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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
2,357 ( 20)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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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 / WWD. (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 Corpse Dad (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:

A ghoulish tale with wicked humour & stunning animation. See more »


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

There is something of a controversy over exactly who has the rights to call the story and film their own. Henry Selick is the director and spent more time on the set and production than Tim Burton. However Burton has often claimed he is the owner of the story as it was all his idea. He wrote the original poem and most of the script, created the characters, served as a producer, and even wanted to direct but was simply too busy at the time to do so. Popular culture has long accepted the film as Burton's as the film heading is "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas". Burton does reinforce the fact that Selick directed the film, and is often annoyed that people don't remember him for that. On the direction of the film, Selick reflected, "It's as though he [Burton] laid the egg, and I sat on it and hatched it. He wasn't involved in a hands-on way, but his hand is in it. It was my job to make it look like 'a Tim Burton film', which is not so different from my own films." When asked on Burton's involvement, Selick claimed, "I don't want to take away from Tim, but he was not in San Francisco when we made it. He came up five times over two years, and spent no more than eight or ten days in total." Walt Disney Feature Animation contributed with some use of second-layering traditional animation. Burton found production somewhat difficult because he was directing "Batman Returns" and in pre-production of "Ed Wood." See more »

Goofs

When Jack falls after running into the Christmas Town sign's pole, there is a hole in the snow for his umbrella. However, he did not have it coming up the hill, as he left it hanging right after the line "the smell of cakes and pies are absolutely everywhere". 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dr. Finkelstein is referred to on-screen by name, but is only credited as "Evil Scientist." 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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Another Top 10 Creepy Kids Movies (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Jack's Obsession
(1993) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Danny Elfman
Performed by Danny Elfman, Kerry Katz, Randy Crenshaw, Sherwood Ball, Debi Durst, and Citizens of Halloween
See more »

User Reviews

 
Textbook example proving the old adage, "The grass is always greener in someone else's yard."
15 November 2000 | by llltdesqSee all my reviews

This film, while far from Burton's masterpiece, is a delightful musical that in the end shows that, sometimes, we have things far better than we think we do and the other side of the fence sometimes looks better just because it's different, but that doesn't make necessarily wise to pursue someone else's dream because we mistakenly think we may like it more. Tim Burton's fingerprints are all over this film. Excellent casting of vocal talent, the score is great and the animation is marvelous. A very good film and worth watching more than once. Recommended.


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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:

$75,082,668

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$89,140,058
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby (35mm)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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