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The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

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1:14 | Trailer
Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.

Director:

Henry Selick

Writers:

Tim Burton (story and characters), Michael McDowell (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,182 ( 391)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Danny Elfman ... Jack Skellington - Singing Voice / Barrel / Clown with the Tear Away Face (voice)
Chris Sarandon ... Jack Skellington (voice)
Catherine O'Hara ... Sally / Shock (voice)
William Hickey ... Evil Scientist (voice)
Glenn Shadix ... Mayor (voice)
Paul Reubens ... Lock (voice)
Ken Page ... Oogie Boogie (voice)
Edward Ivory Edward Ivory ... Santa (voice) (as Ed Ivory)
Susan McBride Susan McBride ... Big Witch / WWD. (voice)
Debi Durst Debi Durst ... Corpse Kid / Corpse Mom / Small Witch (voice)
Greg Proops ... Harlequin Demon / Devil / Sax Player (voice) (as Gregory Proops)
Kerry Katz Kerry Katz ... Man Under Stairs / Vampire / Corpse Dad (voice)
Randy Crenshaw ... Mr. Hyde / Behemoth / Vampire Corpse Dad (voice)
Sherwood Ball Sherwood Ball ... Mummy / Vampire (voice)
Carmen Twillie ... Undersea Gal / Man Under the Stairs (voice)
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Storyline

Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, is bored with doing the same thing every year for Halloween. One day he stumbles into Christmas Town, and is so taken with the idea of Christmas that he tries to get the resident bats, ghouls, and goblins of Halloween Town to help him put on Christmas instead of Halloween -- but alas, they can't get it quite right. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

We're changing the face of 3-D See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some scary images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas in Disney Digital 3-D See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$191,232, 17 October 1993

Gross USA:

$75,082,668

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$88,170,974
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby (35mm)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is something of a controversy over exactly who has the rights to call the story and film their own. Henry Selick is the director and spent more time on the set and production than Tim Burton. However Burton has often claimed he is the owner of the story as it was all his idea. He wrote the original poem and most of the script, created the characters, served as a producer, and even wanted to direct but was simply too busy at the time to do so. Popular culture has long accepted the film as Burton's as the film heading is "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas". Burton does reinforce the fact that Selick directed the film, and is often annoyed that people don't remember him for that. On the direction of the film, Selick reflected, "It's as though he [Burton] laid the egg, and I sat on it and hatched it. He wasn't involved in a hands-on way, but his hand is in it. It was my job to make it look like 'a Tim Burton film', which is not so different from my own films." When asked on Burton's involvement, Selick claimed, "I don't want to take away from Tim, but he was not in San Francisco when we made it. He came up five times over two years, and spent no more than eight or ten days in total." Walt Disney Feature Animation contributed with some use of second-layering traditional animation. Burton found production somewhat difficult because he was directing "Batman Returns" and in pre-production of "Ed Wood." See more »

Goofs

Santa Claus prepares the presents and his sleigh first, but only then checks which children were good and naughty. It would make more sense the other way around, unless he wanted to hand out presents randomly. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Santa: 'Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems in a place perhaps you've seen in your dreams. For the story you're about to be told began with the holiday worlds of auld. Now you've probably wondered where holidays come from. If you haven't I'd say it's time you begun.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dr. Finkelstein is referred to on-screen by name, but is only credited as "Evil Scientist." See more »

Alternate Versions

The special edition DVD version has never-before-seen footage of this movie and are the following:
  • Lock, Shock and Barrel (the trick-or-treaters) are bored so they grab some snacks and go inside their cage/elevator to watch oogie boogie torture Santa and Sally. And later, a thought to be dead Jack Skellington enters the lair by jumping on the cage/elevator with the kids inside and he scares them which can explain how he got inside the lair at the nick of time. Pictures of the scene were in the promotional booklets, postcard books, and storybooks.
  • Jack's further experiments with Christmas such as having a illustrating "Sandy Claws" as a human/lobster hybrid.
  • a deleted part of oogie boogie's song that shows his shadow dancing.
  • a scene where the vampires are playing hockey with the head of Tim Burton, this was corrected and Tim's head was replaced with a Jack O' Lantern.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Monster Movies (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(1857) (uncredited)
Music by James Pierpont
Variation played in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Burton's "Nightmare" is a dream come true
10 December 2004 | by dee.reidSee all my reviews

By 1993, director Tim Burton was such a successful filmmaker in Hollywood that he was able to return to one of his most beloved early projects, "The Nightmare Before Christmas." It's certainly an inspired movie, as it is also very weird, and when I say "weird," I mean it's distinctly Burton.

Even though it was directed with enough competency by Henry Selick, this groundbreaking stop-motion animation film is Burton all the way, as it contains ample "esque" qualities that make this "Nightmare" uniquely his vision.

As the film opens in the twisted, "Burton"-esque village of "Halloweentown," Jack Skellington, who is dually voiced by Chris Sarandon and longtime Burton collaborator Danny Elfman, is celebrating another "horrible" Halloween. You'll be shocked and amazed at some of the town's inhabitants, who include jazz-playing zombies, Four Tenor-like vampires, a wolf man, and a wheelchair-bound scientist who occasionally opens up his cranium to (literally) scratch his brain; his creation, a Frankenstein-like scarecrow named Sally (Catherine O'Hara), yearns for contact with others and is quite fond of Jack Skellington.

But Jack's quickly growing tired of the same old routine year after year, and because he's so downtrodden with boredom, he ventures into the dark forest outside the town's borders, and accidentally stumbles onto the wondrous, jolly world of "Christmastown." Enticed by its splendor, he decides to bring back his discovery to the residents of Halloweentown, who of which are just as shocked by Christmas as he is. Jack gets the brilliant idea to pose as Santa Claus but hires three mischief-makers to kidnap the real Santa so he can share his own, misguided vision of Christmas with an unprepared world.

Painstakingly and meticulously crafted, "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is a beautiful and wonderful film from start to finish. The most famous image of this film is the cover art, which features Skellington eerily silhouetted against a full moon while he stands atop a coiled hill that overlooks a desolate graveyard.

Burton is such a wonderful director, who had already brought us one unique "esque" vision after the other, especially with the first two "Batman" films and "Edward Scissorhands" behind him as of '93 when "Nightmare" was made.

10/10


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