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. Tofurky is made from a blend of tofu and wheat gluten. Released were starter decks and a base set. Tofurky is a brand name for a commercial version of tofurkey produced by Turtle Island Foods. Sometime during 2005, a card game, titled The Nightmare Before Christmas TCG, was released. It has become popular as a form of vegetarian imitation meat served at Thanksgiving. Kingdom Hearts II follows the movie plot, where Jack tries to take over Santa Claus' place on Christmas. Tofurkey is faux turkey -- tofu processed to look and taste like roast turkey.

Jack can also join Sora's party whenever they are in Halloween Town. Jack then teams up with Sora and the others to stop Oogie Boogie's plans. 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. 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).

Finklestein, and others--to both stop Oogie and save Halloween. With these creepy wheels set in motion, it will be up to Jack and his friends--including characters such as Zero, Sally, Dr. Jack soon discovers that these nasty insects are under the control of Oogie Boogie, who's looking to take over Halloween himself. The game's plot will kick off with the invasion of some unusual bugs in Halloween Town.

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 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 opposite of the Playstation and Xbox versions, the GBA game works as a prequel to the movie.
A GBA game, "The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King" came out in fall 2005.

In the game you get other costumes such as "Pumpkin King," and "Santa Jack". The game features a weapon known as a 'Soul Robber'. The game features controls similar to Devil May Cry. Now Jack has to stop Oogie Boogie's evil plans as he attempts to take over the other holiday worlds, and the 'real' world.

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. 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. The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge is an action/adventure game developed by Capcom from Japan for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox systems. A video game based on the original movie was released in 2005.

There has been a great deal of speculation recently that 2006 will be last year for the event, allegedly at Tim Burton's request. Starting in 2001, the ride has included a score that was written specifically for the ride by film composer Danny Elfman. 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. The attractions are closed in October each year for themes to be completely overhauled, and open until January of the next year.

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. 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. On the soundtrack album, Patrick Stewart voices the opening narrative poem. Starfield Creations.

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. Much of the original merchandise has become highly collectible and rare. 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. In 2005, Tim Burton returned to the media of stop motion with his new film, Corpse Bride.

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. However, when it was released on video a new audience began to discover it and slowly it began to grow a cult following. When the movie originally was released it failed to live up to expectations and was considered a flop. Finally, Sally reveals her true feelings to Jack and in the end of the movie the two begin a relationship.

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. 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. In order to salvage Christmas Jack hurries back to Halloween Town and confronts Oogie Boogie. 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.

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. In not too long, Jack is targeted by the military and shot down. 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. On Christmas Eve, Jack embarks on his makeshift sleigh flanked by skeleton reindeers and his ghost dog, Zero.

The children take him to a villainous monster named Oogie Boogie. 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. 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. All of the townspeople pitch in to create their own twisted version of the holiday.

Soon Jack calls a meeting in Town Hall and reveals his plans to takeover Christmas. When Jack returns to Halloween Town he locks himself in his home and performs countless experiments to try and better understand 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 opens the Christmas door he is sucked into the wonderful world of Christmas Town.

Each tree has a door on it representing a different holiday. One day while wandering in the woods with his dog zero, Jack discovers a circle of trees unlike anything that he has seen before. Although Jack is loved and respected by the townspeople, he feels that there is something unknown to him that is missing from his life. The film centers around Jack Skellington, the much adored leader of Halloween Town.

. 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. He did not direct the film as is sometimes believed, but he was still heavily involved. The film is loosely based on drawings and a poem by Tim Burton, and he served as co-producer.

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. Ken Page: Oogie Boogie. Paul Reubens: Lock. 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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