel take him to Oogie Boogie. In this book, Santa inexplicably returns to Christmas Town on the second-to-last page and sends Jack home with a weird little lecture about how “Halloween’s the right place for [Jack]”, with the implication being that Jack should just get over himself.
And let’s not get into how clumsy all the poetry is. Seriously not cool, guys. I definitely don’t recommend this picture book; if you want your child to experience The Nightmare Before Christmas, just watch the movie.
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