‘This is Halloween!’ 5 Fun Facts About ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ as it Turns 30 This Year

Buena Vista Pictures/Everett Collection

Although Disney’s The Nightmare Before Christmas turns 30 this year, it is still as beloved and popular as ever. From the 13-foot Jack Skellington decoration to its villain Oogie Boogie’s bash at Disneyland, fans love to watch it each year and still debate whether the movie is technically a Halloween or Christmas movie. I believe it can be both but am partial to it around the spooky time of year (the movie makers have confirmed that it is supposed to be a Halloween film). In honor of the film that first debuted in 1993 and featured some pretty incredible animations, let’s see how many of these facts you know about The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The movie was based on a poem by Tim Burton

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, producer Tim Burton with some of the characters, 1993

Buena Vista/Everett Collection

Many mistakenly believe that Tim Burton was the director of the film, but it was actually Henry Selick who directed the classic. Burton was not only the producer, but he wrote the poem that the film is based on. He rewrote the classic poem “T’was the Night Before Christmas” and originally, the poem only featured Jack Skellington, Zero the dog, and Santa Claus, but more characters were created for the film including the iconic Sally and Oogie Boogie.

The songs were written based on sketches and stories

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, from left: producer Tim Burton, composer Danny elfman during the soundtrack recording, 1993

Buena Vista/Everett Collection

Composer Danny Elfman wrote the amazing songs for the movie and did so before there was even a script. He said that Burton would tell him parts of the story and show him sketches and that is how he wrote the songs. Elfman also sang all of Jack Skellington’s parts in the film, as well as voiced the characters Barrel and the Clown with the Tear-Away Face.

Jack Skellington appeared in another Halloween movie prior to ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Jack Skellington (voice: Chris Sarandon), 1993

Buena Vista Pictures/Everett Collection

Burton added a little cameo of Jack Skellington in 1988’s Beetlejuice if you look closely. He also seems to appear in James and the Giant Peach, Coraline, Princess and the Frog, Finding Nemo, Sleepy Hollow, and Alice in Wonderland. Have you ever spotted Jack in another film?

Burton is against making a sequel

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Oogie Boogie (right, voice: Ken Page), 1993

Buena Vista Pictures/Everett Collection

In a world full of reboots, revivals, and sequels, many fans are likely hoping for a sequel to The Nightmare Before Christmas to see what their favorite characters are up to now. However, Burton owns the rights and has been very against making a sequel. He said he likes the purity of the film.

Disney was going to make a ride based on the film… and they did, sort of

There was reportedly going to be a full-time ride based on The Nightmare Before Christmas at one of the Disney theme parks. Although it never came to be, fans can enjoy a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay during the Halloween season at The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.

Now tell us, what is your favorite Halloween film?

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