The Nightmare before Christmas

  • PG
  • Henry Selick (1993)
  • US
  • 73 min
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Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

Only the deliciously demented imagination of Edward Scissorhands director Tim Burton could have come up with such a dark vision of the holiday season. Producing here, Burton called on the services of innovative animation director Henry Selick and composer Danny Elfman (a regular Burton collaborator, who wrote the ten surreal songs and lends his singing voice to the lead character) for this wonderfully weird fable. Packed with scary spooks, gags and dazzling d├ęcor, it enchants with every busy frame as spindly Jack Skellington, the mastermind behind Halloween, hijacks Christmas out of boredom, becoming a frightening Santa delivering nasty surprises instead of presents to terrified children. The film's affectionate trashing of Christmas traditions is conceptually cunning and clever enough to please every generation, making it an unmissable treat that's destined to become as great a yuletide favourite as The Wizard of Oz.

Plot Summary

Animated musical drama featuring the voices of Chris Sarandon and Catherine O'Hara. Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, longs to escape the routine of Halloweentown. Through a door in a tree, he stumbles upon Christmastown where he engineers the kidnapping of Santa Claus and wreaks havoc among the inhabitants.

Cast and crew


Jack Skellington
Danny Elfman
Jack Skellington
Chris Sarandon
Sally / Shock
Catherine O'Hara
Evil scientist
William Hickey
Glenn Shadix
Paul Reubens
Oogie Boogie
Ken Page
Ed Ivory
Big Witch / WWD
Susan McBride


Henry Selick

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Buena Vista International UK
Contains some scenes that younger viewers may find scary.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Certificate PG