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The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

PG  |   |  Animation, Family, Fantasy  |  29 October 1993 (USA)
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Reviews: 426 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


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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?


Behemoth is based on B-movie actor/Swedish wrestler Tor Johnson. See more »


When Sally is picking the petals off of the dead flower on top of the spiral hill at the end of the movie, the petals disappear when she drops them. 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 Face Off: Burtonesque (2012) See more »


Oogie Boogie's Song
(1993) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Danny Elfman
Performed by Ken Page and Edward Ivory
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Burton's "Nightmare" is a dream come true
10 December 2004 | by (United States) – See 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.


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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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