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Headscratchers: The Nightmare Before Christmas

  • How did no one in Christmas Town notice the 6-foot fucking skeleton running around?
    • From what I could understand, they were all too busy getting ready for Christmas to notice a stealthy skeleton sneaking around (and singing... yeah). He was almost noticed during that musical number, though...
    • It also helps that, considering that it's Christmas Town, everyone is probably full of joy and acceptance (unless you kidnap them).
    • Well...he is the pumpkin king, so he probably needs to be good at hiding (did you see how he entered to Oogie's lair, saved Sally and Sandy Claws and sat on the ramp instead of them, and all that without Oogie noticing?)
      • Now his stealthiness may work in Halloween Town, where he can blend in with the scenery, but in Christmas Town, he's this big black spindly thing crawling around in a colorful area. Kinda hard to miss.
      • He spent a lot of time as a mobile snowman...?
      • He would blend into the scenery of Christmas Town as well, given he's as white as the snow, and is skinny enough to easily hide behind a Christmas tree if needed.
    • The entire dance number was based on him hiding from everyone. He hid. Obviously.
  • The line in "What's This?," "They kiss? Why, that looks so unique!" How would Jack know what a kiss is if it's so unique to their culture?
    • In addition, how did he know what snowballs and mistletoe are?
      • See the It Just Bugs Me for Enchanted. In Disney worlds, characters just know everything that we would, to make up perfectly fitting songs for any occasion, even if they have no clue what they're singing about.
      • Mistletoe is very poisonous, that's probably why he knew what it was. I think he knew what kissing was, he was just unfamiliar with the tradition of doing it under a hanging plant.
      • Popping in to point out he must know what it is...Jack and Sally kiss at the end, remember?
      • And Dr Finkelstein tries to kiss his clone. The Halloween people know about kissing, it's just the tradition of kissing under mistletoe that's "unique".
      • And Inspired!
      • Concerning snowballs: Canada, despite being Canada, must experience Halloween. Therefore, Jack knows what snow is. There are mentions of monsters under beds (children's beds, I assume), so balls must be known to Halloween Town. He just fit the two words together when he saw the snowballs.
      • Perhaps he subconsciously remembers this stuff from back when he was alive, and not undead, even if he won't allow himself to access all of his memories, certain stuff still stands out to him.
      • Though if that was the case, then the citizens of Halloween Town shouldn't have reacted the way they did when Santa made it snow. They said stuff like, What's this, why it's completely new! Must be a Christmas thing!" and such. So unless Jack's the only one who ever leaves Halloween Town, then that still doesn't make sense (and before someone says that Jack is the only one to leave Halloween Town, then who did the vampires drink the blood of in order to get the award? I know it's just a small part of the movie, but it's a part of it).
      • Well, it's possible that Halloween Town citizens only go to the real world on Halloween (and the vampires could be living on animal and/or other citizens' blood or something like that) and it never snowed when they went. Jack could have heard the elves talk about the snow, and since he didn't, presumably, bring any snow back with him, it's possible that either Jack didn't tell the citizens about snow, or he did and they forgot about it.
      • The Halloween Town citizens didn't know what snow was because it's not part of the iconography of Halloween. Before the events of the movie, they all had a laser-like focus on the Platonic elements of Halloween—being scary, typical late-autumn imagery, etc. If they encountered snow on Earth the night of October 31, it might not even register with them because it's not part of what they're meant to understand.
  • In the ending track of the official soundtrack, Santa narrates about a visit he paid to Halloween Town several years after the events of the movie. This, in itself, is fine and dandy. But the thing that bugs me is that it is explicitly stated that Jack and Sally have kids. "Five skeleton children", if I recall correctly. If Jack is supposed to merely be a (poorly-proportioned) human skeleton, then he should not be in possession of a baculum (penis bone), and I would sincerely hope, for the sake of my childhood, that Sally isn't that kind of doll. So, I ask you, how, exactly, do a skeleton and a rag doll, neither in possession of genitalia, procreate? Did the zombie stork deliver them? Were they found under pumpkin leaves? Were they assembled from the corpses of normal dead children?
    • Jack popped a boner.
