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The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

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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 »
267 ( 15)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 7 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?


Tim Burton had hoped to direct, but placed Henry Selick in the director's chair instead as Burton was busy working on Batman Returns (1992) and had Ed Wood (1994) in pre-production. Selick estimates that Burton was present 8 to 10 days total during production. See more »


Near the end of the movie, when Jack puts a kid on the Mayor's hat, he's doing it from the left, both his arms are on the left of the hat. In the next shot, he's holding the kid with his arms from both sides of the hat. 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 »


Spoofed in Cosplay Geeks 2 (2016) See more »


What's This?
(1993) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Danny Elfman
Performed by Danny Elfman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the best films of 1993, highly re-watchable
14 December 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was a kid when I first saw Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas, but I wasn't scared by it in the slightest - this world is one entirely of the imagination, and in a sense saying that the film is scary for younger children is something of a compliment. 'Nightmare' is both a horror film and a musical, and fantasy and a suspense film, and like most Burton effort, comedy is thrown in at just the right moments.

With Henry Selick as director and Michael McDowell & Caroline Thompson as the screenwriters, Burton has fashioned the worlds of Halloween-town and Christmas-town as real originals, working on the cliches that are in each holiday and surrounding the worlds with a host of terrific and terrifying characters. While Halloween-town has a mayor (appropriately with two faces, one smiling one distressed), the real leader is Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon voices with a great Danny Elfman as the singing Jack) who orchestrates Halloween every year for its citizens. But he's grown weary over the years, and after stumbling upon Christmas-town, loaded with good will towards men and a large man in a red suit, he gets his town riled up to overtake the joyous holiday. Despite one protest by Sally (an amazing Catherine O'Hara), the doll-girl who loves him, the town goes on creating Jack's vision. The results are hilarious and, indeed, spellbinding.

Much credit is given to Burton and Selick for their work on the film, but a lot should also be attributed to Denise Di Novi (co-producer and co-designer), Rick Heinrichs (visual consultant), Pete Kozachik (D.P.), and of course Danny Elfman for his perfectly fitting score and song creations. Along with the talented voice actors, Nightmare Before Christmas ends up a triumph of artistic ingenuity. Some could construe it as too weird or too stylish, but for the cult audience it has garnered over the past ten years it remains of of Burton's finest accomplishments. A+

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