5 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

5 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' Facts That Will Blow Your Mind ...

The Nightmare Before Christmas, the most popular Halloween-meets-Christmas film, has accumulated all of the fan praise and admiration it's received over the previous three decades. The film was directed by legendary filmmaker Tim Burton, who is well-known for incorporating his gothic flair into most of his projects.

The Nightmare Before Christmas follows Jack Skellington, the King of Halloween Town, who finds Christmas Town accidentally and becomes obsessed with celebrating that particular holiday. As Jack prepares to direct his own horror Christmas holiday, the fate of Christmas (and even Santa) is at stake. However, the average viewer may not know any useful information about the film's creation.

The Movie was Actually Based on a Poem

Burton's one-hour and 15-minute film was based on a poem he wrote while working for Walt Disney Feature Animation in the early 1980s. The film based on the famous poem Twas the Night Before Christmas also contains a three-page poem with the same title.

Burton planned to direct a television special similar to How the Grinch Stole Christmas! or even a childrens story. After showing concept art and character designs to a fellow Disney animator, the two decided to proceed with the project.

Before the film's script, the songs were written.

The Nightmare Before Christmas is well-known for its haunting songs involving Halloween Town's many acrobats. These are just a few of the well-known songs from the film. The Oogie Boogie Song, Jacks Lament, and Whats This? have such an impact on culture that the songs (composed by iconic Danny Elfman) have become a staple of Halloween (and even Christmas) playlists.

Many people do not know that Elfman composed many of the songs before the script was completed. Burton explained many of the plot points to Elfman, and he got to work and composed the songs while also looking at sketches and drawings of the characters.

The Film Took Over Three Years to Make

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a stop-motion animated film. The actual characters were not animated, but physical sculptures that were repositioned for every single shot until they created a coherent picture sequence, stopping the sculptures and putting the shots together to create movement.

Every shot had to be storyboarded down to a tee, and the stop-motion animation took a whopping 18 months. This was not a waste of time, since all the scenes had to be edited down to a tee. There were only 12-17 animators on the job at the time!

Danny Elfman was Jack Skellington's singing voice.

Danny Elfman played Jack Skellington, the mayor of Halloween Town, but he lacked the vocal ability to provide the majority of dialogue.

One of the most heartbreaking facts about the film is that few composers get the opportunity to bring their characters to life in their own way.

Secret Passageways for Animators

The Nightmare Before Christmas was a stop-motion film. The set consisted of 19 sound stages and hundreds of settings designed specifically for the movie. Because stop-motion is so hands-on and there were limited animation techniques used in this film, each set piece had hidden locations where animators could access parts of the scene to achieve a smoother cut.

To move the puppets/sculpture characters, underground tunnels, secret passageways, and trapdoors were installed. They also used these secret passageways to change their faces quickly for a wide spectrum of emotions to be shown.