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How 'Nightmare Before Christmas' is Playing Across America

Checking in at a theater in Peoria, Ill.

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How 'Nightmare Before Christmas' is Playing Across America

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Snow White it ain't. So even though Disney's offbeat animated fantasy Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas broke box-office records in exclusive engagements on the coasts, we wondered how the macabre musical would fare in the heartland, especially with kids. On Halloween weekend, Peoria, Ill., parents and children discussed whether Nightmare was a trick or a treat:

Chris Hibbard, 5, with mom Cindy Walker
Chris: I liked it when the bugs comed out of the bad monster.
Cindy: It was different, I'll say that for it.

Matt Micheltti, 6, with dad Steve Micheltti
Matt: It was funny when Jack Skellington was trying to look like Santa Claus.
Steve: It was airtight, but it didn't do a whole lot for me.

Brandon Gordon, 6, and Wesley Gordon, 8, with mom Barb Gordon
Brandon: I liked when they showed the blade that was going to cut them.
Wesley: I liked the ghost, and I liked when he got killed and all the bugs came out of him.
Barb: The animation was terrific.
Brandon: I liked the graphics.
Wesley: He's really into video games and graphics, so he really does know what he's talking about.

Ryan Hogan, 10, and Nicholas Hogan, 4, with mom Diane Hogan
Ryan: It was funny when they went riding in a coffin that was supposed to be a sled.
Diane: The story was for kids, but the animation was for adults. There was nothing too scary about it. I think it's okay for younger children if they don't mind scary things. Were you guys scared?
Nicholas: No.
Ryan: No way, Mom. No way.

Jonathan Lady, 9, and Shannon Lady, 11, with mom Melinda Lady
Jonathan: I liked it when Jack rescued Santa. I thought it was really good.
Shannon: It was cool. I think it was pretty much about how you shouldn't try to be somebody you're not.
Jonathan: Yeah, you should be happy with who you are.
Melinda: You got that out of it?

Originally posted Nov 12, 1993 Published in issue #196 Nov 12, 1993 Order article reprints