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Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas: The Film, the Art, the Vision

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  5,499 ratings  ·  43 reviews
On-screen, Jack Skellington leaps with joy, singing with wonder at his discovery of Christmas Town. He seems so real, so alive, that we believe both he and his fantastical worl must somehow exist.

But in reality it is not Jack who is the star of the show; it is the over 140 artists and technicians who spent more than two years bringing Jack and all his cohorts to life on th
Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 29th 2002 by Hyperion (first published January 1st 1993)
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4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,499 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Apr 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animation, art-books

(More pictures at

This is the dark yet wickedly cool making-of book for The Nightmare Before Christmas.

There are three parts to the book, The Film, The Art and The Vision.

The first part is on how Tim Burton came up with his story and characters, the process of getting approval from movie studios to get his idea, asking Henry Selick to direct. If you still remember the tunes from the movie, this section contains the lyrics and you can sing along (if you want to).

The second section
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Having read this before and loved it (not to mention the fact that this is my favourite movie), I of course loved it all over again. The details and insights this book provides are superb and show the progression of the movie from Burton's original poem through the storyboarding, design, scripting and filming process. Not to mention showing the level of skill and dedication that everyone who worked on it had, which is more than impressive by itself. Not to mention that it gives me all the song l ...more
Hope Strickler
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The nightmare before Christmas is about a skeleton named jack who lives in a land of Halloween.
One day he went on walk in the woods with his dog zero.
Jack found trees with holidays on them. Jack found one with a Christmas tree on it.
He opened it fell in and he suddenly was in a land with snow and joy fullness.
He went back and told everyone he want to have Christmas not Halloween.
Everyone got ready for Christmas.
And jack made himself a Santa suit. And sent 3 kids to get Santa so jack can be San
Jan 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting and informative--and loaded with pictures, sketches, and photos!
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's October, so I figured that there would be no better time to read about Tim BUrton's crossover holiday movie the Nightmare Before Christmas and I was definitely right! I enjoyed delving into the making of the film so much so that I just had to go and rewatch it. Knowing all the nitty gritty details about how it was made actually made the film even more enjoyable to watch, since I started noticing all the production details and could appreciate the huge amounts of effort put in by the crew to ...more
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My 5th grade teach had me read this book. I like this book because the author wanted to make this book funny.

The main character that I liked was jake the skeleton because he was able to come alive from nothing. What was most important thing i liked was when jack was taken to the boogie monster.

The author mayed this book amazing
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009-2013
One of my favourite art novels, I have taken so much inspiration from this book!
Drew Graham
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: me
'Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems in a place that perhaps you have seen in your dreams, for the story which this has to be told began with Tim Burton's holiday worlds of old. Now you've probably wondered where stop-motion movies come from. If you haven't I'd say that it's time you've begun! For movies are the result of much fuss and hard work for the casts and crews who create them for us. Well, you see now, quite simply, that's all that they do, making one unique movie especially ...more
I read this picture book of her own to a four-year-old I was babysitting, but then the father returned and was disturbed that I was reading this to her. He said there were "much better choices" of Christmas stories to read to her than this one, and removed it from the playroom. I had assumed that since she owned the book it would be OK to read to her. The mother didn't know how they had come to possess the book, but thought it had been a gift from someone.

I could see how some of the pictures mi
Feb 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All Tim Burton's fans
This book is a most beautiful and heart-warming tribute to a movie that is powerful that not even the most omnipresent and blatant commercialization has been able to strip it of its magic and craftsmanship. An excellent balance between texts and images makes this book a most enjoyable reading. Tim Burton's original sketches, matched with illustrations and photographs from the whole production process, mixed with the (almost) complete lyrics from the soundtrack and Frank Thompson's caring and ins ...more
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Tim Burton - an out-of-this-world visionary, Henry Selick (the director of the movie) - a hard working genius, and Danny Elfman (the composer, lyricist and singer) - magical masterpiece of a mind, and many many more talented creators who brought this incredible story of Jack Skellington to life - THANK YOU!!!! This movie is so much more intricate and complicated than it seems at first sight, and with all the meticulous work that's been invested in it, Nightmare Before Christmas still appears to ...more
Rose English
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A MUST for all fans of this amazing animation, from the weird and wonderful mind of the master Tim Burton.

This bright, colourful beauty not only contains illustrations from the movie and early storyboards, but also has the Complete Lyrics from the film.

Jack's Lament is one of my particular favourites.

