The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) is a stop-action animated musical film about the inhabitants of Halloween Town who take over Christmas one year, directed by stop-motion animator Henry Selick. The film is loosely based on drawings and a poem by Tim Burton, and he served as co-producer. He did not direct the film as is sometimes believed, but he was still heavily involved.

The film was released by Touchstone Pictures, a film studio owned by the Walt Disney Company, after the main Walt Disney Pictures division balked at some of the darker content.

Synopsis

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

The film centers around Jack Skellington, the much adored leader of Halloween Town. Although Jack is loved and respected by the townspeople, he feels that there is something unknown to him that is missing from his life. One day while wandering in the woods with his dog zero, Jack discovers a circle of trees unlike anything that he has seen before. Each tree has a door on it representing a different holiday. When Jack opens the Christmas door he is sucked into the wonderful world of Christmas Town. Jack is mesmerized by the color and cheerfulness of the holiday, and realizes that this is exactly what he has been searching for.

When Jack returns to Halloween Town he locks himself in his home and performs countless experiments to try and better understand Christmas Town. Soon Jack calls a meeting in Town Hall and reveals his plans to takeover Christmas. All of the townspeople pitch in to create their own twisted version of the holiday. Sally, a close friend and admirer of Jack, tries to warn him that she thinks it is a bad idea to take over something he knows nothing about, but Jack is too wrapped in his fantasies to listen.

In order to successfully take over Christmas, Jack enlists the help of a trio of misfits named Lock, Shock, and Barrel to kidnap Santa Claus. The children take him to a villainous monster named Oogie Boogie.

On Christmas Eve, Jack embarks on his makeshift sleigh flanked by skeleton reindeers and his ghost dog, Zero. Jack's scary and sometimes dangerous presents put the people in the real world in a panic and they begin to call the police with reports of attacking Christmas toys and an imposter Santa Claus. In not too long, Jack is targeted by the military and shot down. At the same time, Sally goes to try and rescue Santa Claus but is captured by Oogie Boogie and the two are in risk of their lives.

When Jack finds himself and his sleigh crashed in a graveyard and his vision of Christmas wrecked, he realizes that he is the Pumpkin King and that he should stick to what he knows best, namely Halloween. In order to salvage Christmas Jack hurries back to Halloween Town and confronts Oogie Boogie. After Jack destroys Oogie, revealing him to be nothing more that a burlap monster full of bugs, Santa Claus hurries to deliver the correct presents and save Christmas. Once Santa has delivered all the presents he brings the Christmas spirit to Halloween Town, including snow, and the citizens are amazed by the new sensations.

Finally, Sally reveals her true feelings to Jack and in the end of the movie the two begin a relationship.

Legacy

When the movie originally was released it failed to live up to expectations and was considered a flop. However, when it was released on video a new audience began to discover it and slowly it began to grow a cult following. The same studio that produced Nightmare later created another stop motion movie based on the Roald Dahl book, James and the Giant Peach (1996), though it did not receive the same amount of success.

In 2005, Tim Burton returned to the media of stop motion with his new film, Corpse Bride.

Merchandising

Currently, 'Nightmare Before Christmas' has become one of the most sucessful franchises in terms of selling merchandise, and the film has developed a group of very dedicated collectors. Much of the original merchandise has become highly collectible and rare. In the past few years many retail stores like Hot Topic have obtained the rights to sell products and have flooded the market with what some believe to be cheap and uninspired merchandise.

