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The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

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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 »
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Popularity
167 ( 16)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 14 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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Details

Official Sites:

MySpace | Official Facebook | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$191,232, 17 October 1993, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$75,082,668
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jonathan Davis of Korn did a cover in his own metal styling of "Kidnap the Sandy Claws". He did it live via webcam at his own home studio so that the fans could watch it as he produced it. See more »

Goofs

During "Kidnap Mr. Sandy Claws" Shock has black gloves that disappear and re-appear throughout the song. 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

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

Connections

Featured in Ludicrous Summary: The Nightmare Before Christmas (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Oogie Boogie's Song
(1993) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Danny Elfman
Performed by Ken Page and Edward Ivory
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Superb Gothic animation with a thin plot
7 November 2004 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas is a visually spectacular tour de force of Gothic styles and themes, bound around a simple children's tale. The story follows Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween Town, who one day while walking in the woods stumbles upon Christmas Town; a town where, you guessed it, every day is Christmas. Jack doesn't quite understand the concept of a celebration where nobody is frightened or killed, but he decides to have the celebration in his town regardless. While plotting, he also decides to kidnap Santa and deliver Christmas Town's gifts himself this year...much to the dismay of the local children, who aren't too pleased about receiving the gifts that a skeleton from Halloween Town brings them...

This movie was actually directed by Henry Sellick, but it is obviously Tim Burton's film. His style is rampant throughout the film, and it is clear that this could only have come from his mind. The animation on display here is magnificent; the style is very unique and it blends very well with the Gothic theme. Where the film falls down, however, is on the story side and, more notably, the delivery of the story. The story is very linear; I understand that this film is predominantly aimed at children, but even children's films can be more expansive than this; the film also really should be more expansive as Tim Burton has created a whole world with many unique and interesting characters, yet only a handful are allowed to shine. Burton (and his composer, Elfman) seem far too keen to pack the movie with songs. I have no problem with this, but the songs here are really rather dull. The majority of them have little more than one or two lines that are sung over and over and considering that the film is packed with these songs; it gets old fast and more dialogue would have worked better.

Overall, Nightmare Before Christmas is a nice film. The animation and style are amazing and it has lots of nice moments; but it is let down by a thin story and poor delivery. Horror fans will have fun spotting the tributes, and I don't doubt that many children will love this film, as will many adults; but it could and really should have been a lot better, and I have to say that it left me cold.


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