100 Facts About The Nightmare Before Christmas

Aloha my wonderful merfolk!

This week is a slight cheat week, seeing as The Nightmare Before Christmas is not in the Disney Animated Canon. However, with Halloween being this week I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to write about one of my favourite films!

52. Nightmare Before Christmas

  1. The Nightmare Before Christmas was released on October 29th
  2. It is often promoted as Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.
  3. The Nightmare Before Christmas originated in a poem written by Tim Burton in 1982.
  4. He wrote this whilst he was working as a Disney animator.
  5. The film was directed by Henry Selick.
  6. Danny Elfman wrote the score for the film
  7. He also provided the singing voice of Jack Skellington.
  8. Disney originally wanted to develop The Nightmare Before Christmas as either a short film or a thirty minute television special.
  9. In 1990, Burton and Disney made a development deal.
  10. Production started in July 1991 in San Francisco.
  11. Walt Disney Pictures decided to release the film under their Touchstone Pictures banner.
  12. This was because they thought the film would be too dark and scary for kids.
  13. This happened in the original 1993 release only.
  14. Walt Disney Pictures has owned the movie since it’s 3D reissue.
  15. The Nightmare Before Christmas was met with critical and financial success.
  16. Disney has reissued the film annually under their Disney Digital 3D format since 2006.
  17. This is the first stop-motion animated feature to be entirely converted to 3D.
  18. Chris Sarandon was cast as Jack Skellington as his speaking voice matched Danny Elfman singing voice.
  19. Tim Burton has said that the original poem was inspired after seeing Halloween merchandise display in a store being taken down and replaced by a Christmas display.
  20. The juxtaposition of ghouls and goblins with Santa and his reindeer sparked his imagination.
  21. Danny Elfman found writing Nightmare’s 10 songs as one of the easiest jobs he ever had as he had a lot in common with Jack Skellington.
  22. In 2001, Walt Disney Pictures began to consider producing a sequel but rather than using stop motion, Disney wanted to use computer animation.
  23. Tim Burton convinced Disney to drop the idea.
  24. Patrick Stewart did the original introduction for the movie, which can be heard on the film’s soundtrack.
  25. It took a group of around 100 people, three years to complete this movie
  26. For one second of film, up to 12 stop-motion moves had to be made.
  27. Zero’s nose is actually a tiny glowing jack-o-lantern.
  28. There is something of a controversy over exactly who has the rights to all the story and film their own.
  29. Henry Sellick is the director and spent more time on the set and production than Tim Burton
  30. Burton has claimed that he is the owner of the story as it was all his idea as he wrote the original poem and the majority of the script.
  31. He also created the characters, served as producer and even wanted to direct but was simply too busy at the time to do so.
  32. At the time, Tim Burton was working on Batman Return and had Ed Wood in pre-production.
  33. Selick estimated that Burton was present 8-10 days total during production.
  34. Popular culture has long accepted the film heading is Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas’.
  35. Burton does however reinforce that Selick directed the film and is often annoyed that people don’t remember him for that.
  36. In the scenes with the street band, especially inside the town hall, there is a small man inside the bass that is based on Danny Elfman.
  37. According to Henry Selick, Vincent Price was originally cast as Santa Claus.
  38. However, after the death of Price’s wife, his health began to decline and his voice performance became frail and weak.
  39. The tracks were deemed unusable which lead to the role being recast.
  40. Henry Selick regretted this decision a lot.
  41. It is stated in ‘The Making of …’ book that the most difficult shot to film in the entire movie is the shot where Jack is reaching for the Doorknob to Christmasland.
  42. Viewers can see the perfect surround reflection of the forest around Jack in the background.
  43. The ‘Kidnap the Sandy Claws’ music is heard in The Haunted Mansion holiday ride at Disneyland California and Disneyland Tokyo as an instrumental version.
  44. In the extended ending to the film, many years later, Santa Clause returns to Halloween Town to visit Jack and finds that he has about four or five skeleton children.
  45. Oogie Boogie was originally intended to be Dr FInklestein in disguise.
  46. Reportedly, Tim Burton was so infuriated with this idea that he literally kicked a hole into the wall.
  47. The character of Dr Finklestein is listed only as ‘Evil Scientist’ in the cast credits.
  48. Two items were invented to facilitate the filming of the movie.
  49. One was a ‘light alarm’ which would warn the animators if any of the stage lights failed to come on.
  50. The other was a system that enabled a puppeteer to seamlessly switch to a replacement puppet if a puppet broke during a shot
  51. Prior to this, either situation, a light failing to come on or a puppet breaking would destroy a shot.
  52. In the song ‘This is Halloween’, the lyrics ‘tender lumplings everywhere’ refers to ‘Tender Lumplings’ a song by Danny Elfman when he was with Oingo Boingo.
