- Oct 26, 2015
Disney is reportedly considering a follow up to Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas in the form of an animated or live-action sequel.
As claimed by Moviehole, there’s talks at the studio to “do something with Nightmare Before Christmas — probably a sequel but live-action possible.”
The Henry Selick-directed 1993 stop-motion animated musical, inspired by a poem penned by former Disney animator Burton, won $75 million at the box office in its original theatrical release. It was later reissued to theaters in 3D between 2006 and 2009.
Nightmare proved such a favorite it launched a continuous stream of merchandise and inspired an annual holiday-themed overlay at Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion attraction.
When helping Disney in 2006 oversee its transfer to 3D under Industrial Light & Magic, Burton said he was against a sequel.
“I was always very protective of [Nightmare], not to do sequels or things of that kind. You know, ‘Jack visits Thanksgiving world’ or other kinds of things, just because I felt the movie had a purity to it and the people that like it,” Burton told MTV.
“Because it’s not a mass-market kind of thing, it was important to kind of keep that purity of it. I try to respect people and keep the purity of the project as much as possible.”
A lone follow up exists in the form of a comic book, The Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero’s Journey, centered around the ghostly dog of Jack Skellington.
Disney has since mined its catalogue of animated classics, re-imagining them for the big screen — two of which were directed by Burton, 2010’s billion dollar grosser Alice in Wonderland and the upcoming Dumbo — including updated takes on Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, and soon Aladdin and The Lion King.
Sean Bailey, president of Motion Picture Production at Walt Disney Studios, credits chairman Alan Horn with pushing for a growing slate of new films inspired by its most cherished animated classics.
“We thought if Iron Man and Thor and Captain America are Marvel superheroes, then maybe Alice, Cinderella, Mowgli, and Belle are our superheroes, and Cruella and Maleficent are our supervillains,” Bailey previously told Vulture.
“Maybe if there’s a way to reconnect with that affinity for what those characters mean to people in a way that gets the best talent and uses the best technology, that could become something really exciting. It feels very Disney, playing to the competitive advantages of this label.”
Live-action re-imaginings now in the works at Disney include Mulan, The Little Mermaid, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Cruella and Lilo & Stitch.
Dumbo releases March 29, followed by Aladdin May 24 and The Lion King July 19.
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS might be the latest in a long line of Disney movies to be reimagined as a live action film. According to Moviehole, Henry Selick's famous stop motion animation story might be the next film on the docket to get the live action update, joining the ranks of THE LION KING, ALADDIN, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, DUMBO, and more. Given this recent trend among their animated movies, it wouldn't be too surprising if Disney decided it might be time for NIGHTMARE to get upgraded.
Produced by Tim Burton and adapted from the story he originally wrote, Selick's 1993 film premiered to average box office success, but gained a huge fanbase over the years that followed. Disney of course noticed this rise in popularity, and as a result, exploited the Halloweentown classic as much as humanly possible by pumping out accessories, t-shirts, dolls, candies, and re-issuing the film every season with tiny updates and big price increases. In other words, the studio realizes they have a cash cow, and they plan to milk it for as long as they can.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the Halloween (is it a Christmas movie?) themed feature is in talks to become the next in line to get the live action remake treatment. What better way to sell new merchandise that ties in with the property? Moviehole reports that there’s talk at Disney to “do something with “NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS” – probably a sequel but live-action possible”. Of course, this might mean that we'll simply be getting a sequel, which could still be animated. However, Disney's recent pattern suggests that humans might soon be donning the face of the Pumpkin King. Don't ask me how they'd pull that one off, unless they went the LION KING CG-fueled route.
It's also worth noting that in 2018, TokyoPop released a comic-book sequel to the film, “Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero’s Journey,” which followed Jack Skellington’s dog, Zero, as he gets lost in Christmas Town. This could possibly serve as proper source material for a possible animated sequel, if Disney chooses to take that path.
No matter what they decide to do, there's definitely talks about another entry in the NIGHTMARE verse happening over at the House of Mouse. My guess is the studio will see how their upcoming LION KING and ALADDIN do at the box office before they set any live action NIGHTMARE plans in stone.
How do y'all feel about this news? Would you like to see this early '90s horror classic remade with real actors? Would you be down for an animated sequel? Should we stop trying to kick a dead horse? Sound off in the comments below and let your voice be heard!