Tuesday, September 6, 2022

[Review]—Shea Ernshaw's "Long Live the Pumpkin Queen"

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas has become a cult classic, a must-see watch on Halloween and Christmas. For many years, there have been rumors (or talks) of a sequel, but nothing has come to fruition, with the exception of the recently released young adult novel Long Live the Pumpkin Queen by Shea Ernshaw, published by Disney Press.

The sequel's protagonist is Sally, a ragdoll who marries her love, Jack Skellington, and becomes the Pumpkin Queen of Halloween Town. Their honeymoon is cut short by Halloween celebrations, and Sally quickly realizes that being the "queen" isn't what she expected. Everyone judges everything Sally does and wears, which makes her depressed and causes her to lose her identity. Sally discovers a new door in the forest while attempting to escape her new reality. She enters a new world, Dream Town, where she accidentally unleashes the Sandman, who puts everyone in Halloween Town to sleep. Sally must confront her past in order to save her husband and everyone else in Halloween Town.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I've never wanted a sequel to Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. I adore the 1993 classic, and in my opinion, it's a one-and-done film with a beginning, middle, and end. A sequel is unnecessary. Nonetheless, a novelized sequel from Sally's point of view piqued my interest enough to make me want to read Long Live the Pumpkin Queen. Because I couldn't get my hands on a printed copy, I settled for the audiobook narrated by Cissy Jones.

Even though I wouldn't classify Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas as a franchise, it is an important intellectual property for the Mickey Mouse company. Unfortunately, it was determined that rewriting Sally's backstory would be a fantastic idea by the author, Disney Press, or someone in a higher position at Disney. She is no longer a Frankenstein creature that Dr. Finkelstein stitched together. Instead, when Sally was a young child, Dr. Finkelstein abducted her from Dream Town. Sally does have parents, whom she meets in this follow-up. 

Sally's persona alludes to the Bride of Frankenstein. She is nothing more than that, and changing her past for the sake of being "woke" is inappropriate. I didn't like the change and was disappointed with how things turned out.  

Although "Long Live the Pumpkin Queen" has an engaging story overall, the flowery language takes away from the story and makes it uninteresting. When you consider the needless changes made to Sally's past, this novel is a complete mess from beginning to end. The amusing narration by Cissy Jones was the only thing I enjoyed, which is why I'm giving it a better rating than it merits. Cissy did an excellent job as Sally, but she is no Catherine O'Hara.★★★✰✰

1 comment:

  1. Completely agreed, Long live the pumpkin Queen is uninteresting :/ really disappointing novel


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