Hello and welcome to I Miss You, a one-page shrine dedicated to Jack Skellington and Sally of Tim Burton’s famous animated film The Nightmare Before Christmas.

To navigate you can use the table of contents found on your right or just scroll down the page. Either way, I hope you will enjoy your stay. Remember that spoilers abound…you’ve been warned ;)

Sofia • ContactOctober 30, 2011Sohryu.nuAmassmentOne Page One Month


The Nightmare Before Christmas

Full title: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
Directed by: Henry Selick
Produced by: Tim Burton, Denise DiNovi
Written by: Tim Burton (story), Michael McDowell (adaptation), Caroline Thompson (screenplay)
Music by: Danny Elfmann
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Release date: October 29, 1993
Running time: 76′
Genre: animation, musical

The Nightmare Before Christmas is an animated film written and produced by Tim Burton. The story was inspired by a poem written by Burton himself back in the 80’s, while he was working for Disney as animator. Over the years Burton’s mind kept coming back to the idea of transforming his poem into a film. Finally in 1990 Burton made a development deal with Disney. However, since Burton was already working on two projects at that time, Edward Scissorhands and Batman Returns, The Nightmare Before Christmas was directed by his friend Henry Selick.

In The Nightmare Before Christmas two holidays are set side by side: Halloween and Christmas. Jack Skellington, who lives in the gloomy Halloween Town, no longer enjoys celebrating Halloween. On the night of the town’s latest Halloween party, Jack leaves for a walk in the woods and discovers by chance a door leading him to Christmas Town. Fascinated by the happy atmosphere, Jack decides to take Christmas to his fellow citizens and organise that year’s Christmas. Unfortunately, his attempt will take a bad turn to the point of jeopardising Christmas.

Plot

In Halloween Town citizens have just finished to enthusiastically celebrate their holiday. Well…all but one. Jack Skellington, leader of the party, has grown tired of Halloween. Repeating the same things every year bore him, he is no longer interested in scaring people and feels that his life is lacking something. After the celebrations are over, he decides to go for a walk out in the forest with his trusty companion Zero, a ghost dog. At a certain point Jack arrives in a clearing where some trees have doors, curious Jack picks the doors with a bright green pine on it. He opens the door and before he can close it, he is taken inside the tree by a gentle breeze. Arrived at the bottom of the tree, he finds himself in the joyful Christmas Town. Against his dark and gloom home town, Jack is amazed by the colours, the snow and the overall serene atmosphere ruling in Christmas Town. He is so fascinated with what he sees, that he decides to bring the spirit of Christmas to Halloween Town.

Back home, Jack calls for a town meeting during which he shows his fellow citizens a few typical Christmas items; such as a Christmas present, a sock to hang on the wall and Santa Claus (who he calls Sandy Claus thinking he is some sort of lobster). Unfortunately Halloween Town’s folks, while excited by the novelties, fail to grasp what Christmas really is. Sally, a long-time friend of Jack, is the only one who is puzzled by what she saw.

More determined than ever to continue with his plan, Jack secludes in his house and begins to perform experiments on Christmas-related items. When all his experiments fail, Jack becomes persuaded that he can not only recreate Christmas, but he can also make great improvements. After a long period of isolation he triumphantly emerges from his lab, declaring that Halloween Town will take care of Christmas that year. Every citizen is given a task: Sally has to tailor his Santa costume; Doctor Finklestein is hired to create reindeer; Lock, Shock and Barrel must kidnap Santa Claus; and everyone else will prepare the Christmas presents.

As Christmas draws nearer it becomes clear that Sally was right. The citizens of Halloween Town, capable of seeing Christmas only from their “halloween-ish” point of view, create presents that seem all right, but in the hand of children will turn out to be dangerous and scary. What is worse is that Santa Claus is taken to the lair of Oogie Boogie, who plans to gamble with Santa’s life at stake.

On Christmas Day Sally tries once again to prevent Jack from leaving by creating a thick fog. Jack however uses Zero’s glowing nose to find the direction and begins to deliver his presents. Much to his dismay, nobody appreciates the presents and parents begins to frantically call the police. Albeit the TV warns citizens to stay in their houses because there is a fake Santa Claus, everybody in Halloween Town is happy thinking their Christmas was a success. Again, the only one realising the situation is Sally, who attempts to rescue Santa Claus from Oogie Boogie, only to end up caught as well.

Back in the real world the army is ordered to take down the poseur, hit by tanks Jack’s sleight crashes in a graveyard. In the meanwhile, Halloween Town believes their King is dead and since the real Santa Claus is nowhere to be found, TV announcers say Christmas is likely going to be cancelled. When Jack hears that he realises Sally was right: he is the Pumping King and his adventure gave him many interesting ideas for the next Halloween, but first he must make up for the trouble he has caused.