'And since I am dead, I can take off my head
To recite Shakespearean quotations
No animal or man can scream like I can
With the fury of my recitations.'

Go on tell me you are not singing or at least hum
Oct 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
I loved this book, It has copies of some of the lyrics from Danny Elfman's songs in the film. The Thompson went into alot of detail into decribing how the puppets were created, how they work ect. And over all I found this book really interesting. There were also quite alot of photos from a production stand point. I would have liked a copy of Tim Burton's original poem included as well as some more of his sketches. But other then that I thought it the book was really well done and it makes me app ...more
This book takes you into the fantastical world of the Nightmare Before Christmas, it tells how Tim Burton's original idea and poem became the much loved film, from how the music was written to how the characters themselves were made and animated. The book includes illustrations showing the sequence from Burton's original sketches through the artists hands to the final scenes and photos from the sets themselves without losing any of the magic from the movie or the story. A very interesting read t ...more
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-of-books
أحد الكتب التي ما أن انهيت قرائتها حتى قلت: رائع، مجهود كبير وعمل شاق حقا كانت نتيجته فيلم جميل للغاية، استمتعت بالإطلاع على الكتاب، وقد فوجئت بوجود أغاني الفيلم مكتوبة وبعض الحوارات.
فصول صناعة الشخصيات هي الأمتع بالنسبة لي، كيف تم تجسيد الملامح والتحريك، كيف تم صنع البيئة وأمور كثيرة رائعة حقا، لا ينفك تيم بورتن عن إثارة دهشتي في كل فيلم يقدمه.

Great book for a wonderful movie, I enjoy reading it with all details, pictures and even read the whole songs ^_^
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, horror-movies
A fascinating look at the creation of the film, including many of Burton's original drawings, song lyrics, and production artwork. The book focuses on the work of the director, screenwriter, Burton's story work and Danny Elfman's work on the music as well as discussing the methods of making a stop-motion animation film of this scope and the difficulties and tricks of filming when every single item must be created from scratch.
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This is one of my favorite movies of all time and this book supplies every detail you could ever want about the process of making this story come to life. With beautiful pictures, informative subtitles that introduce the next topic, and the topics themselves, this book is compelling and rewarding. I'm a Disney buff, so reading this book brings me more into the hidden nuts and bolts of Disney films. If you like this movie as much as I did, I highly suggest this book!
Allison Brown
This book is filled with lots of behind the scene pictures and goes into exact detail on how the movie was made.

I enjoyed Tim Burton's Forward to the book, and the fact that the book was mostly composed of quotes from Burton, Danny Elfman and Henry Selick.

It was a quick and informative read that I'm looking forward to keeping packed with my Christmas book collection.
Emma B
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Have you ever wondered how the amazing story of Jack skellington came to life in its breath taking stop motion movie?Well, if you have, this book is perfect for you. It shows you how the puppets were made,Danny Elfman's music,secrets to stopmotion, even Tim burton's old art work! I think this book is great, and would recommend it to all the Tim burton fans out there.
Samantha snyder
this is a book about a guy name jack who lives in Halloween land and now he found another holiday and is trying to make it his world and he catches someone and when they catch the right person someone comes back to bring it to the boogie man
Malak Aly
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
No stars for the story, which is a typical Disney adventure, not a bit more. Hardly interesting to me. Exceedingly predictable.
But two stars for the well-executed illustration in fabulous black and white patterns =)
Lacy Lovelace
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am in love with the Nightmare Before Christmas so I was so happy to get and read this book! The book is the back story/ behind the scenes look into how NBC came into being! Great pictures! Interesting process!
Sally Tibbetts
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This story is full of whimsey and fun---the music from the movie is marvelous and the book itself, illustrated from the movie stills, is terrific. I loved the idea of Jack looking for the real meaning of Christmas and what he actually finds out. All the characters are creepy fun.
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have this and I have to say that this is a must own for any TNBC fan. I learned a lot about the making of the film, more than I ever thought happened in the production. It's a pleasure to read and was a great gift from my mom.
Nov 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved all of the pictures in this book and I had to read it because it is one of my favorite movies ever! I learned a lot about how Tim Burton came up with the idea for The nightmare before Christmas. I recommend this book if you love Tim Burton's films.
Apr 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
great book
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
I have a tiny review on my blog
Jun 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
a must for a nightmare collector.
Abraham Ray
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
great book abhout the movie!
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