Re: The Danny Elfman Appreciation Thread
“This Is Halloween” is a playfully spooky and gloomy song that represents Jack and the citizens of Halloween Town. It also informs the listener/viewer that the citizens/monsters of Halloween Town aren’t mean or dangerous but different. And only use what makes them unusual to commemorate Halloween. This song really honors the spirit of Halloween. And gives the audience a reasonable understanding of why these characters spend 365 days to prepare for that holiday to only celebrate it once a year. The melody which is utilized throughout the score is the theme that depicts Halloween Town and it’s inhabitants.
“Jack’s Lament” is a melancholic track which highlights Jacks boredom of Halloween and his position at Halloween Town. As well as his yearning for something fresh. The melody in this track imitates Jack’s depression and emotional side. Both the lyrics and music manages to assist the audience on sympathizing with Jack ‘s disinterest of his public persona. I could tell through Elfman’s passionate singing voice that he got a real grasp on Jack’s inner turmoil and frustration of being the Pumpkin King.
“What’s This?” is probably the catchiest song of the whole score. The melody portrays Jack’s curiosity, which in this case is of Christmas. While the first two songs were underwhelming (in a good way) and melodramatic. However, “What’s This?“ is a very amusing and humorous song that explores the more pleasant and whimsical side of the score. It has a Christmas-y tone, which even includes sleigh bells rings at one point of the song. “What’s This?” does an immaculate job of mimicking the spirit of Christmas Town and the hoiday in general. It’s a very optimistic and dynamic track. I really get a sense of Jack’s excitement through Elfman’s hyperactive singing, which could be contagious for the listener/viewer. It really compliments Jack being inspired and rejuvenated to seek Christmas for his next holiday instead of Halloween again.
“Town Meeting Song” exhibits the absurd and dark humor of the moment when Jack displays some examples of what he discovered from Christmas Town to the citizens of Halloween Town. As they try to process what Jack’s presenting to them, they continue to misconstrue the fundamentals behind Christmas by sharing some bizarre and wicked suggestions as gifts and such, which are of course more appropriate for Halloween gags. The melody for this song is basically Halloween Town’s secondary theme. It supports Halloween Town’s morbid curiosity and enthusiasm of Christmas.
Elfman gets more melodramatic with “Jack’s Obsession”. This particular melody is another theme for Jack whereas this one emphasizes his difficulty of grasping his fixation of Christmas and it’s significance. It’s a very touching melody that examines Jack’s passion for creating his own Christmas.
Some might find ”Kidnap The Sandy Claws” mean spirited with some of the cruel ways Lock, Shock, and Barrel describe how they plan to seize Santa but it’s all tongue in cheek. It’s a twisted and mischievous song but it’s part of this score’s charm. The melody is a perfect fit for the corrupt children. “Kidnap The Sandy Claus” is another instance of this film’s dark sense of humor. It’s skillfully performed by Elfman, Catherine O’Hara, and Paul “Pee Wee” Reubens, who actually sound like demented little children in this track.