Technical data

  • Title: The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Directed by: Henry Selick
  • Written by: Caroline Thompson and Michael McDowell
  • Music by: Danny Elfman
  • Released on: October 13, 1993
  • American picture
  • Specifications: Technicolor, 35 mm 1.66:1 (colours, Dolby digital sound)
  • Genre: animation, fantasy, satire, musical
  • Runtime: 76 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG

Starfield Creations

Cast (voices)

  • Chris Sarandon: Jack Skellington (speaking)
  • Danny Elfman: Jack Skellington (singing), Barrel, The Clown with the tearawayface
  • Catherine O'Hara: Sally, Shock
  • William Hickey: Dr. Finklestein
  • Glenn Shadix: Mayor
  • Paul Reubens: Lock
  • Ken Page: Oogie Boogie

On the soundtrack album, Patrick Stewart voices the opening narrative poem. A second poem, also read by Stewart, is included before the "End Credits" music; in this passage, Santa Claus describes a visit he made to Halloween Town many years after the events of the film.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

For the past five years, the Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland in California and Japan have received a Nightmare Before Christmas themed overlay, called Haunted Mansion Holiday, for their Haunted Mansion attractions. The attractions are closed in October each year for themes to be completely overhauled, and open until January of the next year. The attraction generally has a one night opening event each year that includes special guests, a dinner, special merchandise, and a ride through the attraction, although the Happiest Celebration on Earth halted that in Disneyland in 2005. Starting in 2001, the ride has included a score that was written specifically for the ride by film composer Danny Elfman. There has been a great deal of speculation recently that 2006 will be last year for the event, allegedly at Tim Burton's request.

Video games

A video game based on the original movie was released in 2005. The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge is an action/adventure game developed by Capcom from Japan for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox systems. Intended to be a sequel to the movie, the game features the return of all the well-known characters in a new and arguably darker story with upgraded versions of the movie's songs. In the story, Jack leaves Halloween Town to satisfy his curiosity, but during his absence, Oogie Boogie is reconstructed and by the time Jack returns he has taken over Halloween Town and tricked its people into thinking Jack has abandoned them. Now Jack has to stop Oogie Boogie's evil plans as he attempts to take over the other holiday worlds, and the 'real' world. The game features controls similar to Devil May Cry. The game features a weapon known as a 'Soul Robber'. In the game you get other costumes such as "Pumpkin King," and "Santa Jack".


A GBA game, "The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King" came out in fall 2005. The opposite of the Playstation and Xbox versions, the GBA game works as a prequel to the movie. The Pumpkin King is a side-scrolling action platformer in which you'll control Jack Skellington and use a number of different weapons to fight enemies and traverse obstacles. The side-scrolling adventure game centers around the first time Jack faced off against his nemesis, Oogie Boogie, to eventually become the Pumpkin King. The game's plot will kick off with the invasion of some unusual bugs in Halloween Town. Jack soon discovers that these nasty insects are under the control of Oogie Boogie, who's looking to take over Halloween himself. With these creepy wheels set in motion, it will be up to Jack and his friends--including characters such as Zero, Sally, Dr. Finklestein, and others--to both stop Oogie and save Halloween.

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Halloween Town also appears as one of the worlds in the Square Enix/Disney Kingdom Hearts video game series (in fact, it was the movie's first official video game appearance). In this game, Jack tries to create an artificial heart so he can control the Heartless for use in his "Heartless Halloween," but the plan goes awry when Oogie Boogie (who was one of the Disney villains allied with Maleficent) steals the heart, ingests it, and tries to use it to control the Heartless for his own purposes. Jack then teams up with Sora and the others to stop Oogie Boogie's plans. Jack can also join Sora's party whenever they are in Halloween Town. Kingdom Hearts II follows the movie plot, where Jack tries to take over Santa Claus' place on Christmas.

Trading Card Game

Sometime during 2005, a card game, titled The Nightmare Before Christmas TCG, was released. Released were starter decks and a base set. In March 2006, there will be a new set, called Christmas Town, and a Tournament Kit released.


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In March 2006, there will be a new set, called Christmas Town, and a Tournament Kit released. These campaigns have involved figures such as Pope John Paul, Dorismar, Los Tigres del Norte and Mana. Released were starter decks and a base set. Conservationists in Mexico and the United States have launched "Don't Eat Sea Turtle" campaigns in order to reduce the urban black market trade in sea turtle products. Sometime during 2005, a card game, titled The Nightmare Before Christmas TCG, was released. Estimates are as high as 35,000 turtles killed a year in Mexico and the same number in Nicaragua. Kingdom Hearts II follows the movie plot, where Jack tries to take over Santa Claus' place on Christmas. This is a pervasive problem throughout the world, but especially a concern in India, Indonesia and throughout the coastal nations of Latin America.

