Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”

Burton has occasionally faltered when venturing into other filmmakers’ territory, but he rules his home turf like no one else in the business, crafting one magical masterpiece after another with such consistency that his name now gets stamped on the title frame like a brand identity. This spiritual sequel to “The Nightmare Before Christmas” was co-directed by Burton and shares both his Gothic, Expressionist aesthetic and the charming, befuddled everyman who is his usual hero, but the difficulty of making it in traditional claymation was apparently too much of a burden for the filmmakers to bear, because it ends abruptly and wastes no precious seconds deviating from the simple plot. Why create such an enchanting world in a unique physical dimension and spend so little time there? The film does inspire laughs with some great sight gags, and damned if its little clay puppets don’t tug a heartstring or two, but ultimately the film is just too short to satisfy.

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