20 Creepy Facts About Jack Skellington

Did you know that "The Nightmare Before Christmas" movie is based on a poem of the same title by Tim Burton in the 1980s?

    Note down your top ten Halloween movies. We’re pretty sure The Nightmare Before Christmas is on that list.

    It’s a story that never feels dated and has earned a large following.

    What makes Jack Skellington such an iconic yet creepy character? Read on to find out.

    To truly capture all of Jack Skellington’s expressions, sculptors created 400 heads. Then, they swapped his head to match his emotions.

    Jack Skellington has made several appearances in other films before his debut in The Nightmare Before Christmas. You can see the pumpkin king in the short film Vincent (1982) and Beetlejuice (1988).

    Although no one knows his actual height, Jack Skellington is estimated to be anywhere between 6 feet to over 11 feet tall (183 cm to 335 cm).

    Disney felt Jack Skellington would be too scary. Their biggest problem was the big empty eyes. They felt putting friendly eyes would humanize the character and make him less scary. After much deliberation, they decided to stick to the original design.

    Unlike most Disney characters, Jack Skellington is almost invincible. He’s no longer living, so he can easily remove and reattach body parts.

    Jack Skellington was once human. Some theories state his origin is tied to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack. In the story, Stingy Jack deceives the devil. Upon his death, God didn’t let him into heaven, and the devil locked him out of hell. He was sentenced to spend eternity roaming the night with a lantern.

    You may call him the king of Halloween town, but Jack Skellington has other aliases. Some lesser-known names include “Sandy Claws,” “The Pumpkin King,” “Mr. Unlucky,” “Bone Daddy,” and “Bone Man.”

    Jack Skellington has a loyal companion in his ghost dog, Zero. Zero has a glowing jack-o’-lantern at the tip of his nose, which lit Jack’s path to the Christmas town door.

    Jack Skellington’s dog can shape-shift. Zero has a dog face with an extended ghost body. However, at the end of the original story, Zero transforms into a box of tissues when he sees Jack crying.

    The movie The Nightmare Before Christmas is based on a poem of the same title by Tim Burton in the 1980s.

    Tim Burton said that the switch from spooky Halloween decorations to cheerful Christmas decorations in stores inspired him to draft the three-page poem The Nightmare Before Christmas.

    In 2001, Disney had the idea of creating a computer-animated sequel to The Nightmare Before Christmas. Thankfully, Henry Selick and Tim Burton shut it down. Could you imagine Jack Skellington visiting other holiday towns?

    Tim Burton drew inspiration for the characters in The Nightmare Before Christmas from TV specials such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and the poem A Visit from St. Nicholas.

    Creating The Nightmare Before Christmas took an insane amount of work. They had over 120 people working on set and shot 12 stop-motion moves for each second of the film. In the three years it took to create the movie, they shot 109,440 frames.

    Although Jack Skellington is the protagonist, he’s no hero. He kidnaps Santa Claus, makes destructive weapons, and upsets the whole town. While he didn’t intend to upset anyone, his actions did so anyway.

    The original poem written by Tim Burton had only three characters — Jack Skellington, Zero, and Santa Claus. They created other characters specifically for the film.

    Jack Skellington’s name is a play on the word skeleton, but he doesn’t look quite right. He has four fingers in each hand. Furthermore, his long thin structure makes him look nightmarish.

    Jack Skellington is a pretty lousy friend. Despite his close friendship with Sally, he never listens to her, ignores her objections, and talks over her many times. Worst of all, he had no idea Sally was kidnapped and locked in Dr. Finkelstein’s lab.

    Can a skeleton and rag doll have kids? Oddly enough, they can! Jack Skellington and Sally eventually had four or five skeleton children. We hear this in the soundtrack at the end.

    If you’d like to see more of Jack Skellington, you can see him in Princess and the Frog, Alice in Wonderland, Sleepy Hollow, Finding Nemo, and Coraline.

    Jack Skellington holding a carved pumpkin

    The Nightmare Before Christmas first hit theaters around 29 years ago and still remains a classic.

    It ties together two major holidays, Christmas and Halloween.

    He might not be the hero we expected, but Jack Skellington is a memorable character.

    There’s no better time to catch up on your favorite anti-hero and reminisce about old times.

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About The Author

Jennifer Anyabuine
Jennifer Anyabuine

Jennifer Anyabuine is a med student and freelance writer. She writes on diverse topics, including health, wellness, and lifestyle. When she’s not studying or writing, she spends quality time with her family and two dogs.

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