Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas

4.8 155
Director: Henry Selick

Cast: Henry Selick, Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara


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This stop-motion animated fable was a big hit when it was released -- not only at the box office, but critically. It was praised for its stunning originality and for the excellence of its execution. In addition, it was praised for being a completely absorbing fable that both grownups and children can enjoy, so long as the children are able to its handle scary bits


This stop-motion animated fable was a big hit when it was released -- not only at the box office, but critically. It was praised for its stunning originality and for the excellence of its execution. In addition, it was praised for being a completely absorbing fable that both grownups and children can enjoy, so long as the children are able to its handle scary bits (beginning perhaps at age seven or eight). In the story, Jack Skellington (voice of Chris Sarandon) is the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, a realm of reality where the inhabitants make it their life's work to scare humans on Halloween. He's good at his work, and is very popular around town, but it all bores him. In a funk one day, he wanders into a wood where every tree is the doorway to realms serving one or another human holiday, and falls through the doorway into Christmas. There, he sees scenes of such glee and good will that he is overwhelmed. He returns to Halloweentown with the inspiration to persuade his fellow citizens to kidnap Santa and do Christmas in their own Halloweentown way -- complete with snakes and shrunken heads. Despite strong arguments against this project by Jack's otherwise loyal girlfriend, Sally (voice of Catherine O'Hara), Santa (voice of Edward Ivory) is duly captured, and the townspeople prepare a very special Christmas for everyone. Jack is excited about the new plan, and at first doesn't notice that Sally isn't around much anymore. Meanwhile, Oogie Boogie (voice of Ken Page), a sinister opponent of Jack's, has re-kidnapped Santa and has captured Sally as well. Since Sally is the true love of Jack's life and (he eventually realizes) the only one who can be relied upon to tell him the truth in every circumstance, a confrontation with Oogie Boogie becomes inevitable. In addition to being a monumental work of animation (it took over 120 animators and many more technicians more than two years to film it), this show features ten very appropriate musical numbers by composer Danny Elfman, who also supplies Jack's singing voice. In October 2006, fans of the innovative animated classic got to experience The Nightmare Before Christmas in a whole new dimension when the film was re-released into theaters in Disney Digital 3-D -- a process developed to add remarkable new depth to films that were originally released in standard 2-D.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Amy Robinson
From the macabre mind of visionary eccentric Tim Burton (Sleepy Hollow) comes this tour de force of stop-motion animation that explores the world of holidays with gleeful black humor and stunning visual inventiveness. Conceived and produced by Burton and directed by Henry Selick, The Nightmare Before Christmas chronicles the exploits of Pumpkin King Jack Skellington who, tiring of a life dedicated to bringing Halloween terror to children everywhere, decides to try his hand at Christmas instead. While he never quite grasps the essence of the holiday, Jack exhibits more true affection and imagination than the stern and workmanlike Santa Claus. The vivid imagery -- the spindly denizens of Halloweenland; the greedy, chubby-faced children awaiting their presents; the chipper garishness of Santa's workshop itself -- lingers when the film is over, as do Danny Elfman's wonderfully catchy songs. Functioning both as a sly dig at the mindless consumerism of Christmas and an argument for finding out what you do best and sticking with it, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a refreshing alternative to saccharine, mainstream holiday cinema.
All Movie Guide
Though The Nightmare Before Christmas was universally acclaimed for its seemingly kid-friendly stop-motion animation, parents of the youngest tots should be duly warned. The expressionistic world created by producer/production designer Tim Burton and director Henry Selick may be full of jaw-dropping invention, but it also includes scenes of Santa Claus being tortured on a rack, and a confused child pulling a severed head from his stocking (rendered about as mildly as such a thing can be). What excuses these almost PG-13 images is that tongues are firmly planted in cheek, and everything is placed aright by the end, no serious damage done. Throw in Danny Elfman's lovely score, and the children may be too caught up to ask, "Mommy, why is that Jack Skellington man behaving that way?" The Nightmare Before Christmas was both one of the most imaginative and technologically sophisticated creations that had ever been seen at the time of its release. In a stroke of marketing genius, the film works as both a Halloween and a Christmas movie, combining Burton's fondness for the spooky by-products of the former with the latter's ability to ascribe classic status, which the film capitalizes on. Halloweentown is like a haunted thrill ride for the eyes, popping with trademark Burton twists and gnarls that also possess an underlying sweetness: Just look at the expressiveness of Jack's skeletal eyes. So what if he's a bit of a prankster? That just feeds Burton's and Selick's ghoulish sensibilities, without which this would not be such a subversive "family classic" that should amaze all ages, if for different reasons.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Touchstone / Disney
Region Code:

