The Nightmare Before Christmas

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Film poster for The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) is a Tim Burton stop-action animated musical film about the inhabitants of Halloween Town who take over Christmas one year.

The film was released by Touchstone Pictures, a film studio owned by the Walt Disney Company.



This motion picture follows the story of Jack Skellington, the "Pumpkin King" of Halloween Town, where the residents annually prepare Halloween for the mortal world. Jack suffers from depression as a result of having to prepare the same holiday year after year, and longs for something else. This "something else" takes the form of Christmas, which he discovers in Christmas Town while wandering in the woods. Upon entering Christmas Town he is immediately enlivened, and longs to "have" Christmas for himself.

Jack convinces the other residents of Halloween Town to "make Christmas," but they create a Christmas modeled on Halloween. Sally, Jack's admirer, feels a sense of forboding and attempts to dissuade Jack from his plan. Jack, however, ignores her, and has Santa Claus kidnapped so that he might take his place. Jack's Christmas does indeed turn tragic, but he manages to return to Halloween Town in time to free Santa Claus and set things right.

Due to the movie's nature of ruining Christmas, considered to be the happiest and most joyous occasion of the year, the film has enjoyed cult status among Gothics, Mallcores and other subcultures. This can be also said of many of Tim Burton's other works, which usually feature very dark and moody settings as well as influences regarding death, the paranormal, and the supernatural, featured prominently in horror movies.

Since the movie was created utilizing stop motion animation, it can be seen as a parody relating to children's made-for-TV Christmas movies which were created in the 1960s and 1970s, also featuring this animation technique. Two examples of these are Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) and The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974). The movie is highly regarded as one of the finest achievements ever made utilizing this medium. The same studio later created another stop motion movie based on the Roald Dahl book, James and the Giant Peach (1996), though it did not receive the same amount of success.

Technical data

Cast (voices)

On the soundtrack album, Patrick Stewart voices the opening narrative poem. A second poem, also read by Stewart, is included before the "End Credits" music; in this passage, Santa Claus describes a visit he made to Halloween Town many years after the events of the film.

Disney theme parks

For the past five years, the Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland in California and Japan have received a Nightmare Before Christmas themed overlay for their Haunted Mansion attractions. The attractions are closed in October each year to be completely overhauled, themeing wise, and open until January of the next year.

In 2005, Disneyland will not receive its overlay as much of the attraction budget has been spent on the park's fiftieth anniversary celebration. Instead, the Magic Kingdom in Florida will receive the overlay for that park's Haunted Mansion. Tokyo Disneyland will still receive the overlay as normal. It is not known whether the Magic Kingdom or Disneyland will receive the overlay in 2006.

Video games

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The movie's three-dimensional characters prove to be perfect for Kingdom Hearts

A video game based on the original movie has been announced and was released in 2005. The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge is an action/adventure game developed by Capcom from Japan for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox systems. Intended to be a sequel to the movie, the game features the return of all the well-known characters in a new story with upgraded versions of the movie's songs. In the story, Jack leaves Halloween Town to satisfy his curiosity, but during his absence, Ooogie Boogie is reconstructed and takes over Halloween Town by the time Jack returns. Now Jack has to stop Oogie Boogie's evil plans.

A GBA game , "The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King" came out fall 2005. the oppisite of the Playstation and Xbox versions, the GBA game works as a prequel to the movie. The Pumpkin King is a side-scrolling action platformer in which you'll control Jack Skellington and use a number of different weapons to fight enemies and traverse obstacles. The side-scrolling adventure game centers around the first time Jack faced off against his nemesis, Oogie Boogie, to eventually become the pumpkin king. The game's plot will kick off with the invasion of some unusual bugs in Halloween Town. Jack soon discovers that these nasty insects are under the control of Oogie Boogie, who's looking to take over Halloween himself. With these creepy wheels set in motion, it will be up to Jack and his friends--including characters such as Zero, Sally, Dr. Finklestein, and others--to both stop Oogie and save Halloween.

Halloween Town also appears as one of the worlds in the Square Enix/Disney Kingdom Hearts video game series. In this game, Jack tries to create an artificial heart so he can control the Heartless for use in his "Heartless Halloween," but the plan goes awry when Oogie Boogie steals the heart, ingests it, and tries to use it to control the heartless for his own purposes. Jack then teams up with Sora and the others to stop Oogie Boogie's plans. Jack can also join Sora's party whenever they are in Halloween Town. Kingdom Hearts 2 follows the movie plot, where Jack tries to take over Santa Claus' place on Christmas.

External links

de:The Nightmare Before Christmas fr:L'trange Nol de Monsieur Jack ja:ナイトメアー・ビフォア・クリスマス


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