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.
. Released were starter decks and a base set. Among the imitators on the internet:. Sometime during 2005, a card game, titled The Nightmare Before Christmas TCG, was released. The initial success of the show's concept spawned several imitators, mostly on the websites, but also including "The Daily Flash", a news program on Playboy TV. Kingdom Hearts II follows the movie plot, where Jack tries to take over Santa Claus' place on Christmas. Past male anchors are:.

Jack can also join Sora's party whenever they are in Halloween Town. The current male anchors are:. Jack then teams up with Sora and the others to stop Oogie Boogie's plans. Past female anchors are:. 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. The current female anchors are:. 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). The female announcers have been featured in almost every media including television (CBS Sunday Morning, The Today Show, The View, Sally Jesse Raphaƫl, and numerous appearances on Entertainment Tonight and ET Insider) newspapers and magazines, (TV Guide, Playboy) and as guests on multiple radio shows including Howard Stern.

Finklestein, and others--to both stop Oogie and save Halloween. Since the show's inception in 1999, there has been much turnover among the newscasters, and many guest anchors. With these creepy wheels set in motion, it will be up to Jack and his friends--including characters such as Zero, Sally, Dr. The show features occasional on-the-street interviews by topless newscasters, which are made possible by Ontario's Topfree equality laws. Jack soon discovers that these nasty insects are under the control of Oogie Boogie, who's looking to take over Halloween himself. As such, most of the show's crew comes from the Toronto area. The game's plot will kick off with the invasion of some unusual bugs in Halloween Town. Most of the show's announcers have been recruited through classified ads in alternative newspapers in Toronto.

The side-scrolling adventure game centers around the first time Jack faced off against his nemesis, Oogie Boogie, to eventually become the Pumpkin King. It was said that events like the 2005 Indian Ocean Earthquake were reported in the nude, while news of the London bombings as well as all follow-up reports and interviews done in the following days, were done fully clothed both in studio and in London. 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. This too has proven to be controversial as observers have complained that stories that warranted "fully-clothed" coverage were, in fact, Western or "Eurocentric" tragedies, while disasters happening elsewhere in the world were deemed "less important." In actuality, the producers of Naked News have instituted a basic rule in this area: No disrobing during any news coverage of a major tragedy anywhere in the world. The opposite of the Playstation and Xbox versions, the GBA game works as a prequel to the movie. The anchors have all since continued the tradition of reading tragic events fully clothed.
A GBA game, "The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King" came out in fall 2005. She did not undress when she read the news of the death of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, nor for the September 11, 2001 program (which was not aired).

In the game you get other costumes such as "Pumpkin King," and "Santa Jack". Sinclair herself has questioned the appropriateness of disrobing while reading of tragic events. The game features a weapon known as a 'Soul Robber'. Critics charge that the nudity is little more than a gimmick that trivializes important news events, while proponents argue that such gimmicks exist on most television news already; nudity is just a particularly successful one. The game features controls similar to Devil May Cry. Naked News has generated some controversy among the media, and even within its own staff. Now Jack has to stop Oogie Boogie's evil plans as he attempts to take over the other holiday worlds, and the 'real' world. Victoria Sinclair, the first NN announcer and one of only two with journalism experience, has also received some praise for her newsreading ability.

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. Naked News has earned some praise from established journalists for its coverage of international news items not often covered in mainstream news media. 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 show is or has been available on pay-per-view or by subscription in various markets in the U.S., Australia, Canada, the UK, Ireland, and even France (dubbed into French). The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge is an action/adventure game developed by Capcom from Japan for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox systems. Its offshoot Naked News TV aired as a late-night television series on the Toronto television station Citytv, and (until February 2005) on British satellite channel Get Lucky TV. A video game based on the original movie was released in 2005. Although it was originally targeted towards female viewers (at one point said to be 30% of the website's audience), the male show now openly promotes itself as news from a gay perspective.

There has been a great deal of speculation recently that 2006 will be last year for the event, allegedly at Tim Burton's request. It does not however enjoy the same popularity and fame, and there are currently more female than male anchors. Starting in 2001, the ride has included a score that was written specifically for the ride by film composer Danny Elfman. A male version of the show was created in 2001 to parallel the female version. 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. By 2002, only one news segment could be viewed freely, and by 2004, no free content remained on the website. The attractions are closed in October each year for themes to be completely overhauled, and open until January of the next year. Part of the large amounts of web traffic in the site's early days was because the entire newscast could be viewed for free, though subscribers got access to a higher bandwidth feed and other extras.

