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. [citation needed]. Released were starter decks and a base set. This has been disputed by many fans of the film, who believe that the film has a strong story, whose importance supercedes that of the animation. Sometime during 2005, a card game, titled The Nightmare Before Christmas TCG, was released. The quality of the film's animation has been criticized, specifically by animators within the animation industry, some of whom believe that the success of the movie shows a disregard for quality and will eventually hurt the industry. Kingdom Hearts II follows the movie plot, where Jack tries to take over Santa Claus' place on Christmas. Day weekend according to initial estimates, though it would lose the crown to Glory Road a day later when the actual receipts were calculated.

Jack can also join Sora's party whenever they are in Halloween Town. The film exceeded analyst expectations [citation needed] by nearly doubling what had been predicted for its box office debut, winning the Martin Luther King, Jr. Jack then teams up with Sora and the others to stop Oogie Boogie's plans. Test audiences for the film, which featured parents and children, were generally positive, with some concerns by parents over the violence in the film (there are some physical altercations involving martial arts, and two scenes involving lethal explosions), and of the sinister nature of the character of Boingo. 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 three accept. 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 next day, Flippers tells the four that he has decided to open up his own private business, and offers to enlist the three for their special skills.

Finklestein, and others--to both stop Oogie and save Halloween. Red is freed from the air tram before it explodes, and Boingo and his henchmen are captured by the police. With these creepy wheels set in motion, it will be up to Jack and his friends--including characters such as Zero, Sally, Dr. The Wolf, Granny and the Woodsman follow, and foil Boingo’s plans. Jack soon discovers that these nasty insects are under the control of Oogie Boogie, who's looking to take over Halloween himself. Red is discovered, and placed in the air tram filled with dynamite. The game's plot will kick off with the invasion of some unusual bugs in Halloween Town. Red follows him on the air tram up to the mountain, where he and his henchmen, the aforementioned opposing snowboarding team, plan to corner the market on goodies, and make them highly addictive to kids.

The side-scrolling adventure game centers around the first time Jack faced off against his nemesis, Oogie Boogie, to eventually become the Pumpkin King. We then see Red following the real thief, the one who was present during all four accounts: Boingo. 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 police are back to square one, as none of the four appears to be culprits, but then the basket of Granny’s goodies and the recipe book is found to be missing, as is Red. The opposite of the Playstation and Xbox versions, the GBA game works as a prequel to the movie. The revelation of Granny’s other life is a shock to Red, who is hurt that Granny lied to her.
A GBA game, "The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King" came out in fall 2005. The familiar confrontation with Red, the Wolf and the Woodsman then ensued.

In the game you get other costumes such as "Pumpkin King," and "Santa Jack". Her parachute became caught in the ceiling fan, and she ended up wrapped up in it and thrown into her own closet. The game features a weapon known as a 'Soul Robber'. Shortly after, Granny arrived in her bedroom. The game features controls similar to Devil May Cry. As she approached her home, she saw Red below her in the railway cart, and advised her to use her hood as her own parachute. Now Jack has to stop Oogie Boogie's evil plans as he attempts to take over the other holiday worlds, and the 'real' world. She tells Flippers that during the race down the mountain, the opposing team physically attacked her and her team, and she narrowly escaped a mountain avalanche via a parachute.

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. She explains that she enjoys such activities, and that at a snowboarding tournament between her teammates and an opposing team, Boingo the rabbit even asked for her autograph. 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. She reveals that she is an extreme athlete who prefers activities like snowboarding to being the stereotypical goody-making grandmother. The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge is an action/adventure game developed by Capcom from Japan for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox systems. Granny is the last to be interviewed. A video game based on the original movie was released in 2005. But an avalanche approaches, and a log he finds himself atop rolls down the hill to Granny’s house, and he is thrown through the living room window, hollering the entire way.

There has been a great deal of speculation recently that 2006 will be last year for the event, allegedly at Tim Burton's request. The Woodsman is distraught, but decides to prepare for the role of a woodsman by chopping down trees. Starting in 2001, the ride has included a score that was written specifically for the ride by film composer Danny Elfman. He then discovers that his goody truck has been robbed, apparently in another attack by the Goody Bandit, as Boingo opines on the scene. 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. He tells Flippers that after a disastrous audition for a bunion cream commercial, where his thick Austrian accent hurt his chances, he got a callback. The attractions are closed in October each year for themes to be completely overhauled, and open until January of the next year. He reveals that he is an aspiring actor, and that for money, he drives a goody truck, selling schnitzel on a stick to children.

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 Woodsman is then interrogated. 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. The Wolf puts on a Granny disguise, and the confrontation is again seen. On the soundtrack album, Patrick Stewart voices the opening narrative poem. The duo arrive at Granny’s house, and the Wolf throws Twitchy in the closet to hide, but Granny is already there, and already tied up, which complicates the authorities’ view of the Wolf as the culprit. Starfield Creations. After using a shortcut provided by Boingo the rabbit, the Wolf and Twitchy used the mountain railway system, which was destroyed when Twitchy lit a candle in the cart that turned out to be a stick of dynamite.

