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The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Trailer
1:14 | Trailer
Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.

Director:

Henry Selick

Writers:

Tim Burton (story and characters), Michael McDowell (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,406 ( 474)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Danny Elfman ... Jack Skellington - Singing Voice / Barrel / Clown with the Tear Away Face (voice)
Chris Sarandon ... Jack Skellington (voice)
Catherine O'Hara ... Sally / Shock (voice)
William Hickey ... Evil Scientist (voice)
Glenn Shadix ... Mayor (voice)
Paul Reubens ... Lock (voice)
Ken Page ... Oogie Boogie (voice)
Edward Ivory Edward Ivory ... Santa (voice) (as Ed Ivory)
Susan McBride Susan McBride ... Big Witch / W.W.D. (voice)
Debi Durst Debi Durst ... Corpse Kid / Corpse Mom / Small Witch (voice)
Greg Proops ... Harlequin Demon / Devil / Sax Player (voice) (as Gregory Proops)
Kerry Katz Kerry Katz ... Man Under Stairs / Vampire / Corpse Dad (voice)
Randy Crenshaw ... Mr. Hyde / Behemoth / Vampire (voice)
Sherwood Ball Sherwood Ball ... Mummy / Vampire (voice)
Carmen Twillie ... Undersea Gal / Man Under the Stairs (voice)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some scary images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several quotes from the melody of the "Dies Irae" are heard in a few musical sequences such as "Making Christmas" and Oogie Boogie's Song. See more »

Goofs

When Jack is in Christmas Town, at one part he jumps across from house to house. For about several frames, you can see wires suspending the puppet. See more »

Quotes

[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.
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Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

The special edition DVD version has never-before-seen footage of this movie and are the following:
  • Lock, Shock and Barrel (the trick-or-treaters) are bored so they grab some snacks and go inside their cage/elevator to watch oogie boogie torture Santa and Sally. And later, a thought to be dead Jack Skellington enters the lair by jumping on the cage/elevator with the kids inside and he scares them which can explain how he got inside the lair at the nick of time. Pictures of the scene were in the promotional booklets, postcard books, and storybooks.
  • Jack's further experiments with Christmas such as having a illustrating "Sandy Claws" as a human/lobster hybrid.
  • a deleted part of oogie boogie's song that shows his shadow dancing.
  • a scene where the vampires are playing hockey with the head of Tim Burton, this was corrected and Tim's head was replaced with a Jack O' Lantern.
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Soundtracks

Finale
(1993) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Danny Elfman
Performed by Danny Elfman, Catherine O'Hara, Glenn Shadix, Debi Durst, Randy Crenshaw, Paul Reubens, Glenn Walters, and Chorus
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User Reviews

 
One of the most memorable holiday classics of all time. A visual masterpiece. ***1/2 out of ****.
14 March 2000 | by Movie-12See all my reviews

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS / (1993) ***1/2

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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas in Disney Digital 3-D See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$191,232, 17 October 1993

Gross USA:

$77,368,668

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$91,491,247
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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