Jack can also join Sora's party whenever they are in Halloween Town. One of the biggest threats to sea turtles is the black market trade in eggs and meat. Jack then teams up with Sora and the others to stop Oogie Boogie's plans. Special lighting ordinances may also be enforced to prevent lights from shining on the beach and confusing young hatchlings from thinking it is the moon or sun and crawling toward it, usually crossing a road. In this game, Jack tries to create an artificial heart so he can control the Heartless for use in his "Heartless Halloween," but the plan goes awry when Oogie Boogie (who was one of the Disney villains allied with Maleficent) steals the heart, ingests it, and tries to use it to control the Heartless for his own purposes. This is not the best thing to do, as many turtle species return to the beach on which they were born. Halloween Town also appears as one of the worlds in the Square Enix/Disney Kingdom Hearts video game series (in fact, it was the movie's first official video game appearance). In some areas, such as the East coast of Florida, after the adult turtles lay their eggs, they are dug up and relocated to special fenced nurseries where they can be protected from beach traffic.

Finklestein, and others--to both stop Oogie and save Halloween. Since sea turtles return to the same locations to nest, these areas may be protected by special police. With these creepy wheels set in motion, it will be up to Jack and his friends--including characters such as Zero, Sally, Dr. Beach development is another very, very large area which has threatened sea turtles. Jack soon discovers that these nasty insects are under the control of Oogie Boogie, who's looking to take over Halloween himself. Another danger comes from marine debris, especially from abandonded fishing nets in which they can become entangled. The game's plot will kick off with the invasion of some unusual bugs in Halloween Town. Small and inexpensive changes to fishing techniques, such as slightly larger hooks and traps from which sea turtles can escape, can dramatically cut the mortality rate.

The side-scrolling adventure game centers around the first time Jack faced off against his nemesis, Oogie Boogie, to eventually become the Pumpkin King. According to researchers at the 24th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Conservation and Biology, in Costa Rica the Pacific Leatherback has ten years before extinction if nothing is done to reverse these problems. The Pumpkin King is a side-scrolling action platformer in which you'll control Jack Skellington and use a number of different weapons to fight enemies and traverse obstacles. Each year it is said that 40,000 turtles die from longlines alone. The opposite of the Playstation and Xbox versions, the GBA game works as a prequel to the movie. These days though their biggest threat comes from long-line fishing, and as bycatch in shrimp nets, as well as over development on nesting beaches.
A GBA game, "The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King" came out in fall 2005. And coastal peoples have always gathered turtle eggs for consumption.

In the game you get other costumes such as "Pumpkin King," and "Santa Jack". They used to be hunted on a large scale in the whaling days for their meat, fat and shells. The game features a weapon known as a 'Soul Robber'. The Flat back is considered Data Deficient due to lack of research. The game features controls similar to Devil May Cry. The Olive ridley, Loggerhead, and Green turtles are considered Endangered. Now Jack has to stop Oogie Boogie's evil plans as he attempts to take over the other holiday worlds, and the 'real' world. The Leatherback, Kemp's ridley, and Hawksbill turtles are listed as Critically Endangered.

In the story, Jack leaves Halloween Town to satisfy his curiosity, but during his absence, Oogie Boogie is reconstructed and by the time Jack returns he has taken over Halloween Town and tricked its people into thinking Jack has abandoned them. Spotila's book "Sea Turtles: A Complete Guide to Their Biology, Behavior, and Conservation"). Intended to be a sequel to the movie, the game features the return of all the well-known characters in a new and arguably darker story with upgraded versions of the movie's songs. Sea turtles of all species are endangered (for an excellent reference see James R. The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge is an action/adventure game developed by Capcom from Japan for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox systems. Only a very small proportion of them (at most 1 in 100) will be successful, as many predators are waiting to eat them. A video game based on the original movie was released in 2005. When the eggs hatch, these baby turtles dig their way out and seek the ocean.