    • Dr. Finklestein made them. He made Sally, the reindeer, and his genderswapped clone, so why not?
      • But wouldn't that make Dr. Finkelstein the parent, rather then Jack and Sally?
      • Adoption is a thing. Although I guess in this case it'd be more like surrogancy...
      • Considering Sally and Dr. Finkelstein's rather turbulent relationship, it's questionable rather or not Sally would have the doctor being the creator of her kids.
      • Maybe Sally learned how to animate corpses while she was living with Dr Finkelstein.
    • They adopted, Halloween Town is actually hell, and as kids died, Jack & Sally gathered them up into their family. Of course, that particular song is non-canon, as it wasn't used... so... maybe Danny Elfman just went a bit too far, and Tim Burton had it cut because he started to think about it too?
    • Well, to be fair he did say four or five children.
    • Maybe Jack is a child of Death and a Toon? At the fansite someone suggested that Jack has strap-on balls. I've already bought the Brain Bleach.
    • According to the DVD Commentary, Tim Burton said that Jack not eating is worrying so in Jack's case (and Sally's case too - she also apparently eats) if they need to eat like living people, reproduction isn't all that out there. Of course, their form of reproduction might be different then ours, like they could hold hands while feeling love to reproduce. Though that puts a different spin on the ending . . .
    • Does it matter? This has been conveniently ignored in all the other NBC media anyways.
      • That's mainly because we never seen the kids. But it's important enough to be released on the first and the latest soundtrack.
    • "...that skeleton man, with four or five skeleton children at hand, playing strange little tunes in their xylophone band..." Nowhere does it say that they're Jack and Sally's children. I like to think that he was the Halloween Town equivalent of a community music class instructor or glee club director (that is, both teacher and instrument). Learning Christmas carols in minor keys for the holiday, perhaps.
      • But why mention them in the first place? That's the problem I have with that theory. If they wanted to show Jack has learned his lesson, they could have easily have him discussing plans with the citizens or even a romantic moment with Sally, why those skeleton children? And why put emphasis on SKELETON children, unless implying that they were his?
      • * shrugs* Because it's a better Pet the Dog Reformation-Establishing Moment than making plans and risking the implication that everything's about to go haywire again? Skeleton fits the meter and shows that they're from Halloween Town. They probably are supposed to be his kids, though.
      • Hmmm, good point. However, if they weren't suppose to be his kids, the writers were just asking for confusion putting "skeleton children" in there ("monster children" would fit the meter and be less confusing).
    • It's official. Somebody needs to ask Tim Burton or Henry Selick about this.
    • In Xanth, skeletons reproduce by taking one of each of their own bones together with a pile of other bones...or something to that extent, it's been awhile since I read #17. Perhaps something along these lines?
      • Still, why children? While Jack and Sally would probably love being parents, I don't think they'd like to be parents to little kids (presumably, the kids in the poem are little) forever. I remember seeing a webcomic where the author had Dr. Finklestein create kids for Jack and Sally, and they were in their teens (because apparently teenagers are a lot easier to take care of than little kids).
    • It could be that they aren't a skeleton and a corpse, just very vague fantasy beings made to fit the theme of the assigned holiday. I always just thought of them as walking, talking Halloween decorations rather than being literal versions of what they represent.
      • That sounds like an awesome theory, not to mention good material for Fan Fic in the right hands . . . except Jack refers to himself as being dead in "Jack's Lament". If he was a vague fantasy being, why would he do that?
      • Because when he mentions that he's dead, he's talking about scaring people and being in character. He represents a skeleton, so, by assumption of his victim, a dead person.
    • Concerning Jack, I am always amused by the fact that everyone says, "oh, Jack's a skeleton, therefore he doesn't have the downstairs equipment." Seriously, where's the evidence that Jack's 100 percent skeleton? Has anyone ever seen Jack naked?note 
      • In agreement with the above, it always seems odd that people don't question the fact that Jack has eyelids, a (forked) tongue, and fingers which can be pricked by Sally's sewing needle, but they insist on realism when it comes to the "how can Jack have kids?" question.
      • Nor do they question why Jack and Sally can walk, talk, sing, eat, can die, etc. Actually, it's pretty bizarre that out of the things to cry foul on, it's something from a cut-off poem.