Jack rushes back to Halloween Town to free Santa Claus. He arrives in Oogie Boogie’s lair just in time to stop him from killing both Sally and Santa. During the fight that ensues, one of the stitches keeping Oogie Boogie’s skin together loosens and when Jack promptly pulls the thread all the bugs inside Boogie’s body start to fall out. After forgiving Jack’s mistakes, Santa Claus leaves and goes back to his job, replacing Jack’s gifts with his.

While flying over Halloween Town, Santa Claus gives his own special gift to its inhabitants: snow. Sally climbs upon the Hill of Terror, shortly after Jack joins her and together they understand the feelings they have for each other. While Zero looks on their embrace and kiss, he flies up in the sky and becomes a bright star.

Jack Skellington

Jack Skellington, whose surname is a pun on the word skeleton, lives in the fictional world of Halloween Town and is normally seen in company of Zero, his ghost dog with a small red glowing nose.

Bio

Self-proclaimed Pumpkin King, Jack has always organised the yearly Halloween party. However, after many years, he has an identity crisis: no longer thrilled with his work, although his fellow citizens praise him a lot and he knows he is good at what he does, he secretly leaves the party. After visiting Christmas Town Jack becomes obsessed with the idea of explaining Christmas to his fellow citizens: he borrows a few pieces of Doctor Finklestein’s laboratory equipment, makes a series of (unsuccessful) experiments and reads dozens of books on Christmas. After some time he concludes there ain’t much to explain and proposes to have Halloween Town prepare that year’s Christmas.

Jack’s plan does not go as he expected and actually turns out to be a failure. Once tranquillity is restored in both Halloween Town and the real world, Jack eventually realises that everybody should do their job: Santa Claus’ job is to make children happy while his job is to frighten them. Backed up by many new ideas, Jack returns to be Halloween Town’s Pumpkin King.

Outfits

Throughout the film, Jack wears three different outfits. At the beginning, during the Halloween party, he is seen wearing the so-called Pumpkin King suit because Jack has a pumpkin for a head. The rest of this outfit resembles a scarecrow. The second outfit, which is Jack’s normal outfit as well, is a pinstriped suit with a bat-like bow tie. The third and last outfit is the Santa Claus costume Sally sews for Jack, who wears towards the end of the film.

Abilities

Being dead, Jack is apparently immortal, although he can still feel physical pain. While in the opening sequence he sets himself on fire without being injured, he does react negatively when Sally unintentionally pricks his finger with a needle. Aside from this occasion, Jack is able to remove bones from his body and still be able to talk, such as when he takes off his head during the “Jack’s Lament” song. He can also remove ribs to play fetch with Zero. Other Jack’s abilities include his high flexibility and incredible agility, as is seen in the fight against Oogie Boogie.

In videogames based on The Nightmare Before Christmas (see the “Guest appearances” section) Jack is shown to have magical power as well which, however, does not match with the “original Jack”; Burton has stated on the audio commentary of the film, that Halloween Town does not possess any magic.

Sally

Sally is a rag-doll-like character created by Halloween Town’s inventor and slightly mad scientist Doctor Finklestein.

Bio

Although Sally does care for her maker and his well-being, for example she covers him with a blanket before leaving the laboratory, her restless spirit does not match with Finklestein’s protectiveness. Finklenstein’s desire to keep Sally away from what he considers too exciting for her -which basically is anything outside his laboratory- pushes Sally to occasionally narcotise him by pouring deadly nightshades in either his tea or soup in order to be able to leave her prison.

In the Christmas frenzy going on in Halloween Town, Sally is the only one who, in Santa Claus’ words, is sane. At the beginning of the town meeting called by Jack to show the Christmas items he brought from Christmas Town she is very thrilled. Yet, by the time the meeting reaches its conclusion, she is no longer sure that taking Christmas to Halloween Town was a good idea. Out of all the citizens in Halloween Town, only Sally tries on different occasions to make Jack realise his mistake when he decides to go through with his Christmas plan.

Outfits

The only dress Sally has was probably given to her by Doctor Finklestein. Her v-neck dress is made by various scraps of fabric sewed together, she also wears black and white striped socks and a pair of black heeled pumps. Sally does wear make-up as well; she uses a red lipstick and a red nail polish.

Abilities

Sally is very good at needlework and she always keeps a needle and a thread at hand so it isn’t strange that Jack’s Christmas task for Sally is to sew his Sandy Claus outfit. Sally is also an expert at brewing potions, a skill she uses different time throughout the film: to escape from Finklestein’s laboratory, to prepare Jack a gift and to create fog in order to prevent Jack from leaving with his sleight.

