October 29, 2013
The Daily Beast
by Marlow Stern
What’s this? Twenty years ago, an $18 million stop-motion-animated musical featuring a singing and dancing skeleton was quietly released in theaters. But the film took on a life of its own after it left cinemas and, millions of Sally dolls and Hot Topic t-shirts later, The Nightmare Before Christmas is now considered a Halloween classic.
Directed by Henry Selick and produced/co-written by Tim Burton, The Nightmare Before Christmas centers on Jack Skellington (voiced by Chris Sarandon), the de facto ruler of ghoulish Halloween Town. But he’s become tired of celebrating Halloween each and every year. One day, he opens a portal to Christmas Town, and decides to switch things up a bit—kidnapping Santa Claus, and recreating the yuletide cheer in Halloween Town. Meanwhile, Jack has fallen for a rag doll named Sally (voiced by Catherine O’Hara), and wishes to free her from the clutches of her creator, the resident mad scientist Doctor Finkelstein.
Featuring eye-catching gothic design and beautiful musical numbers by Danny Elfman, the film grossed a meager $50 million when it was first released in theaters, but has made countless millions in merchandise sales since. Read more .