The other night I had a chance to screen the 3-D version of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. All things considered, the folks at ILM who converted the film (which was not shot in 3-D in the first place) did a pretty good job. And since it wasn’t designed for 3-D there weren’t many opportunities to have things go deep into the background or pop off the screen, but the effect holds up pretty well throughout the picture. A new introductory countdown piece (featuring a pumpkinhead jack-in-the-box) is the best 3-D gag in the picture. The new Walt Disney Pictures logo looks pretty cool in three dimensions too. This online featurette tries to explain what they did to achieve the new 3-D effects.The original Henry Selick film was always a lot of fun (and let’s not forget Joe Ranft’s important contributions to the story) – and Danny Elfman’s operatic score is one his greatest achievements. A new Special Edition soundtrack album (I snagged a freebie at the screening) contains Danny’s original demo tracks and some great covers by Fionna Apple (Sally’s Song), Marilyn Manson (This Is Halloween) and Fall Out Boy (What’s This?).The new Nightmare opens in theaters this Friday, October 20, along with Pixar’s 3-D short Knick Knack.

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Jerry Beck

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