    • Plus, I don't care how "hung" you are, there's no competing with a guy who can remove his femur bone any time he wants. Sally's going to be one happy ragdoll thing, tell you what.
      • And since Sally can remove her body parts whenever she wants, Jack is gonna be one happy skeleton. Seriously, there's some incredible Power Perversion Potential in their relationship, which explains a lot . . .
      • Everyone, everyone, we're talking about Jack Skellington, not Geoff Peterson! I think we can safely assume that Jack and Sally got their kids from an undead Halloween stork.
      • Just as an extra point; Jack is a cartoon caricature of a skeleton, not a real skeleton, hence why he can crash into a sign and have his face get squashed like plasticine... or kiss someone, for that matter. Not wanting to speculate *too* far, but his cartoony-ness might lend itself to other possibilities too (ditto with Sally.)
  • Why did Lock, Shock, and Barrel tell the townsfolk that Jack is still alive and lead them to Oogie's lair? Even The Other Wiki notes how strange this is.
    • If nothing else, it was probably to stay out of trouble or redeem them to the audience. Might explain their lack of any sort of real punishment.
    • A deleted scene has Jack stumbling across them (as he slides down that rope into Oogie's lair) and scare the hell out of them. Presumably, they went to get the townsfolk under his orders after that.
    • They work for Oogie out of fear, and they knew Jack was pissed. Factor in that Jack and Oogie are the only two people we've seen that can scare them (other people are afraid them, like the Mayor), and it's likely they might fear Jack more than Oogie. If that wasn't enough motive to quickly switch sides, I don't know what is.
  • If Jack "read these Christmas books so many times, why is he still saying "Sandy Claws" the whole movie?
    • Accent. Try changing how you say a word once you're used to it. Anyway, it doesn't matter unless he hears it aloud. Does anyone ever say it?
      • It's more than an accent. Upon meeting Santa, he literally says "Why you have hands! You don't have claws at all!"
      • Oddly enough, it's Oogie Boogie that says it right.
      • He does? The captions say he says "Sandy Claws" like everybody else.
      • Perhaps Jack assumed it was a strange spelling, or Funetik Aksent?
      • His brain is hardwired to make everything seem scary, and "Sandy Claws" Is probably the creepiest possible mutation of the name.
    • Jack is a poor study; he is shown only giving cursory glances to his books.
  • This it just bugs me is in relation to the whole "how-can-Jack-and-Sally-have-kids-when-they're-dead" thing. How come most of the fans, as far as I can tell, will accept the prequel and sequel games as canon when neither Henry Selick nor Tim Burton nor Danny Elfman had involvment with them, yet something on the soundtrack, which at least the words must come from the writers and/or Danny Elfman, is contested? I know, it's not possible for dead people to reproduce, but neither is dead people walking, talking, singing, or having the need to eat, which Jack and Sally obviously does. Can't we say "it's a fantasy" and move on?
    • I remember reading that Pumpkin King (The GBA game) happens a year BEFORE the movie, while Oogie's Revenge (The PS2 and Xbox game) happens only a year AFTER, where as they had "four or five children" years after, if I remember the poem correctly, also, I remember reading Danny Elfman's name in the latter's credits.
      • The timeline isn't the problem. The problem is that fans are more likely to take games that aren't created by the original creators as canon over a cut-off poem that was.

  • Sally gives Jack an, uh, "meal" or something to that amount to show her affection for him and Jack seems rather pleased with it. Presumably, this means that the concept of giving gifts them isn't completely alien to the residents of Halloween Town. So why is it so hard for them to understand what Christmas presents are?
    • Perhaps the giving of gifts they get, but it's the "wrapping-them-up-in-pretty-paper-with-a-bow" bit that confuses them.
    • While not entirely canon to the movie/games, in Kingdom Hearts II, Jack was noted to have picked up a box, with the paper torn off and bow discarded, stepping on the doll that was inside, and say "What a shame, it looked like such a nice present". My only response to this is that Jack and the residents of Halloween Town believe that giving a present is determined by how nice it looks. Then again, he seems to know that a gift is really inside the box, in the game and movie.
