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The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

PG  |   |  Animation, Family, Fantasy  |  29 October 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 209,083 users  
Reviews: 425 user | 197 critic

Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but doesn't quite understand the concept.



(based on: a story and characters by), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sally / Shock (voice)
Evil Scientist (voice)
Mayor (voice)
Lock (voice)
Oogie Boogie (voice)
Edward Ivory ...
Santa (voice) (as Ed Ivory)
Susan McBride ...
Big Witch / WWD. (voice)
Debi Durst ...
Harlequin Demon / Devil / Sax Player (voice) (as Gregory Proops)
Kerry Katz ...
Randy Crenshaw ...
Mr. Hyde / Behemoth / Vampire Corpse Dad (voice)
Sherwood Ball ...
Mummy / Vampire (voice)


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


A ghoulish tale with wicked humour & stunning animation. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some scary images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

29 October 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$175,022 (USA) (27 October 2000)


$75,082,668 (USA) (13 November 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (35mm)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At one point, Tim Burton considered making this a TV special rather than a feature film. See more »


During the song "Kidnap the Sandy Claws", after Shock sends a cage with a bug inside of it to Oogie Boogie, you can see the wires holding up the cage as it bounces upon reaching its destination. And when Lock places Barrel onto a catapult, you can see the metal "skeleton" of Barrel cambering the puppet's feet. Finally, there is a piece of debris next to Barrel when he rises up (as Shock shows them a black box) that disappears. See more »


[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

No credits are shown, except the company and the film's name. See more »


Referenced in RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked!: RuPaullywood or Bust (2013) See more »


Here Comes Santa Claus
Written by Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A true must see for all Halloween fans
12 December 2004 | by (2 hours north of Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

I am not a big Tim Burton fan, but this movie is in my top 3 of all time. Perhaps the fact that Halloween is my favorite holiday influenced my opinion, but I doubt it. The more I hear and read about this movie, the more I love it.

Based on a parody of the famous "Night before Christmas" poem by Moore that Burton wrote and illustrated while employed at Disney, this idea was stagnant for many years prior to filming. In many ways this was a good thing, technology was able to catch up to Burton's ideas.

In NBC, we see our hero Jack Skellington, aka The Pumpkin King, depressed as another Halloween passes. In the background we hear the residents of Halloween Town celebrate another wonderful holiday. But Jack is sad. The only one who notices is the Rag Doll-style woman Sally.

Other characters, including many town-monsters, are introduced. We meet the wonderful mayor with two faces, the evil scientist and his assistant, three local children and our evil boogie-man.

After an accident, Jack develops a plan to kidnap "Sandy Claws" and give presents out for Christmas in place of Christmas Town. You will have to view this movie to discover the rest.

The claymation is not what I expected, it was of a high quality and the movements are not jerky like the old Christmas Specials. Danny Elfman's music has little resemblance to his work with Ongo Bongo and "What's this?" (which Jack sings when he discovers the colorful world of Christmas Town) is closer to a tune mixed from Cabaret and The Music Man. The voices match the mouth movements nearly perfectly. This was a project from the heart and all the little touches to make it 'just' right show this fact.

68 of 80 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What stereotypes do you and don't you fit into as a fan of the movie? monn5851142
Halloween or Christmas movie or both? Writerchamp13
A Kids' Film? mongoose_mania
Why do people say this is a Tim Burton Film? michael-jokela-1
How many people here actually grew up with TNBC? horrormovieman89
Appropriate for little kids? mohman77
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