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This Is Why a Nightmare Before Christmas Sequel Hasn’t Happened

Jack Skellington makes a spider snowflake

Screenshot: Disney Studios

While promoting Netflix’s upcoming Wendell & Wild, director Henry Selick was featured in conversation with Collider at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he discussed if he and Nightmare Before Christmas creator Tim Burton were ever approached for a sequel to the 1993 beloved stop-motion film Selick directed. Unsurprisingly, the answer is “yes.”

In the conversation, Selick shared that a “sequel has come up several times,but “initially, they always said, ‘But it will have to be CG.’ And that was a non-starter for me. It certainly was for Tim Burton.”

As Nightmare’s Oogie Boogie might say, “You’re joking, you’re joking, because how can you think of stripping away the stop-motion magic that’s so infused in the world Selick and Burton created for Jack Skellington and friends? CG can’t replicate the movements that make the cult classic film’s spooky realms come to life and make those characters who they are. Sure, Disney was probably thinking efficiency (all the better to get more content released to dole out more Hot Topic merch for the Disney Goths), but fans know the difference—and are willing to wait for a continuation of the Nightmare story as long as it’s done right. We like one idea thrown out during the discussion at TIFF, and Selick seemed to like it too: “The idea of a short has never come up in the past… I think that Tim might be open to a short,” Selick said. “It would have to be so refreshing…such a new take to justify making a sequel, but a short makes good sense.” Selick continued, expanding on ideas for a Halloween or Christmas special, or “a short that’s about Zero… his viewpoint of the world or a day in his life. I think that’s a fantastic idea. And doable. I predict Tim would back [it] then.”

Disney needs to have gotten started on this concept years ago because a series of shorts starring Zero sounds like the perfect Nightmare continuation; we suggest setting it in the holiday forest that houses Halloweentown, because we’ve always wanted to see beyond those other doors. There are so many characters we’d want to see again and more Danny Elfman music we need (that he’d probably be into doing).

In the meantime, there is at least a novelization sequel you can read all about Sally titled Long Live the Pumpkin Queen: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas by Shea Ernshaw—and you can see Selick’s stop-motion wizardry at work when Wendell & Wild arrives on Netflix October 28.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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