    • Jack's problem isn't that he doesn't understand what a present is, it's that his definition of what makes a nice present is filtered through his Halloween Town mind. He thinks scary and horrific things are best and pretty and happy things are boring. It's the entire reason his Christmas goes badly. remember, it's not just that the town didn't understand Christmas, Jack was overseeing everything and approving and rejecting ideas.

  • I really want to see what's in "St.Patrick's Day Town".
    • One would assume it involves getting completely and utterly shitfaced drunk on a regular basis.
    • I wanna see Thanksgiving Day Town.
      • I wanna know who's in charge of Thanksgiving Town. Most of the others, you can guess (e.g. Uncle Sam for July 4th), but that one's a bit of a puzzler.

  • A minor thing, but I have always wondered why Jack has an electric chair in his home. Is it the Halloween Town equivalent of a massage chair or something?
    • Remember what electricity is to robots like Bender...
      • And if you take Pumpkin King into consideration, you actually heal by sitting in electric chairs. There's some more Fridge Logic for you.
      • This actually make sense if you consider the fact that Dr. Finklestein got Jack some skeletal reindeer by zapping the bones with electricity.
      • Electricity=life
  • Does anyone else think they should've established how everyone gets to the real world in the beginning of the movie? I've always been confused about its nature and just assumed that Santa Claus-Jack goes to a very different part of Christmas Town instead, so showing the real world earlier on would've been more helpful.
    • My guess would be that once they leave the "City Limits", they arrive in a certain part of the world, hence why Sandy Claws flies away in his sleigh, however, Jack was seen using a gravestone as a teleport between the real world and Halloween Town, so maybe the Halloween residents leave via graves, leaving town, or magic. This would also explain why the Hinterlands lead to the Holiday Doors.
      • I always thought that they could use openings decorated to represent their holidays as portals. That's why someone made the holiday trees, and how Jack can use a random tomb he just happened to land near to get to get to Halloween Town. Their towns exist in the "real" world, the doors are just shortcuts.
    • I liked that they didn't explain it. It's eerie and interesting, and I think that's the point. He just...wandered into Limbo, like it was meant to be. Like Fate cleared a path for him.
      • This actually makes a bit of sense when you factor in the Hinterlands levels in the Oogie's Revenge game. You do a lot of wandering around to find the misplaced holiday doors, and you can literally be on one corner of the map, go to another location, check the map again, and find you're suddenly on the other side. So maybe it's possible you can't find the doors unless you're looking for them. Jack, in the film, was looking for something new, and hence, they appeared. This could also be why no one has ever noticed them before he did—-because they weren't looking for them before.
  • Oogie Boogie bugs me. I mean, considering he's a Disney villain, and that Disney has given us the likes of Chernabog, Ursula, and Frollo, he's just pathetic. He's got no real motivation, and we're never told why he and Jack hate each other so much. The original poem didn't have a villain, either, so I've just been forced to conclude that Selick or Burton had to come up with a bad guy to satisfy something in the contract.
    • While I would have love to hear why Oogie and Jack hate each other (and I'm not satisfied with the Pumpkin King game explanation, either), I think you're giving Oogie little credit. While he doesn't want to Take Over the World or anything like that, he does have a motivation - sadism and, apparently, hunger. He seems to love torturing people, which is pretty dark for a Disney Villain. Also, there's at least seven skeletons in his lair, so he's killed before (according to The Other Wiki, he's the first Disney Villain to have killed previous to the movie).
    • Are we so sure that Jack and Oogie really hated each other before the latter tried to eat Sandy Santa and Sally? We never hear Oogie talk about Jack, but the way Jack spoke of Oogie seems more "he's-a-waste-of-space" rather then straight-out hate. It's only after Oogie tries to kill Sally and Santa when the dislike upgraded itself to "I'm-going-to-fucking-kill-you".
    • Oogie Boogie is mentioned from the start to be bad news, not just to Jack, but everyone in Halloween Town. In the scene introducing Lock, Shock, and Barrel, the Mayor mentions fearfully that they're associated with Oogie, and Jack makes them promise not to involve him. I got the impression that while everyone in Halloween Town is scary, Oogie is the only citizen who takes things too far, to the point that his brand of scaring becomes dangerous.