Special Features

Tim Burton movie introduction; What's This?" Jack's Haunted Mansion Holiday Tour; Frankenweenie short film (uncut version) with introduction by Tim Burton; Vincent: Short film; Tim Burton's original poem narrated by Christopher Lee; Audio commentary by Tim Burton, Director Henry Selick and Music Designer Danny Elfman; Behind-the-scenes making of the movie; The worlds of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas; Deleted scenes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Danny Elfman Barrel
Chris Sarandon Jack Skellington
Catherine O'Hara Shock,Sally
William Hickey Dr. Finklestein
Glenn Shadix Mayor
Paul Reubens Lock
Ken Page Oogie Boogie
Edward Ivory Santa
Randy Crenshaw Mr. Hyde/Behemoth/Vampire
Sherwood Ball Mummy, Vampire
Carmen Twillie Undersea Gal/Man Under Stairs
L. Peter Callender Voice Only
David McCharen Voice Only
Doris Hess Voice Only
Gary Raff Voice Only
Gary Schwartz Voice Only
Judi M. Durand Voice Only
Greg Proops Voice Only

Technical Credits
Henry Selick Director
Tim Burton Original Story,Producer,Production Designer
Barbara Cohen Casting
Denise Di Novi Producer
Danny Elfman Score Composer,Songwriter,Co-producer
Bill Gavin Producer
Pete Kozachik Cinematographer
Phil Lofaro Associate Producer
Michael McDowell Screenwriter
Tim Robinson Producer
Deane Taylor Art Director
Caroline Thompson Screenwriter
Stan Webb Editor

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Nightmare Before Christmas
1. Opening Credits ("Twas A Long Time Ago") [1:19]
2. "This Is Halloween" [5:02]
3. "Jack's Lament" [7:47]
4. "What's This?" [6:42]
5. "The Town Meeting Song" [5:22]
6. "Experiments" [4:27]
7. "Jack's Obsession" [4:50]
8. "The Scheming Song" [3:10]
9. "Sally's Forewarning" [2:35]
10. "Making Christmas" [4:21]
11. "Sandy Claws In Person" [2:52]
12. "Oogie Boogie's Song" [2:33]
13. "Zero Lights The Way" [2:18]
14. "Sally's Song" [1:44]
15. "Christmas Eve Montage" [5:00]
16. "Shot Out Of The Sky" [1:48]
17. "Poor Jack" [3:02]
18. "To The Rescue" [4:10]
19. "Finale/Reprise" [2:35]
20. End Credits [4:45]

