The puppets used neither of the industry standards of replaceable heads (like those used on The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)) or replaceable mouths (like those used by Aardman Studios in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)), but instead used precision crafted clockwork heads, adjusted by hidden keys. This allowed for unprecedented subtlety, but was apparently even more painstaking than the already notoriously arduous animation. One animator even reported having recurring nightmares of adjusting his own facial expression in this fashion.
Composer Danny Elfman originally wrote the part of Bonejangles, looking for another musician to sing it, but after failing to find a voice that fit, director Tim Burton asked Elfman if he would sing it himself. The result was so brutal on his vocal chords, that Elfman was left hoarse whenever he had to voice the character.
Multiple identical puppets had to be created, so that more scenes could be accomplished in a shorter period of time. In all, fourteen puppets of the Bride and Victor were created, and thirteen were created of Victoria.
DIRECTOR TRADEMARK (Tim Burton): (dead dog): Victor is reunited with his deceased (and now skeletal) dog, Scraps. A picture of a younger Victor with a living Scraps is visible at the start of the film.
Mr. Bonejangles and his skeleton band, are partly inspired by the cartoon The Skeleton Dance (1929), but are also heavily influenced by Cab Calloway and his band, as they appeared in rotoscoped form in several Betty Boop cartoons. The piano player wears shades, like Ray Charles, and his movements are based on Charles' mannerisms. The character Bonejangles is based on the famous dancer Bill Robinson, who was called "Bojangles".
In the beginning of the movie, Victor (voiced by Johnny Depp), releases a captive butterfly through a window. Johnny Depp's character, Ichabod Crane does something similar in Sleepy Hollow (1999), when he releases a caged Cardinal out of his bedroom window.
In the special features section, Johnny Depp said that stop motion animation is a dying art. Actually, that is not true. There never has been that much done with this art form, and even the great Ray Harryhausen never got to do a complete movie in stop motion animation, like this one.