    • Look at the bright side: Disney finally made a movie where the villain isn't a more interesting character than the hero.
  • Am I the only one who sees how much of an egotistical, selfish twat Jack really is!? He's convinced himself he could do Christmas better than the people who do it for a living and when he fails the goes into self pity for a very short while. Because he's basically the boss no one ever tells him No. Considering how quickly he's willing to jump in to take over Christmas, AND how quickly he gets over his pity party, you can expect that this happens fairly often to him. Kinda make you wonder exactly how idealistic Jack and Sally's relationship is going to be....
    • Wait, not quickly getting over his self-pity party isn't selfish? Also, while Jack can be egotistical and selfish, I think calling him a twat is overdoing it. Note that after he gets over his pity party, he goes to set things right. I think Jack is more an egotistical guy who has a good heart, as well as being an Idiot Hero and a Well-Intentioned Extremist. And I think Jack really hates the fact that people practically worship him and no one tells him no (again, note how distressed Jack gets when the citizens wouldn't let him go). That probably one of the reasons Jack loves Sally — because she told him he was wrong. Plus, are we so sure it was "quickly"? The movie is about an hour and fifteen minutes, so we can't be sure just how long it took Jack to decide to take over Christmas. Also, that's Jack's Character Development — learning that he can't do something better than the people who makes Christmas for a living (Hey, how many of us tropers thought we could make a movie better than the directors?). Actually, that's the reason why I like Jack — he's not perfect, he has some serious flaws that not only gets him into trouble, but it causes the plot in the first place! Admittedly, Jack has done some questionable things (hiring three evil little trick-or-treaters to kidnap Santa) but then again, he both meant well (he obviously thought he was giving Santa a vacation) and has Blue and Orange Morality — he probably didn't think kidnapping was wrong (Weekly in HalloweenTown: Kidnapping parties! Next this week: the Mayor!....for the eighth week in a row.) As to how idealistic Jack and Sally's relationship will'll probably have some problems, but all couples have problems, it's the question of how well they deal with those problems. Jack and Sally most likely can teach each other the things they need to learn — Sally can teach Jack how to think before leaping and be someone Jack cares about other then himself, and Jack can teach Sally not to take life afterlife so sadly and seriously. (Hey, like Tiana and Naveen!)
    • To add on to the previous entry, I personally think Jack is more sympathetic in the movie than in the original poem. In the poem, Jack basically got bored of Halloween, while in the movie, Jack was also the Pumpkin King, having the stress of preparing for Halloween on top of being tired of the holiday (the Mayor evens comes to Jack's house VERY early in the morning right after the night of Halloween, and it's indicated that happens often). Now put that on top of the fact that, unlike other people who gets tired of their jobs, Jack didn't have the option of taking a vacation — as far as we can tell, he thought the only places there were are either the Real World (who probably wouldn't be too kind to him, considering he's a skeleton) or Halloween Town, which is freaking obsessed with Halloween and the inhabitants would probably know Jack, therefore assuring that he wouldn't get any rest. In the poem, Jack seems to have friends while in the movie, with the exception of Sally and maybe the Mayor, he's more like a celebrity with fans that says they know him so well but really don't. Lonely at the Top, ya know. Also, if you listen to the lyrics, "Poor Jack" isn't really a self-pity party, it's more expressing guilt over what he's done ("But I never intended all this madness, never...").
    What have I done? What have I done?
    How could I be so blind?
    All is lost, where was I?
    Spoiled all, spoiled all
    Everything's gone all wrong
    • In the beginning of "Making Christmas" they switch their counter from Halloween to "Xmas" and it reads 36 days. That makes it November 20, so Jack took at least a few weeks to decide to take over, considering he entered Christmas Town on November 1.
  • Soooooooooo........What Happened To The Elves? Seriously, you would think that Mrs. Claus or the elves would worry about the fact that, respectively, their husband and leader was kidnapped and taken to a ghoulish world.
    • And unless Jack somehow sneaked a snowmobile and a large bag of presents out of storage without any of them noticing, they would have a pretty good idea who to blame when three trick-or-treaters kidnapped Santa.
    • Who says they knew about Halloween Town? Santa didn't seem to.