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. He explains that he was merely questioning Red because it was his job, and that when his tail got caught in the film chamber of Twitchy’s camera, he roared in pain, which Red took as an attack. Much of the original merchandise has become highly collectible and rare. But the Wolf reveals that he is an investigative reporter whose prior stories Flippers is familiar with, and tells him that he and his hyperactive photographer, a squirrel named Twitchy, were investigating the recent thefts of various recipes by the Goody Bandit, and became suspicious of Red when he saw her traipsing through the forest with goodies in a basket. 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. Flippers then interrogates the Wolf, who it appears certain is the culprit. In 2005, Tim Burton returned to the media of stop motion with his new film, Corpse Bride. When she gets to Granny’s she sees through the Wolf’s transparently obvious Granny disguise, and just as he reveals himself and the two confront one another again, a bound and gagged Granny jumps out of her closet, and then a crazed-looking axe-wielding Woodsman jumps into the living room through the window screaming, to the horror of the other three.

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. As the railway cart they were riding emerged from the mountain, Red saw that the tracks far ahead of them were apparently destroyed, and an image of her Granny appeared in the sky above her instructing her to use her hood as a parachute, which Red successfully did (the goat used a pair of helicopter-horns to land safely also). However, when it was released on video a new audience began to discover it and slowly it began to grow a cult following. After using her martial arts skills and a “Wolf Away” spray to repel the lupine attacker, Red fled, using a mountain railway system manned by a singing goat with detachable horns with different uses. When the movie originally was released it failed to live up to expectations and was considered a flop. This admission appears damning, as it casts Red in a suspicious light, but Red asserts her innocence, adding that on her way to Granny’s house, she fell from an air trolley she was riding with the rabbit Boingo, and when she landed in the forest, she ran into the Wolf, who, after questioning her, appeared to become hostile. Finally, Sally reveals her true feelings to Jack and in the end of the movie the two begin a relationship. Red, the first interview subject, tells Flippers that she is merely a delivery person for her Granny’s “goodies”, and that when she came across the ransacked home of another goody-maker, the latest in a recent string of such attacks by a thief known only as the Goody Bandit, whose crimes have resulted in the closure of many goody makers in the forest, Red decided to take the hidden recipe book in the house for safekeeping.

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. Because the film uses a police interrogation as a framing sequence, it is evocative of the 1995 crime thriller The Usual Suspects, and because the four participants’ stories converge at points prior to the meeting at Granny’s, and are at times self-serving, the format is evocative of Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film Rashomon. 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. The lead investigator, frog-form Nicky Flippers, interrogates each of the four participants, with each character giving their own version of how and why they arrived at the house. In order to salvage Christmas Jack hurries back to Halloween Town and confronts Oogie Boogie. Mid-scene, the story jumps ahead to the police cordoning off Granny’s house following the opening events. 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. The story begins in media res, with Red, the Wolf, Granny, and the Woodsman in their confrontation at Granny's house.

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. It is 80 minutes long and is rated PG for mild action and thematic elements. 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. Although it is based on the Little Red Riding Hood folktale, structurally, it borrows from the films Rashomon and The Usual Suspects, and its setting uses the same type of anachronistic and satirical mixing of modern and fantasy culture as the Shrek films. On Christmas Eve, Jack embarks on his makeshift sleigh flanked by skeleton reindeers and his ghost dog, Zero. It was written and directed by Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, and Tony Leech, and stars the voices of Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, James Belushi, Patrick Warburton, Andy Dick, David Ogden Stiers, Xzibit, Anthony Anderson and Chazz Palminteri.

The children take him to a villainous monster named Oogie Boogie. It was released by The Weinstein Company in selected markets on December 16, 2005, before expanding nationwide on January 13, 2006. 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.
Hoodwinked is an American computer-animated family comedy produced by Blue Yonder Films with Kanbar Entertainment. 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 this film, he plays the Wolf, whose assistant is an at-times-hard-to-understand squirrel. All of the townspeople pitch in to create their own twisted version of the holiday. In the Disney animated film The Emperor's New Groove, Patrick Warburton played a doltish henchman named Kronk, who, among other things, had the unique ability to understand squirrel language.

Soon Jack calls a meeting in Town Hall and reveals his plans to takeover Christmas. An alternate title of the film was Hoodwinked! The True Story of Red Riding Hood. When Jack returns to Halloween Town he locks himself in his home and performs countless experiments to try and better understand Christmas Town. The actor who voiced the Woodsman also did so with a far heavier Austrian accent. Jack is mesmerized by the color and cheerfulness of the holiday, and realizes that this is exactly what he has been searching for. An early cut of the film featured the voices of Tara Strong as Red and Sally Struthers as Granny before the voices were recast with Anne Hathaway and Glenn Close. When Jack opens the Christmas door he is sucked into the wonderful world of Christmas Town. Chazz Palminteri –Woolworth the Sheep.

Each tree has a door on it representing a different holiday. Andy Dick –Boingo. One day while wandering in the woods with his dog zero, Jack discovers a circle of trees unlike anything that he has seen before. Anthony Anderson –Detective Bill Stork. Although Jack is loved and respected by the townspeople, he feels that there is something unknown to him that is missing from his life. Xzibit –Chief Grizzly. The film centers around Jack Skellington, the much adored leader of Halloween Town. David Ogden Stiers –Nicky Flippers.

. Cory Edwards –Twitchy. 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. Patrick Warburton –The Wolf. He did not direct the film as is sometimes believed, but he was still heavily involved. James Belushi –The Woodsman. The film is loosely based on drawings and a poem by Tim Burton, and he served as co-producer. Glenn Close –Granny Puckett.

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. Anne Hathaway –Red Puckett. 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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