Jack and Sally

At the beginning of the film Sally, like every citizen in Halloween Town, is amazed by Jack’s Halloween party and admires him for all he has done. However, when Jack sneaks away from the celebration, she follows him and discovers a deep bond which unites the both of them. Hidden in the graveyard, Sally hears Jack’s lament and realises that he, like she, is longing for something else. Discovering this bond with Jack deepens Sally’s feelings for him. As Jack feels empty inside and is no longer interested in scaring people, Sally too feels there is something else besides her staying at the laboratory and assisting Doctor Finklestein.

On the other hand Jack is too wrapped up in his Christmas project to notice Sally. Probably the most clear example is when Sally talks about her premonition of Jack’s Christmas. After envisioning a burning Christmas tree, Sally is convinced that Christmas should be left the way it is, but when she tries to warn Jack, he shrugs her doubts off and misunderstands her words:

Jack: Sally, I need your hep more than anyone’s.
Sally: You certainly do Jack, I had the most terrible vision.
Jack: That’s splendid!
Sally: No, it was about your Christmas. There was smoke, and fire.
Jack: That’s not my Christmas!
Jack: My Christmas is filled with laughter and joy and…this: my Sandy Claus outfit (shows a drawing of his Sandy Claus outift)
Jack: I want you to make it.
Sally: Jack please listen to me, this is going to be a disaster
Jack: How could it be? Just follow the pattern. This part’s red, the trim is white.
Sally: It’s a mistake, Jack.
Jack: Now, don’t be modest. Who else is clever enough to make my Sandy Claus outfit?
Jack: I have every confidence in you.
Sally: But it seems wrong to me. Very wrong.

Although Jack does refer to Sally as “friend”, as she does with him, he does not realise Sally’s feelings and she is too shy to confess them. That is why after giving him her present, a basket filled with food, she runs away before Jack can thank her.

Only toward the end of the film, after Jack defeats Oogie Boogie and saves both Sally and Santa Claus, he too realises that the feelings he has for Sally go beyond a simple friendship. Santa Claus praises Sally for being the only sane person in Halloween Town and Jack understands all her efforts at trying to dissuade him from impersonating Santa and making Christmas.

Jack’s attempt to declare his feelings for Sally is interrupted by the Mayor’s arrival, but not a long time after they are finally able to be together. When Santa Claus makes snow in Halloween Town, Sally leaves the Town’s hall and goes in Jack’s pumpkin patch where she sits atop the Hill of Terror. While she is pulling off the petals of a flower as a sort of loves me, loves me not, Jack reaches her. As The Nightmare Before Christmas closing song says, Jack and Sally now realise that they are meant to be:

Jack: My dearest friend, if you don’t mind.
Jack: I’d like to join I’d like to join you by your side.
Jack: Where we can gaze into the stars.
Jack and Sally: And sit together, now and forever.
Jack and Sally: For it plain as anyone can see.
Jack and Sally: We’re simply meant to be.

In the end, both Jack and Sally were looking for a way to improve their lives and, after many misunderstandings and difficulties, they managed to find it together. An epilogue song included in the original soundtrack implies that Jack had “four or five skeleton children” and, given the end of the film, it is safe to assume that Sally is their mother.

Guest appearances

Aside from The Nightmare Before Christmas, both Jack and Sally appeared in two different series of videogames; one is The Nightmare Before Christmas series while the other is the Kingdom Hearts series.

The Nightmare Before Christmas videogame

The Nightmare Before Christmas series was inspired by the film and both titles (The Pumpkin King and Oogie’s Revenge) are set in the fictional world of Halloween Town and its various areas; such as Jack’s house, the Graveyard or Oogie Boogie’s lair. In both the first game, set around a year before the events of the film, and the second, set after The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack has to fight against the Oogie Boogie and its minions. Other prominent characters of the original film appear in these games. Aside from Jack, Sally and the Oogie Boogie are Lock, Shock and Barrell; Zero; Doctor Finkelstein; the Clown with the Tear-Away Face and the two witches.

Kingdom Hearts

Halloween Town is the setting of a world in the Kingdom Hearts series as well, but a few changes were made to the original Halloween Town in order to match it with the videogame’s storyline.

Kingdom Hearts

During one of their travels Sora, Goofy and Donald Duck reach the world of Halloween Town. There they meet Jack, who introduces himself as the ruler of the town. When Heartless began to appear, Jack explains he planned to use an artificial heart created by Doctor Finklestein to control their movements. By doing so he wants them to dance with him during his “Heartless Halloween”, a festival supposedly scarier than the normal Halloween.