    • That is actually explained in an early draft of the movie script, right in the starting narration. SANTA "For each one, way back when, was alas unaware Of the others' existence, now I've said it — so there!" There he states that the residents of one holiday town don't know anything at all about the other worlds.
    • Not to mention, when Santa IS kidnapped, it's just the day before Christmas. As far as we know, the reaction of the Christmas Town folks would be just like that of the Halloween Town folks, and they'd comb all of Christmas Town before looking anywhere else.
  • Why the fuck does everyone say that Jack hardly notices Sally? He's obviously friends with her, and the way he says her name with the first time we see them together is awfully fond for someone who "doesn't notice her" (or someone who's Just Friends). The only times he ignores her (which . . . is two of their three interactions in the movie. Dammit.) could be explained by him being too excited for Christmas, which came to bite him in the bony ass.
  • How come there's no candy in Halloween Town? It seems like a pretty big part of the holiday to leave out. You'd think that they'd at least get giving candy out at Christmas time, even if it'd be unseasonal things like candy corn.
    • Because monsters don't give out candy on Halloween. Probably why Lock, Shock, and Barrel are so irate.
      • When the trio first enters the scene, you can see that Barrel has a lollipop.
      • Well, if you look closely, after Santa gets his head out of the sack in the town square, there is some candy stuck to his beard, thus proving that not only does it exist, but the trio had some. Here's a clip showing this, starting at 0:38. However, it's not there during the Oogie Boogie song.
    • The corpse kid ate it all (that's why he's so fat)
  • Why, oh why did Jack trust Lock, Shock, and Barrel to take care of Santa and not take him to Oogie? The rest of Jack's Idiot Hero moments are understandable, but that is just plain Too Dumb to Live. Why not trust someone else like, say, Sally to take care of him?
    • Agreed. While it is understandable why he would want them to go and catch him (it's implied that they know what they're doing, which begs the question of whether or not they've kidnapped people before), but there was nothing stopping him from handing "custody" of Santa to Sally, or really, any of the other monsters.
  • As much as I love Jack, the part where he gets angry at Lock, Shock, and Barrel for going through the wrong door seems pretty douchey to me. I mean, he didn't even tell them that there's more than one door, it's his fault that they kidnapped the Easter Bunny!
    • Actually, he said "Which door? There's more than one!". They just got the wrong shape.
      • And then he holds up a Christmas tree-shaped cookie. "Sandy Claws is behind the door shaped like this!" After which, Shock grabs Lock's throat with an, "I told you!", implying that Jack probably did tell them, they forgot, and picked the wrong one.
  • I've been Sally really a Stalker with a Crush? The only times Sally is stalking without due cause (trying to get Jack to not go through with Christmas) that I can think of is when she listens to Jack in "Jack's Lament" and when she goes to give him the little gift basket. The former actually doesn't really count, as she was there first when Jack came into the cemetery. So is she?
    • Yes.
      • Could you be a bit more specific as why she is, that josses the above arguments?
      • During Jack's Lament, she follows him around, but is very particular about not wanting him to see her. Stalking is stalking, even if the intent is completely innocent.
      • I decided to look up the actual definition of stalking, and gave the law definition:
    A form of harassment generally comprised of repeated persistent following with no legitimate reason and with the intention of harming, or so as to arouse anxiety or fear of harm in the person being followed. Stalking may also take the form of harassing telephone calls, computer communications, letter-writing, etc.
    • So, at least by that definition and, if the website is to be believed, legally, Sally isn't a stalker, as in "Jack's Lament" and when she delivers the food basket, she didn't have the intention of harmnote , and as for all the other times, trying to get your best friend (as they obviously are friends) to not get himself into trouble (remember that Sally's premeditation had a Christmas tree going up into flames, so the trouble is pretty big) is a pretty legitimate reason to follow him.
      • Let's put it this way. If a man watches a woman through her windows and follows her to work/outings/ect. but doesn't directly interact with her or try to harm her, that's still stalking, whether his intent is to harm her, freak her out, or just observe her.
