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Boo! BOO! We get you? #FridayDelights are getting scarier as Halloween arrives! At Yum Yum Videos, we will be posting each Friday in October some deliciously scary facts about the most supremely terrifying animated movies.
We are starting this horrific segment off with The Nightmare Before Christmas. Yes, you know it! The famous 1993 Tim Burton(esque) animated movie. But did you know that it hides some surprising secrets? Keep on reading to find out what they are!
#1: Tim Burton Did Not Direct The Nightmare Before Christmas
Yes, we are talking about the same film! Which was actually produced by Tim Burton, who is also responsible for creating the story, the characters and their aesthetics. But when it was time to direct it, he was too busy with Batman Returns, so he passed the role to Henry Selick, a former Disney Animation coworker.
#2: Disney Fought for Jack’s Eyes… And It Lost
The Nightmare Before Christmas was already dark enough for Disney, so they decided to make it through Touchstone pictures, their subdivision. Nonetheless, this didn’t help them by asking for a retouch here and there to make it friendlier to younger audiences, and one of those proposals was for Jack to have eyes. Luckily, Selick and Burton didn’t give in and proved it needed no eyeballs to fully connect with the viewers.
#3: No Credits Are Shown
Wait, what? But who? Well… you’d better google it, because the movie has no credits whatsoever.
#4: It Took Three Years for the Movie to Be Completed
Quite some time! Stop-motion animation takes a great deal of effort. To give you an idea, Selick plus a team of 13 animators and a huge bunch of prop makers, set builders, and camera operators started to work without a final screenplay, only so they could buy some time.
Still, the workload was overwhelming: a group of 100 people were responsible for creating 12 stop-motion moves for every second of the film. One minute of the movie took about a week to shoot!
#5: Mickey Mouse Appears In the Film
Yes, really! Disney unwillingly allowed Selick and Burton to include a hidden Mickey Mouse in the form of a threatening toy that appears when Jack's Christmas gifts get aggressive. Watch closely for Burton’s version of the famous mouse: it is a flying stuffed toy with a gigantic grin and sharp teeth. Note also that the girl it attacks is wearing a Mickey nightgown and her brother, Donald Duck pajamas.
#6: The Set Was Built With Secret Passages for the Animators
Yes, those characters must move! And lots of hidden hands in particular spots are needed to recreate motion flawlessly. That’s why the sets had special trapdoors cut so the animators could reach in and manipulate the puppets.
These strategic points also let them change the character’s faces when needed, allowing for a wide range of emotions. Jack Skellington had more than 400 heads just for himself!
#7: Many of the sets needed as many as 20 to 30 lights
Not only was the animation process very complex, but the lighting had to be perfect as well to recreate those dramatic effects! Also, Zero's nose is a tiny glowing jack-o'-lantern. ☺
#8: Danny Elfman, the composer and lyricist, didn’t have a script to write the songs from
Because of that, the working process was quite peculiar: he asked Tim Burton to describe a scene and then Elfman would compose the song. Fantastic!
#9: Vincent Price Was Supposed To Be Santa
Henry Selick affirms that Vincent Price was originally cast as Santa Claus. However, after the death of Price's wife, his own health began to fail and his voice performance was too sad for the part. For that reason, the tracks were considered unusable and the role was recast.
#10: Burton Denied Doing a Sequel
He stated this in 2001, as Disney projected a computer-animated version for the follow-up movie. “I was always very protective of [Nightmare] not to do sequels or things of that kind”, Burton explained. “You know, ‘Jack visits Thanksgiving world’ or other kinds of things just because I felt the movie had a purity to it and the people that like it”, Burton said.
Whoa, this awesome animated film surely has some story behind it! If you had as much fun as we did discovering its secrets, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. We are keen on horrifying you a bit with more yummy facts, GIFs and cool animations related to Halloween. Boo you there!