The Nightmare Before Christmas
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Credit: Buena Vista Pictures

Henry Selick has one big, Burton-sized regret about The Nightmare Before Christmas

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Oct 27, 2018

The Nightmare Before Christmas, now a cinematic staple in the run-ups to both Halloween and Christmas, celebrates its 25th birthday this year, and there's still something about its stop-motion/musical production that rankles director Henry Selick.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Selick (Coraline) revealed that he has one big creative decision, concerning executive producer Tim Burton, that he regrets not following through on.

"There’s a shot — and I really regret replacing it — at the very end of the film when Jack comes back and then Sandy Claws flies overhead and there’s snow and Christmas comes to Halloween Town. We show a lot of Halloween Towners enjoying winter sports and snow and you see the vampires playing hockey and they hit the puck right at the camera — and originally it was Tim Burton’s head," the director said. "And it was really funny. And Denise Di Novi or one of the Hollywood producers told me, ‘I don’t think Tim’s going to like that.’ And I feel so stupid for not just asking him. But that’s one of the shots that we reshot and we put in a pumpkin instead. I don’t know if that shot still exists, but I’d love to replace the one in there and I’m sure Tim would love it.”

You can see the revised moment in the video below:

Set in a dimension that only celebrates Halloween, The Nightmare Before Christmas is about Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon), the "Pumpkin King," who, bored of the same old shtick every year, attempts to bring the Yuletide joy of Christmas to his fellow creepy citizens. A moderate box-office success upon its release in the fall of 1993 (and a big hit with critics), the feature is now a widespread classic with dual holiday watchability.

“I’m so happy that we got to make it and that it’s had this life. [It was this] initial small success, it made double its money, and they made a few toys and it went away. And then it slowly became this other thing. Ultimately, they’ve made well over a billion dollars in merchandising. So it’s actually done very well for Disney financially, but for me I’m just so happy that we got to make it and that it’s lived on," Selick added.

The movie turns 25 years old this coming Monday, Oct. 29.


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