Tim Burton is flattered that you want a sequel to The Nightmare Before Christmas, but the crazy-haired director doesn’t share your enthusiasm for more Jack and Sally. According to Consequence, Burton finds the tale of Jack Skellington simply too “personal” to revisit, and the idea of letting someone else tackle the property causes him to envision himself as an elderly man with a shotgun.
Tim Burton Doesn’t Want Any Nightmare Before Christmas Sequels
“I feel like that old guy who owns a little piece of property and won’t sell to the big power plant that wants to take my land,” Burton said recently when discussing The Nightmare Before Christmas. The director then reportedly adopted an “old guy” accent and started demanding that imaginary children “Get off of my land!” before asking with the same geriatric affectation, “Where’s my shotgun?”
Burton claims that the major reason The Nightmare Before Christmas is so meaningful to him is the characters. Burton himself identifies with Jack Skellington as someone who’s “Perceived as dark but is really light.” The director has likened characters like Skellington, Edward Scissorhands, and even Batman to himself as a younger man. “I was perceived as this dark character when I didn’t feel that way,” admits Burton.
Tim Burton Doesn’t Own The Rights
Tim Burton‘s misfit complex—whether real or perceived—aside, the big question his remarks raise is whether or not The Nightmare Before Christmas is even his film. In the legal business sense, there’s a good chance that Burton would have absolutely no say in any potential sequels or spinoffs to The Nightmare Before Christmas. Despite the film carrying the words “Tim Burton’s…” before the title, the true owner of the film is Disney.
While the director is certainly free to give his two cents regarding any further visits to Halloween Town, ultimately, it’s not his call to make. Burton’s old-man analogy falls apart when you consider that it’s really more like an elderly gentleman trying to save a Walmart he used to work at from being bought out by Target or something similar.
Tim Burton Had Little To Do With The Film
Meanwhile, it took a lot of artists to create The Nightmare Before Christmas and a few of them might have just as much emotional claim to the film as Burton, if not more. Many fans forget that The Nightmare Before Christmas is based on a poem and drawings from Burton and not much else.
Despite carrying Tim Burton’s name, the movie was directed by Henry Selick and not Burton, as some fans mistakenly believe. Burton didn’t even write the movie past the initial three-page poem. We have Caroline Thompson to thank for that. Perhaps most importantly, The Nightmare Before Christmas‘s 11 songs were written by composer Danny Elfman, who also provided Jack Skellington’s singing voice.
Forgotten Contributions In Popular Franchises
With so many cooks, the stew that is The Nightmare Before Christmas really can’t be attributed to any one person. Unfortunatley, with any great collaborative work of art, one name always rises above the others. It’s the reason Stan Lee is a household name but not Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko. It’s why many fans think George Lucas created Star Wars entirely on his own despite the immeasurable contributions from folks like Ralph McQuarrie, Marcia Lucas, and the whole crew at ILM.
The Decision Lies In Disney’s Hands
All this is to say that while Tim Burton considers The Nightmare Before Christmas an untouchable film as far as sequels and reboots go, his feelings on the subject don’t really amount to much in the grand scheme of things.
Or, to put it another way, the creators of Planet of the Apes and Dark Shadows probably also didn’t like the idea of someone else coming along and messing with their baby. That’s show business!