  53. The teaser trailer tells us that the film was originally intended to be released under the Walt Disney Pictures banner.
  54. Tim Burton and Danny Elfman experienced creative differences during filming.
  55. Since 2001, seasonal overlay of the Disneyland ark California and the Tokyo Disneyland Haunted Mansion attractions called Haunted Mansion Holiday combines the characters and setting/theme of the ride with characters/storyline of the film.
  56. In the original poem written by Tim Burton, the only characters that existed were Jack, Zero and Santa.
  57. All the others were created for the movie.
  58. Burton did however describe some of the presents that were given out, including in some cases, the names of the children.
  59. There are only two shots in the entire film that were filmed at normal speed (24fps).
  60. One if the opening overhead hot of the trees in the forest
  61. The other is the bugs falling into the molten pit in Oogie Boogies lair.
  62. In 2013, Catherine O’Hara participated in Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton to perform ‘Sally’s Song’ from this film.
  63. She received a standing ovation when she entered the stage as well as when she left.
  64. Chris Sarandon admitted he was a poor singer and preferred to only provide Jack’s speaking voice.
  65. In the first home Jack visits, there appear to be two commemorative Elvis Presley plates on the living room wall.
  66. This is likely a reference to Presley’s 1964 song ‘Blue Christmas’.
  67. A crossed out calculation on Jack’s blackboard seems to equate 3 times the square of pi multiplied by 12 to Christmas Day.
  68. The true numerical answer is approximately 355.31.
  69. If the decimal portion is dropped, this then equates to December 21st, the 355th day of the year, hence the crossed out equation.
  70. December 21st is however the first official day of winter in the northern hemisphere.
  71. It is also the birthday of Jeffrey Katzenberg, the films executive producer.
  72. While no sequels have been produced, the worlds and characters are featured in the Disney and Square Enix video game series Kingdom hearts.
  73. There is also a boss battle with Oogie Boogie.
  74. Jack rides across the sky under a Christmas Eve full moon.
  75. Between the end of World War II and the end of 1993 there were only five Christmas Eve’s with a full moon or as close to full.
  76. These were 1950, 1958, 1969, 1977 and 1988.
  77. Sally is made of leaves on the inside.
  78. Originally, a longer version of Jack trying to get the true meaning of Christmas through science was fully animated.
  79. Some of the best gags, including a scene of Jack doing illustration sof Santa and his ‘monster’ form were cut simply due to time purposes.
  80. Behemoth is based on B-movie actor/Swedish wrestler Tor Johnson.
  81. In Oogie Boogies song, there was a story boarded sequence where bugs came out of Oogie’s eyes and danced on his arm before he belches them off.
  82. It was removed from the film because it was considered difficult to make miniature armatures for all the bugs.
  83. Despite this, the lyrics during that scene were included in the film’s soundtrack.
  84. In the first few seconds after the title is shown, you can see there are seven holiday doors.
  85. Going clockwise the doors are A Pumpkin for Halloween, A decorated Christmas Tree for Christmas, A Turkey for Thanksgiving, A brightly coloured egg for Easter, a green four leafed clover for St Patrick’s Day, a red heart for Valentines and a red and white firework that can only be seen at the very beginning of the movie for just a few seconds.
  86. The door is assumed to be for American Independence Day.
  87. The Christmas tree in Sally’s vision that catches fire is the same tree as in Jack’s house.
  88. Jonathan Davis of Korn did a cover in his own metal stylings of Kidnap the Sandy Claws via webcam in his own home studio so the fans could watch it as he produced it.
  89. The Italian band Lacuna Coil used ‘This is Halloween’ as part of the opening to their concert set on their Comalies tour.
  90. Joe Ranft stars as Igor, Dr Finklesteins assistant who gives him the plans to create the skeleton reindeer.
  91. He appears in several scenes in the film but only has one line.
  92. Ranft was not credited for his role.
  93. The only huma adult face shown is Santa Claus and a woman reading a book to lves in Christmas town
  94. All other human adults are shown from the neck down.
  95. No credits are shown, except the company and the film’s name.
  96. After researching many books and stories about Christmas, Jack continues to call Santa Claus, Sandy Claws, even though he should know by now how to pronounce the name and what the correct spelling is.
  97. Oogie Boogie in the moon was used as part of Nostalgia Critics review of the IT mini series on Youtube.
  98. The visual style of the playstation game MediEvil is inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas.
  99. The Unlucky Clover was a planned second movie but Tim Burton never made it due to the worry it would spoil the magic of the first movie.
  100. The film was nominated for both the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.

a mermaid be waiting for you, in mysterious fathoms below


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