25 years ago, the seeds were planted to change the face of Disney fandom forever. When Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas was initially released, it wasn’t particularly considered successful. Maybe audiences thought Burton’s dark (yet cuddly and very original) vision of Halloween crashing into the Yuletide spirit was too weird. But as happened with a lot of good but overlooked movies in the age of home video, its reputation grew and grew – or maybe the world finally got weird enough itself to accept Jack Skellington as the Pumpkin King, and get into Danny Elfman’s comic operetta score. Its success did a lot for its merchandising, now everyone can look elegantly spooky in a onesie with Jack Skellington on their chest.
Whatever the reason, Disney discovered they had a sleeper hit, and now The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of their top brands in consumer products, and the Haunted Mansions in both Anaheim and Tokyo get annual magnificent makeovers to become “Jack’s Haunted Mansion Holiday.”
In a nice change of pace/return to form, Disney will be releasing a sing-along edition on September 2, 2018, in both digital and blu-ray simultaneously. No delay, just Jack Skellington. You can watch the film the way it was originally released, or you can watch it with pop-up lyrics and sing along. Can you match Elfman? (Seriously, let me know – I am looking to find a good Oingo Boingo cover band.)
Most of the extras have been on the previous blu-ray, but if I’m reading it correctly, the new blu-ray will include the original version of Burton’s short Vincent, about a boy who looks an awful lot like Tim Burton who has an obsession with all things gothic, and most specifically Vincent Price. In the original version, Price himself narrated, but Disney did a later “storytelling” extra narrated by Christopher Lee. (Lee also narrates the original “picture book” version of The Nightmare Before Christmas.)
The full list of bonus features is here, though as has become the strange industry standard, they vary by retailer:
- ALL-NEW BONUS FEATURES
Song Selection – Shriek along with these ghoulish tunes from the movie, or just lend an ear if you find singing to be particularly ghastly.
- “This Is Halloween”
- “Jack’s Lament”
- “What’s This?”
- “Town Meeting Song”
- “Jack’s Obsession”
- “Kidnap the Sandy Claws”
- “Making Christmas”
- “Oogie Boogie’s Song”
- “Sally’s Song:
- “Poor Jack”
- CLASSIC BONUS FEATURES
The Making of
- The Beginning – Tim Burton and the filmmakers detail the early stages of the beloved film.
- Music – Discover how composer and lyricist Danny Elfman expressed Tim Burton’s unique vision through the timeless songs heard in the film.
- Storyboards – In the storyboard phase, visual representations are first drawn for each scene and then put together in sequential order.
- Art Direction – From camera angles to miniature sets, just about every detail of the film was meticulously plotted by the filmmakers.
- Puppets – All of the characters’ puppet models are constructed in a process that takes them from their metal base to the final painted mold.
- Animation – An incredible mix of artistry and patience is required to produce the stop-motion magic of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
- Deleted Storyboards
- Behomoth Singing – In this unused storyboard sequence, we learn there may have been more to Behemoth than the overalls let on.
- Oogie Boogie with Dancing Bugs – Unused because of its difficulty to animate-take a look at this storyboard sequence where Oogie Boogie cuts a rug with some bugs.
- Alternate Identity of Oogie Boogie – Although never used in the final film, Oogie Boogie was almost a mere alter ego for someone very close to Jack and Sally.
- Deleted Animated Sequences
- Vampire Hockey Players – Tim Burton almost had quite the grotesque cameo, but he was replaced by a pumpkin in the final film.
- Lock, Shock and Barrel – Lock, Shock and Barrel settle in for a front-row seat while Oogie Boogie terrorizes Santa and Sally.
- Oogie Boogie Shadow Dance – The Boogie Man was never one to shy away from the spotlight, as is evident in this deleted dance sequence.
- Tim Burton’s Early Film: “Frankenweenie” (Uncut Version) – Before Tim Burton gave us all nightmares, he created this electrifying short film that replaces Frankenstein’s monster with a dog.
- “What’s This?” Jack’s Haunted Mansion Tour – Take a ride through Jack’s Haunted Mansion Holiday and see how Disney Imagineers transformed an iconic Disneyland attraction.
- Tim Burton’s Original Poem Narrated by Christopher Lee – Hear Hollywood legend Christopher Lee narrate the poem that inspired the movie. Set over illustrations based on Tim Burton’s art.
- Storyboard-to-Film Comparison – See the final version of Jack’s Christmas pitch to the people of Halloween Town next to the original storyboards.
- Theatrical Trailer – In this theatrical trailer, enter a place where every day is Halloween-till Jack Skellington shares his unique view of Christmas!
- Teaser Trailer – This trailer highlights Disney’s long history with technology in filmmaking and heralds a new collaboration with Tim Burton.
- Tim Burton’s Early Film: “Vincent” – Vincent Price himself narrates this stop-motion tale of little Vincent Malloy and his fascination with the macabre.
- Posters – Take a look at some promotional posters from the movie’s release.