Why Hasn’t There Been A Sequel To ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas?’
Published on January 5, 2020
From October to December, there’s only one movie to watch on repeat that feels festive no matter what: “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” It’s the perfect film to watch for Halloween, but it’s also the perfect movie to get you in the Christmas spirit…if you like your Christmas spirit a little spooky. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” has been a cult favorite since its release in 1993 and has become even more beloved over the years.
A movie as popular as “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is usually followed up by a semi-successful sequel, especially if that move is owned by Disney (which loves their sequels). But “The Nightmare Before Christmas” hasn’t gotten the sequel treatment. Why not? Turns out, pretty much everyone involved in the movie is opposed to creating a sequel.
Director Henry Selick Said, ‘No CGI!’
The director of “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Henry Selick, has said that he was initially open to the idea of a sequel. He loved the story of Halloweentown and its uniquely creepy residents, and he was open to exploring their lives further in future stories. Selick even said that there had been talks with Disney about making a sequel. Why didn’t anything come of the negotiations? Selick said that Disney wanted to make a CGI sequel instead of using stop-motion animation, which had been used for the original film.
Selick pushed back, arguing that the stop-motion animation was one of the things that made the movie so special. But Disney wasn’t willing to budge. They didn’t think that stop-motion animation was a viable way to make an animated feature when they could use CGI for everything. Selick said he didn’t want to participate in creating a CGI movie and stated that he didn’t think eccentric creative Tim Burton would want to, either.
Tim Burton Said No Sequel, Period
Tim Burton is known in Hollywood and beyond for his incredibly unique and wildly creative ideas. He’s also known for his interesting execution of those ideas onscreen. He’s undoubtedly one of the most eccentric creatives in the film industry. Burton is also known for being very protective of his creations. He’s not one to commercialize his works. This is exactly why he’s been adamantly against creating a sequel to “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
Certainly, Burton saw the potential for a long series of movies based around Jack Skellington and his interest in other holiday towns. But Burton said that he didn’t want to venture into every holiday town for the sake of creating more movies. He stated that “The Nightmare Before Christmas” had a “purity to it…because it’s not a mass-market thing.”
The original idea for “The Nightmare Before Christmas” came to Burton in a fever dream, and apparently, the idea wouldn’t leave him alone. So, he’d spent years getting to know these characters and this particular story before he finally got to make the movie. And when the film was done, he felt like the story he’d been trying to tell was done, leaving no room for a sequel in his mind.
Danny Elfman Said He Wasn’t Sure About Working With Burton Again
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” wouldn’t be the same without the iconic music from composer and musician Danny Elfman. And no Tim Burton movie from the ’80s or ’90s was without Danny Elfman’s particular musical taste. But while working on “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Elfman and Burton butted heads. They’d been collaborating on projects for almost 20 years at that point, so it makes sense that tensions would run high eventually.
Since then, they’ve resolved their differences. But when the time was perfect for a sequel to happen, Elfman and Burton weren’t sure they could work together. And moving forward on a sequel without Elfman’s genius was unthinkable.
Since none of the major players involved in “The Nightmare Before Christmas” appear interested in a sequel, it seems like the cult classic will stand alone for time immemorial. And that’s probably for the best.