It’s been 25 years since The Nightmare Before Christmas was released in theaters. Just this weekend, composer Danny Elfman is doing his annual live concert of the film at the Hollywood Bowl, parties all over the world are showing the stop-motion flick to kickoff Halloween parties, and cosplayers are no doubt wearing their stripes and stitches.
Nightmare director Henry Selick recently spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about working on the project [which he says didn’t have a screenplay?!], as well as commenting on a scene that was cut from the final version:
“We had to start production without a script, which is insane. We didn’t really know what we were doing, but we had total confidence and we had a huge amount of fun.
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. 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.”
The entire interview is well worth a read for fans of the spoopy film, Selick talks about the process of editing things down, how difficult it was to do Sally’s scenes, and more.
“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.”
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