I hate holiday movies, and I think that this is the only Christmas movie that I can stand, even if Hot Topic and Disney have marketed the heck out of it with insipid t-shirts, ugly dolls and crappy Christmas ornaments.
The animation sure looks herky-jerky now. It's not necessary a bad thing; it suits the medium just fine. But when you watch certain characters move - the vampires and the werewolf spring to mind - their movement looks so uneven compared to more recent stop-motion movies like Coraline or even The Corpse Bride. But who cares? It's still an awesome movie.
I go back and forth on whether I like Sally. On the one hand, she's a clever and active heroine who does what she must to achieve her goals - whether it's poisoning her father/creator, disassembling herself or being a creepy Pumpkin King stalker. But on the other hand, she's annoying. Her stupid little Christmas vision comes out of the blue - why does she suddenly have psychic powers? Her voice just bothers me, too - too high-pitched.
But whatever. The star of this movie is Jack Skellington and everybody knows it. I love that his stretched limbs give him the ability to move like a four-limbed spider...perfect for the leader of Halloween. His skull face is simple, but so expressive that you always know exactly what the character is thinking. He's just well-designed from head to toe; add in a decent voice actor and you've got an extremely memorable character. It always struck me as odd, though, that Danny Elfman sings his vocals and a different actor (Chris Sarandon, according to IMDB) actually spoke his dialogue. The voices are pretty close but I can never completely reconcile them.
But hey, a family-friendly hybrid of Halloween and Christmams! This is the perfect movie to watch in November, when you're fighting off Christmas and don't want to deal with Thanksgiving, but begrudgingly admit to a tiny bit of holiday spirit.