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The Nightmare Before Christmas 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 155 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Frankly, I didn't pay much attention to this movie when it first came out. I wasn't (then) a Tim Burton fan, and the whole premise didn't excite me. Then, several years ago I saw the transformation of the the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland (an almost complete &quot ride-through&quot of which is included as a bonus feature) and I was hooked. Finally, with the release of the BlueRay disc I have been able to see the movie. What a TREAT I have been missing for all these years! The one thing that stands out in particular (this being from somewhat of an &quot animation geek&quot ) is remembering that this is NOT CGI work (such as the Pixar films) this is all stop-animation. These are all actual 3-dimentional sets, with 3 dimentional puppets figures. For people not familiar with this technique, every character on camera is posed and a single frame of film is shot. Each character is then moved a fraction of an inch and another frame is shot. Repeat this about 110,000 times and you have this film. AMAZING! The technical virtuosity notwithstanding, the imagry, music, and story are all a perfect blend. Technically, the digital transfer video and audio are top of the line. I can find NOTHING wrong with this disc. Buy it!
Grobiegirl More than 1 year ago
Okay, I'm talking about a cartoon character that bears a slight resemblance to Ichabod Crane. Well, I doubt sincerely that old Ichabod, or the Headless Horseman, for that matter, can belt out a tune like good old Jack can. Danny Elfman is so extraordinary as Jack Skelington, a resident of Halloween town. It seems every one relies on Jack to hold them all together- even the dopey Mayor. Now, I am not usually a huge fan of Halloween in the first place(imagine that!),but, this movie is an exception to all rules. Who would of thought Santa and the Bogey Man would have a run-in? No matter how many times you watch this movie, I guarantee, you will find something new to see each time. My third son had to watch this every single day, as it was one of his favorite movies, along with the original "Jurassic Park". Strange thing was, he was only 1 year-old at the time! They say kids know.....
chicagogrl15 More than 1 year ago
Ever feel like its Halloween every day? Ever feel like you could bring your dog back to life? For Christmas to appear? In the movie the nightmare before Christmas jack skellington the pumpkin king, is the master of Halloween , till he falls into Christmas land and find what Christmas is all about. Now to turn Halloween into Christmas he must get Santa clause to agree to help. Will he make it work or will everything burn to the ground? Follow jack, sally, and zero on the trip to turn Halloween into Christmas. Tim Burton is the craziest directors and film makers. All of his movies his movies are dark and you could watch one clip of his movies and know it was movies. His characters are the biggest part of his movies. All of his characters are dark. His animated characters are a big part of this movie and a couple of his other movies as well. His animated characters are the coolest characters. Burton can turn them into real characters. The voice of jack skellington is played by Chris Sarandon and the voice of sally is played by Catherine O’Hara they both did an amazing job at playing those parts. The music in this movie all has to do with the scenes. When jack falls into Christmas land he doesn’t know what anything is. All of a sudden he starts singing about everything he sees. It’s different from Halloween town. “There are children throwing snowballs/instead of throwing heads. They’re building toys and absolutely no one’s dead” this is a line in the song he sees them throwing snowballs instead of throwing head. Once again different from Halloween town. Now he knows what goes on. The rating of this movie is PG. I can kind of see why you would have it as PG because of graphics in this movie. This movie is not good for kids under 8 years old. I mean they kidnap Santa clause. It’s the perfect movie for either Christmas or Halloween.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie rocks, I love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the nightmare before christmas its about a guy named jack skellington who gets bored with scaring people on halloween and decides to capture ''sandy claws'' so he can do his job for him. well, he screws up and realizes he needs to let Mr. claws do his job and yeah its good BUY IT NOW!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a great movie for all ages! Highly recommended!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie was prety good overall. The animation is very stylish and unique that could only have come from Tim Burton. It's not so much of a christmas story as it is a love story. The main character felt he was missing something in the beginning and thought what he needed was christmas but really it was the love that was associated with christmas. He found out that after nearly destroying christmas. He accepts who he is and finds his true love in a doll. However, he didn't really find out what christmas was or least the director didn't emphasize it much.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great movie about learning the right thing from the wrong thing
Guest More than 1 year ago
omg!!! i love this movie!!! jack skeleington is so awesome. i love his bonyness. you should watch the movie!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I Lurve this movie! The whole concept, the awesome animation the music...Nightmare Forver!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was stunned by this movie the first time I saw it. Visually, Intellectually- this movie is incredible. Tim Burton shows us just how insane he is, and the behind the scenes features make you respect this movie even more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this (in my oppinion) is one of the top 10 BEST movies ever made! It's great but I wouldn't recomend it for young children. I would never show it to a child under 8. If you are buying this for a child please take that into consideration.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie rocks! I love this movie. The songs and the music are the best. I sing them all the time. They get stuck in my head. My friends think it's annoying. I wrote the words to that one song on paper, the one that goes like, ''Oh there's an empty place in my bones...''. My favorite character is Jack Skellington. I am going to try to be Jack for Halloween!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Nightmare Before Christmas is an amazing movie, both in the visuals and in the dialog. The music was exceptional, especialy kidnap the sandy Claws. I, personally, recomend the movie for all ages, however, if you parents out there feel uncomfortable with, possibly, submitting you child to nightmares, then I advize to withhold untill age 8 (depending on maturity level).
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am like in love with this movie. I've watched it at least 20 times this year, and it is most definitely amazing. If you like have something against this movie, you were either too young to understand, or not into kidnapping Santa. Lock Shock and Barrel are the best trick or treaters. For those of you who have not seen the movie, it is about Jack Skellington's search for something new. He is Jack the Pumpkin King in Halloweentown, where all things halloween come from, that are brought into 'The Real World', or the world as we know it. In Halloweentown, you meet all the ghouls, witches, skeletons, trick-or-treaters, etc. The two- faced mayor is unable to run the town without the pumpkin king, and is frantic when he finds that Jack has escaped to another world. In this new world, Jack finds what he's never seen before - love, light, and no monsters to be found. If you haven't already, you must see The Nightmare Before Christmas, to see Tim Burton's holiday classic and to see how a simple poem can turn into a full-length animated movie.