Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween Town whose adventures make up The Nightmare Before Christmas, has become one of the most beloved icons of the Samhain Season. He's creepy and charming and his desire to reignite the spark of joy in his unlike leads him to steal Christmas. His signature song, "Jack's Lament" lays out who the character is and what he wants against a mournful Danny Elfman score.
"The Nightmare Before Christmas" was based on a poem written by Tim Burton when he was an animator for Disney.
When asked where the idea of the film came from, director Henry Selik told the Daily Beast, "Tim rewrote the classic poem, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas,' along with designs for Jack Skellington, his dog, Zero, and Santa Claus."
Because the film was stop-motion it took animators about three years to complete the film.
"I was on the film for three-and-a-half years. The stop-motion animation took about 18 months, but with pre-production, where you storyboarded every single shot, it did add up. At its peak, it was about 120 people working on it, and we had between 12-17 animators on the job. It's an insane way to make a movie, but a lot of fun," director Henry Selick told the Daily Beast.
There have been many adaptions of the song by talented musicians around the world, but this is one of my favorite is the female vocalist Brittany J. Smith, who gender flips Jack and brings her powerful voice and personality to the character. The Nashville-based singer describes herself as "a vocal musician/makeup transformationist/vlogger/hair chameleon" and there's no question that her talent is exceptional.
Watch her performance below.