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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 »
175 ( 92)
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


Tim Burton's classic returns in 3-D so real, it's scary. 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?


Patrick Stewart did the original introduction for the movie, which can be heard on the film's soundtrack. See more »


After he discovers Christmas Town, Jack accidentally stumbles down a hillside. All the lights of the town overlap his body, yet those are supposed to be far away in the background. 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 »


Featured in Nostalgia Critic: James and the Giant Peach (2011) See more »


Poor Jack
(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 most memorable holiday classics of all time. A visual masterpiece. ***1/2 out of ****.
14 March 2000 | by (Michigan, USA) – See all my reviews


Starring the voices of: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, Ken Page, Ed Ivory, and William Hickey Directed by Henry Celiac. Written by Michael McDowell. Running time: 76 minutes. Rated PG (for horrific images and some animated violence).

Tim Burton seems like the only being on the planet who could come with characters such as the ones found in "The Nightmare Before Christmas." The feature is literally a tale likely to be found in a child's dreams. It creates a world of its own, inhabiting unforgettable characters and events that should be shared with generations. This film is a visual masterpiece; a movie that deserves to be a holiday favorite for some time to come.

The atmosphere director Henry Celiac captures in "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is truly breathtaking. The cities and setting in which these characters live are visually perplexing, yet descriptive and develop the production's mood perfectly. We, as audiences starving for originality and imagination, are able to enter a scope so believable and unrelentingly convincing we lust for every last minute of it.

The movie's protagonist is Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of the holiday town of Halloween. Jack is the role model for much of the cities population. The only problem is that Jack has been around for ages, parked in a town where every single year builds up for a conventional holiday, Halloween. This character has grown depressed and saddened by the routine living style he inhabits. We learn of his passion for new events and a and new life through a musical number that is both effective and engaging.

Later on that vary night, Jack wonders off into a nearby woods and stumbles upon an area surrounded with magical doors leading to specific holiday worlds. Jack, blooming with curiosity, enters Christmas town: a joyful, happy place with snow, glitter, children singing, and colorful lights decorating the village in its entirety. Jack is mystified by the glamorous atmosphere, and rushes home to tell the Town of Halloween about his adventures.

We realize the internalconflict is Jack's boredom of routine. This becomes more complex when he tries to figure out the meaning of Christmas. The external problem comes later in the plot, where we predict an uneasy disaster upcoming due to his intentions of recreating Christmas in Halloween style.

Other key characters are Sally, the puppet-like creation of an angry professor, the city's Mayor who has a head for both his good and bad personality, the Oggie Boogie, the film's villain who is everything we ever dreamed of regarding a diabolical animated bad guy, and the inevitable character of Santa Clause.

"The Nightmare Before Christmas" is not necessarily a children's movie, it might be too strange or fanatical for the very young. It is certainly a musical production, and at times, I felt that the songs replaced essential development. However, the musical numbers are challenging and memorable, containing passion and emotion. The picture is a walk into the mind of some of the most wildly imaginative filmmakers of our time. "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is titled wonderfully, although the film is truly not a nightmare, but a dream--a dream brought to life on the big screen.

Brought to you by Touchstone Pictures.

87 of 112 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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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