There has been a great deal of speculation recently that 2006 will be last year for the event, allegedly at Tim Burton's request. Incubation takes about 2 months. Starting in 2001, the ride has included a score that was written specifically for the ride by film composer Danny Elfman. Some of the eggs are unfertilized 'dummy eggs' and the rest contain young turtles. The attraction generally has a one night opening event each year that includes special guests, a dinner, special merchandise, and a ride through the attraction, although the Happiest Celebration on Earth halted that in Disneyland in 2005. They dig a hole with their hind flippers and lay from 100 to 150 eggs in it (depending on the species) before covering it up and returning to the ocean. The attractions are closed in October each year for themes to be completely overhauled, and open until January of the next year. They make from four to seven nests per nesting season.

For the past five years, the Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland in California and Japan have received a Nightmare Before Christmas themed overlay, called Haunted Mansion Holiday, for their Haunted Mansion attractions. This can take place every two to four years in maturity. A second poem, also read by Stewart, is included before the "End Credits" music; in this passage, Santa Claus describes a visit he made to Halloween Town many years after the events of the film. After about 30 years of maturing an adult female sea turtle returns to the land to nest, usually on the same beach from which they hatched. On the soundtrack album, Patrick Stewart voices the opening narrative poem. The numbers used to range in the thousands but these days due to the effects of extensive egg poaching and hunting in previous years the numbers are in the hundreds. Starfield Creations. With the Kemp's ridley this occurs during the day and on only one beach in the entire world.

In the past few years many retail stores like Hot Topic have obtained the rights to sell products and have flooded the market with what some believe to be cheap and uninspired merchandise. The ridley turtles are especially peculiar because instead of nesting individually like the other species, they come ashore in one mass arrival known as an "arribada" (the arrival). Much of the original merchandise has become highly collectible and rare. The fact that most species return to nest at the locations they were born at seems to indicate an imprint of that location's magnetic features. Currently, 'Nightmare Before Christmas' has become one of the most sucessful franchises in terms of selling merchandise, and the film has developed a group of very dedicated collectors. They are highly sensitive to the Earth's magnetic field and probably use it to navigate. In 2005, Tim Burton returned to the media of stop motion with his new film, Corpse Bride. Sea turtles have an extraordinary sense of time and location.

The same studio that produced Nightmare later created another stop motion movie based on the Roald Dahl book, James and the Giant Peach (1996), though it did not receive the same amount of success. The Leatherback is the only sea turtle that doesn't have a hard shell instead carrying a mosaic of bony plates beneath its leathery skin. However, when it was released on video a new audience began to discover it and slowly it began to grow a cult following. Different species are distinguished by varying anatomical aspects: for instance the prefrontal scales on the head, the number of and shape of scutes on the carapace, and the type of inframarginal scutes on the plastron. When the movie originally was released it failed to live up to expectations and was considered a flop. Most other species are smaller being two to four feet in length (0.5 to 1 m) and proportionally less wide. Finally, Sally reveals her true feelings to Jack and in the end of the movie the two begin a relationship. The Leatherback is the largest, measuring six or seven feet (2 m) in length at maturity, and three to five feet (1 to 1.5 m) in width, weighing up to 1300 pounds (600 kg).

Once Santa has delivered all the presents he brings the Christmas spirit to Halloween Town, including snow, and the citizens are amazed by the new sensations. The Flatback turtle is found solely on the northern coast of Australia. After Jack destroys Oogie, revealing him to be nothing more that a burlap monster full of bugs, Santa Claus hurries to deliver the correct presents and save Christmas.
Sea turtles are found in all the world's oceans with the exception of the Arctic Ocean, and some species travel between oceans. In order to salvage Christmas Jack hurries back to Halloween Town and confronts Oogie Boogie. There are seven surviving species of sea turtle, all endangered:. When Jack finds himself and his sleigh crashed in a graveyard and his vision of Christmas wrecked, he realizes that he is the Pumpkin King and that he should stick to what he knows best, namely Halloween. Sea turtles are large, ocean-dwelling turtles.

