Top 10... - December 24, 2015

10 Things You Didn’t Know About… The Nightmare Before Christmas
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About… The Nightmare Before Christmas

A stop motion dark fantasy musical might sound like an unlikely hit at the best of times, but for it to turn into a bona fide Christmas classic? That takes something very special indeed. But special is exactly what The Nightmare Before Christmas is.

Directed by Henry Sellick, overseen by dark master Tim Burton and featuring a soundtrack of incredible songs written by Danny Elfman, it tells the story of Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, who is bored with doing the same thing every year for Halloween and wants something new.

While out walking one day  he stumbles into Christmas Town and is so taken with the idea of Christmas that he tries to get the resident bats, ghouls, and goblins of Halloween town to help him put on Christmas instead of Halloween, a task they all struggle to get right, forcing Jack to take strange and drastic measures that threaten to ruin Christmas for everyone...

It’s ghoulish and wonderful, but just in case you need reminding about the brilliance of The Nightmare Before Christmas, here are 10 things you didn’t know about it...

 

It began with a Tim Burton poem…

After completing work on his first short film Vincent in 1982, Burton was struck as he saw Halloween merchandise being replaced by Christmas products, feelings he poured into a poem titled The Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s not much like the finished movie, but that’s where the idea began.

 

It took a long, long time to film…

The film is all stop motion animation and was shot at 24 frames per second, that meant animators had to step up 24 shots for every single second, that meant they had to set up 110,000 shots! Every minute of the movie took a week to do.

 

There were over 400 Jack Skellington heads…

Animators were forced to make that many for Jack because his mood changes throughout the film. They did get a second use out of Jack though, his puppet appears in Burton’s James And The Giant Peach as Captain Jack.

 

Over 200 puppets were used in all...

227 to be exact.

 

A horror legend was supposed to voice Santa Claus…

Vincent Price, star of so many horror classics, was supposed to voice the captured gift giver and had signed on to do so, but shortly before his wife Coral Browne passed away and, according to Selick, the actor was so grief-stricken that the director felt he sounded too sad for Santa.

 

It almost ended one of Hollywood’s great partnerships…

Danny Elfman has scored every Tim Burton movie with only two exceptions, the first is 2007’s Sweeney Todd, which obviously came up music provided by Stephen Sondheim, the other is 1994’s Ed Wood, the film Burton shot directly after work finished on The Nightmare Before Christmas.

During the making of this movie Burton and Elfman had an epic fallout, apparently over creative differences and looked set to part ways forever, but fortunately they made up a few months later. Just think how different cinematic history might be...

 

Patrick Stewart didn’t make the final film…

The British veteran originally provided narration for the film’s opening, but was cut in favour of Edward Ivory, the man who voices Santa Claus. Stewart does however feature on the movie’s soundtrack...

 

The likes of Marilyn Manson, Fall Out Boy and Fiona Apple have all covered tracks from the soundtrack…

When the soundtrack was re-released in 2006, Disney enlisted Panic! At The Disco, Marilyn Manson, Fall Out Boy and Fiona Apple to cover songs from the soundtrack, it proved rather popular so in 2008 they commissioned a full album titled Nightmare Revisited, a compilation that featured Rise Against, Korn and The All-American Rejects alongside a string of other artists.

 

It lost out at the Oscars…

Despite being loved by audiences and critics alike it only got one Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects. Sadly also in the category was Jurassic Park which took home the statute.

 

Tim Burton stopped plans for a sequel…

Back in 2001 Disney approached Burton and Sellick about doing a sequel, only this time with computer generated animation. Burton however wasn’t keen and stopped it in its track, Sellick however has said he is up for returning to Halloweentown.

 

The Nightmare Before Christmas is available to purchase on the right-hand side of the page.

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