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 number did not refer to the number of actual subscribers of the site, which was believed to be vastly lower. 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. During the height of its popularity, the website was promoted as receiving over 6 million hits per month. On the soundtrack album, Patrick Stewart voices the opening narrative poem. The website was popularized entirely by word of mouth, and quickly became an internet meme. Starfield Creations. Naked News was conceived in 1998 and debuted in 1999 as a web-based news service and featuring an all-female cast.

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. Regardless of the gender of the anchor, the male demographic is particularly high for the show. 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. Naked News TV is its offshoot pay-per-view or subscription service. In 2005, Tim Burton returned to the media of stop motion with his new film, Corpse Bride. The male and female anchors read the news fully nude or strip as they present their news segments.

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. Naked News, billing itself as "the program with nothing to hide", is a subscription website featuring a real television newscast prepared in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. However, when it was released on video a new audience began to discover it and slowly it began to grow a cult following. Radio Tango - Oslo, Norway radio station once featured stripping female weather readers on their website. When the movie originally was released it failed to live up to expectations and was considered a flop. Comedie - This program on a French cable TV network ran a series promos featuring males and females casually undressing as they read jokes. Finally, Sally reveals her true feelings to Jack and in the end of the movie the two begin a relationship. www.strip-news.de, a now-defunct German language webcast with both male and female announcers.

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. Robert Milan. 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. Warren Michaels. In order to salvage Christmas Jack hurries back to Halloween Town and confronts Oogie Boogie. Brock Stern. 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. Brendan Tanner.

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. Joshua Holt - Recently announced he was gay in the pages of The Advocate magazine. In not too long, Jack is targeted by the military and shot down. Cole McQuade. 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. Derek Shaw. On Christmas Eve, Jack embarks on his makeshift sleigh flanked by skeleton reindeers and his ghost dog, Zero. Malcolm Matisse.

The children take him to a villainous monster named Oogie Boogie. Jack Lange. 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. Jeremy Chase. 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. Raoul Santos. All of the townspeople pitch in to create their own twisted version of the holiday. Lucas Tyler - The first male anchor of the show, now also producer and director, said to bear a strong resemblance to NBC newsman Matt Lauer.

Soon Jack calls a meeting in Town Hall and reveals his plans to takeover Christmas. Sarah Winters. When Jack returns to Halloween Town he locks himself in his home and performs countless experiments to try and better understand Christmas Town. Kelli Graham. Jack is mesmerized by the color and cheerfulness of the holiday, and realizes that this is exactly what he has been searching for. Kaye Grant. When Jack opens the Christmas door he is sucked into the wonderful world of Christmas Town. Gretchen Frazier.

Each tree has a door on it representing a different holiday. Allyson Jones. One day while wandering in the woods with his dog zero, Jack discovers a circle of trees unlike anything that he has seen before. Erin Sherwood. Although Jack is loved and respected by the townspeople, he feels that there is something unknown to him that is missing from his life. Devon Calwell - At age 19, she is the youngest cast member. The film centers around Jack Skellington, the much adored leader of Halloween Town. She is unrelated to the Italian model of the same name.

. Carmen Russo - At age 42, she is the oldest cast member. 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. Holly Weston - She continued on the show throughout her pregnancy. He did not direct the film as is sometimes believed, but he was still heavily involved. Brooke Roberts. The film is loosely based on drawings and a poem by Tim Burton, and he served as co-producer. Diane Foster.

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. Erica Stevens. Ken Page: Oogie Boogie. Samantha Page. Paul Reubens: Lock. Ashley Jenning. Glenn Shadix: Mayor. Yukiko Kimura.

Finklestein. Cameron Shore. William Hickey: Dr. Gia Gomez. Catherine O'Hara: Sally, Shock. Christine Kerr. Danny Elfman: Jack Skellington (singing), Barrel, The Clown with the tearawayface. Michelle Pantoliano - Former radio & TV broadcaster from New York City.

Chris Sarandon: Jack Skellington (speaking). Lily Kwan. MPAA rating: PG. Sandrine Renard. Runtime: 76 minutes. Roxanne West. Genre: animation, fantasy, satire, musical. "Athena the Greek".

Specifications: Technicolor, 35 mm 1.66:1 (colours, Dolby digital sound). Athena King - a.k.a. American picture. April Torres. Released on: October 13, 1993. 2002. Music by: Danny Elfman. 2001, and returned in Nov.

Written by: Caroline Thompson and Michael McDowell. Sinclair left the show in Sept. Directed by: Henry Selick. Victoria Sinclair - The first NN reporter, she originally performed solo before additional news anchors were added. Title: The Nightmare Before Christmas.

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