Oct 22, 2023

Nightmare Party

Nightmare Party: Night Two
Coraline / The Nightmare Before Christmas
Mahoning Drive-In Theater - Lehighton, PA

Show banner designed by Andrew Kern

The Trunk Or Treat show for 2023 included screenings of three spooky and family friendly animated features.  Both nights were double features that ended with The Nightmare Before Christmas, but had different films kicking off the night.  Friday's night's first feature was the 1967 Rankin/Bass classic Mad Monster Party, while Saturday kicked off with the 2009 stop-motion animated film Coraline.  We were there on Saturday.

This is always a fun weekend.  People decorate their cars and show up in costume, and many families bring out their kids to go trick-or-treating at the cars that have candy available.

This our friends Susan and Anthony dressed up as plague doctors... and yes, they drive a hearse!

There was a costume contest on the big screen on both nights before the movies began.

After the costume contest, there was a presentation of the 1929 Silly Symphony short: The Skeleton Dance.  If you're into Halloween and spooky things and haven't seen this, I highly recommend that you check it out.  It's amazing that a cartoon that was drawn 93 years ago still has the power to set the tone for the season.

Suzanne Twining filmed a nice introduction that was played before the start of Coraline.  She was one of the animators who worked on the film, as well as several other stop-motion animated shows and movies, including Celebrity Deathmatch and Robot Chicken.

After the introduction, we watched a digital presentation of the 2009 stop-motion animated film: Coraline.  It was written and directed by Henry Selick, who also directed the second half of this double feature, as well as James and the Giant Peach.

We saw Coraline for the first time during its opening weekend in February 2009.  I thought it was a beautiful film with incredible story, but this past weekend at the Mahoning is only the second time I've ever watched it.  I can't explain why that is, because it really is excellent and I strongly recommend to anyone who enjoys animated films, or movies in general.

The second movie of the night was also directed by Henry Selick that has gone on to become one of the most beloved animated films of all time, the Tim Burton holiday classic: The Nightmare Before Christmas.

I didn't get to see The Nightmare Before Christmas when it was first released in 1993, but we did get to see it in theaters when it was re-released in 3-D in 2006.  We also got to see it on the big screen two years ago at the Mahoning during The Weird World Of Tim Burton weekend.  It's on the short list of movies that I'll go out to see any time that it's shown in theaters, especially from October to December.