At the same time, Sally goes to try and rescue Santa Claus but is captured by Oogie Boogie and the two are in risk of their lives. Family Protostegidae (extinct). In not too long, Jack is targeted by the military and shot down. Dermochelys coriacea (Leatherback Sea Turtle). Jack's scary and sometimes dangerous presents put the people in the real world in a panic and they begin to call the police with reports of attacking Christmas toys and an imposter Santa Claus. Genus Dermochelys

    . On Christmas Eve, Jack embarks on his makeshift sleigh flanked by skeleton reindeers and his ghost dog, Zero. Family Dermochelyidae
      .

      The children take him to a villainous monster named Oogie Boogie. Family Thalassemyidae (extinct). In order to successfully take over Christmas, Jack enlists the help of a trio of misfits named Lock, Shock, and Barrel to kidnap Santa Claus. Family Toxochelyidae (extinct). Sally, a close friend and admirer of Jack, tries to warn him that she thinks it is a bad idea to take over something he knows nothing about, but Jack is too wrapped in his fantasies to listen. Natator depressus (Flatback Turtle) (Previously in Chelonia). All of the townspeople pitch in to create their own twisted version of the holiday. Genus Natator

        .

        Soon Jack calls a meeting in Town Hall and reveals his plans to takeover Christmas. Syllomus aegypticus (extinct). When Jack returns to Halloween Town he locks himself in his home and performs countless experiments to try and better understand Christmas Town. Genus Syllomus

          . Jack is mesmerized by the color and cheerfulness of the holiday, and realizes that this is exactly what he has been searching for. Eretmochelys imbricata (Hawksbill Sea Turtle). When Jack opens the Christmas door he is sucked into the wonderful world of Christmas Town. Genus Eretmochelys
            .

            Each tree has a door on it representing a different holiday. Chelonia mydas (Green Sea Turtle). One day while wandering in the woods with his dog zero, Jack discovers a circle of trees unlike anything that he has seen before. Genus Chelonia

              . Although Jack is loved and respected by the townspeople, he feels that there is something unknown to him that is missing from his life. Subfamily Cheloniinae
                . The film centers around Jack Skellington, the much adored leader of Halloween Town. Lepidochelys kempii (Kemp's Ridley).

                . Lepidochelys olivacea (Olive Ridley). The film was released by Touchstone Pictures, a film studio owned by the Walt Disney Company, after the main Walt Disney Pictures division balked at some of the darker content. Genus Lepidochelys

                  . He did not direct the film as is sometimes believed, but he was still heavily involved. Caretta caretta (Loggerhead Sea Turtle). The film is loosely based on drawings and a poem by Tim Burton, and he served as co-producer. Caretta patriciae (extinct).

                  Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) is a stop-action animated musical film about the inhabitants of Halloween Town who take over Christmas one year, directed by stop-motion animator Henry Selick. Genus Caretta

                    . Ken Page: Oogie Boogie. Subfamily Carettinae
                      . Paul Reubens: Lock. Family Cheloniidae
                        . Glenn Shadix: Mayor.

                        Finklestein. William Hickey: Dr. Catherine O'Hara: Sally, Shock. Danny Elfman: Jack Skellington (singing), Barrel, The Clown with the tearawayface.

                        Chris Sarandon: Jack Skellington (speaking). MPAA rating: PG. Runtime: 76 minutes. Genre: animation, fantasy, satire, musical.

                        Specifications: Technicolor, 35 mm 1.66:1 (colours, Dolby digital sound). American picture. Released on: October 13, 1993. Music by: Danny Elfman.

                        Written by: Caroline Thompson and Michael McDowell. Directed by: Henry Selick. Title: The Nightmare Before Christmas.

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