21 Things You Probably Don’t Know About “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

October 16, 2018
Nightmare Before Christmas



It wouldn't be Halloween without Tim Burton's classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas! 

Mental Floss has compiled a list of 21 facts you might not known about the Halloween classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Here are 10 of them (see full list at the link):

1. Tim Burton did not direct the movie. Burton's name goes above the title for serving as producer, creating the story, and coming up with the look and the characters. The film, however, was actually Henry Selick’s feature directorial debut. 

2. Jack Skellington resurfaced in Selick’s later films. In Selick’s 1996 live-action adaptation of Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, Jack appears as a skeletal pirate captain.

3. The plot was inspired by the recurring collision of holiday store decorations. Burton’s memory of the melding of Halloween and Christmas in stores planted the seed for his tale of the king of Halloween intruding on Christmas.

4. A Burton poem predated the film. Burton’s poem was a parody of Clement Clarke Moore's A Visit from St. Nicholas (also known as The Night Before Christmas), and focused on Jack Skellington's inescapable boredom and featured his ghost dog Zero, as well as Santa.

5. Burton originally imagined the film as a television special. Like Rankin/Bass's Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer or Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, Burton envisioned his take on Christmas could play well on television annually. 

6. Shooting began before the script was completed. Selick and a team of 13 specially trained animators and an army of prop makers, set builders, and camera operators got to work without a final screenplay. 

7. Selick is responsible for Jack’s signature suit. In Burton's original sketches, Jack was dressed all in black. Director Selick, however, gave Jack a makeover. 

8. Disney fought for Jack to have eyes. Disney dropped some serious studio notes, including the insistence that Jack Skellington's empty sockets be filled with a pair of friendly eyes because of the film’s dark nature. 

9. Vincent Price was almost Nightmare’s Santa. Price had agreed to give voice to the plump and flustered Santa who is kidnapped by Lock, Shock, and Barrel, but plans were derailed when Price's wife Coral Browne passed in 1991. 

10. Patrick Stewart was cut from the film. While Patrick Stewart was called in to read poetry that was intended for the film's opening and closing narration, the lengthy monologues were eventually cut down and reassigned to the film's Santa, Edward Ivory.

Click here to read more!