In order to make the heart several pieces are required so the trio (Sora, Jack and either Donald Duck or Goofy), must visit various places around Halloween Town to fetch them. Jack and Sora meet Sally in the graveyard, where she gives them one of the ingredients for the preparation of Doctor Finklestein’s artificial heart. Sally does have a few concerns about having Heartless participate to their Halloween party, but Jack assures her there is nothing to worry.

Unfortunately it soon becomes clear that Sally’s premonition was correct. Not only the initially calm Heartless have grown out of control since the first experiment took place but, even worse, Oogie Boogie stole the artificial heart and plans to use it for his own end, that is defeat Jack and rule Halloween Town. Sora, Goofy and Donald agree to help Jack defeating Oogie and, when the second fight against him is over, Oogie’s lair crumbles revealing the keyhole of Halloween Town.

Only when Oogie is defeated, Jack realises his mistake and understands why Sally was concerned:

Jack: Sally why didn’t I listed to you?
Sally: Don’t feel bad, Jack.
Sally: We’ll come up with another plan for Halloween.
Sally: Next time, we’ll do it together.

Kingdom Hearts II

Jack and Sally storyline in Kingdom Hearts II was loosely based on the original film. Jack wants to take Santa Claus’s place and he needs Sora, Goofy and Donald Duck to help him. Even though Santa tries to explain Jack that both of them must stick to what they are good at, he begins to wear the Santa suit sewed by Sally.

As in the original film, Jack’s idea of being Santa Claus does not convince Sally and she actually has a very bad feeling about it. Unfortunately Jack’s enthusiasm is too strong to be dwindled by Sally’s advices. The situation degenerates when Sally witnesses Oogie Boogie kidnapping Santa Claus. Warned by Sally, Jack, Sora, Goofy and Donald Duck return to Halloween Town just in time: Oogie Boogie is about [o throw Santa into one of his gift-making machines. Sally manages to distract Oogie and Santa is rescued.

When Sora, Goofy and Donald Duck make their second trip to Halloween Town, Jack still hasn’t given up on the idea of being Santa Claus. He would like to deliver Christmas presents so, once hearing Doctor Finklestein’s experiment has stolen the presents, he helps Sora and his companions to defeat it. Santa Claus, to thank Jack for his hard work, brings him on his sleigh for a while.

After Jack is back to Halloween Town, he realises what the true meaning of Christmas is: the act of giving. He also acknowledges his feelings for Sally and, at the end of the game, they dance together.

Media

Please note: this section is still under construction!

Caps: a gallery featuring HD caps from the Nightmare Before Christmas film. All caps are hosted at Silhouette.

Site

Owning the TFL-approved fanlisting for the relationship between Jack and Sally I did have in mind to make a small tribute to them (as I plan to do with all my currently owned fanlistings). However I also had so many projects in mind I did not exactly know when I could actually work on it.

It just so happened that Amassment was holding its yearly one-page layout challenge and I felt that that was exactly the type of shrine for Jack and Sally. I began working on this shrine around the beginning of July 2010. I then had to put this project on hold as I was working on another, bigger shrine due in August as well. Only when this second shrine was almost ready I was able to go back working on Jack and Sally during the last week of July.

I would like to thank the folks at Amassment, otherwise who knows when I would have made this shrine, and my friend Francesca, who helped me with the Kingdom Hearts II section as I still haven’t had the chance to play the game thanks to my wonderful exams /sarcasm.

Name

Since I had already used “Meant to Be” for my Jack & Sally fanlisting, I had to come up with something else. After the Jack & Sally song, the next obvious choice for me was another song; “I Miss You” by Blink 182. The first, quite obvious reason, being that the lyrics directly quote Jack and Sally.

The second reason is that the issue of “missing”, is something both Jack and Sally deal with. Even though Sally grasps that maybe what her life lacks is love, and therefore Jack, she cannot express it outside sweet actions (her concern, her gift to Jack…). Jack as well, no longer excited by Halloween, feels like is missing something. It takes him a lot of time, he also has to go through a lot of difficulties, before realising that what he missed was right by his side: Sally. And vice versa, it takes a lot of attempts to Sally before she can eventually declare Jack what she feels for him.

Links

If you would like to link back I Miss You, feel free to do so by picking one of the following buttons (as long as you upload it to your own server) or using a text link as well. The URL is: http://sohryu.nu/jacksally

Affiliation and/or link exchanges are open to any site related to The Nightmare Before Christmas, which basically includes any work made by Burton. I would prefer the site to be a shrine, or in any case not a fanlisting unless it has a decent amount of content. If you are interested, please contact me!

Etcetera

Credits | Contact | XHTML 1.1 | CSS 2.0

I Miss You is not affiliated with The Nightmare Before Christmas, Tim Burton, or Touchstone Pictures in any way. I am just a fan, showing my appreciation with this non-profit fansite.