    • Let's consider this: she was in the graveyard first, hiding from Finkelstein. Perhaps she didn't want him to see her in such a sorry state, missing an arm. Almost as soon as he entered the graveyard he began his lamenting - perhaps she didn't want to interrupt and embarrass him at that time. The second time they encounter each other, she knows he's been working tirelessly researching Christmas, and brings him a meal. He sees her at this time and knows it was her, not a creepy random gift. It felt implied to me that she left him because she knew he was busy, and staid outside his house to avoid returning to her own. Then the next encounter was when he sought her out, where she tried to warn him. I think at this point that this may be a segment for YMMV.
  • In Oogie's Revenge and the first Kingdom Hearts game they animated Jack's mouth wrong. They stretched and squashed it into shape instead of replacing the position of the mouth frame-by-frame like in the original movie, and it bugs me. His face loses its vivacious quality without it. They fixed it in Kingdom Hearts 2, but still...
    • And on that note, why didn't someone tell Chris Sarandon that it was "Finkle-STINE" in the movie, not "Finkle-STEEN" like he pronounced it in the games? I'm splitting hairs, but that's what this page is for...
      • Did anyone ever call the Dr. by his name in the movie? I've watched it an awful lot (especially when The Insomnia Donkey kicks me), and I can't remember ever hearing anyone call him by name in the movie. Then again, most of the times I watching it, I'm running on two or three days without sleep, so I could very easily be sleeping through or missing things like that. (I usually say "Finkle-STEEN" anyway; even if it's not what the creators intended, I think it would be an awesomely hilarious Shout-Out to Young Frankenstein if it's pronounced "-Steen".)
      • Yeah, when Dr. Finklestein goes to get his Christmas job from Jack, you can hear the Mayor in the background saying, "Dr. Finkle-STINE, to the front of the line!"
  • This is coming out of left field, but am I the only one who thinks the characters should have French accents? I'm not quite sure why (maybe it's the music . . .), but something about Nightmare screams "French" to me. Maybe I'm just being weird.
    • Nah, they need West Country accents. "I don't know nuffink about any skellingtons..."
    • They'd probably have French accents in Valentine's Day Town. Or some kind of Canadian accent. Remember, Canada is the home of the Naked News. Yes, the link is also out of left field, but we're here to enjoy ourselves, so why not?
  • Maybe it's just me being a major fangirl of Jack, but I don't think that the military was quite justified with shooting Jack down with missiles. Yes, the toys Jack gave out was scaring the crap out of the kids, but, as far as we can tell, they didn't hurt anyone. In fact, one of the toys (the jack-o-lantern jack-in-the-box given to the fat kid) was better for the kid than what Santa gave him (a candy cane) because it gave the kid needed exercise — and I'm not the only one who noticed that. Wanting to stop Jack from scaring the kids on Christmas? Quite reasonable. Blowing him up with missiles? Overkill, mate, overkill.
    • Wow, nice fat shaming there. God forbid a fat kid gets treats on Christmas. How dare he.
    • Shooting him down right off the bat may be a little harsh, but the military didn't have many options to get his attention. He was flying, after all. However, it would have made more sense to send some jets to fly alongside him and try to escort him to a landing or have police waiting to arrest him at his next location.
      • Especially with the fact that, like it was noted on the main page, the military shot Jack down over a suburban area. Seriously, they're lucky Jack fell into a graveyard instead of a random house. Though there's always the possibility that they shot him down right of the bat because he's a skeleton. After all, we know Jack's a good guy, but that's not what the military sees. They see a skeletal horror going around terrorizing the world's children who'll probably not listen to reason.
    • Is it really just scaring though? I know we don't see any casualties, but think about it; Jack left a big snake in one house that started eating the tree (not hard to think it'd go after everyone else), a man-eating plant in the shape of a wreath (I'm going by the original poem's description of it, but I'm thinking it's the same), a vampire teddy bear and undead duck that actively tried to attack little children. I know this is the normal scaring procedure for Halloween, but no one expects their Christmas gifts to try and attack/possibly kill them, and to the normal humans this seems like a mean-spirited act at best, and a possible attempt at mass murder at worst. Since Jack was flying through the air and getting around with hardly a problem, I think the military felt they had less of a choice than to shoot him down wherever they could.
      • True, but there's still a few problems. One, it's still very irresponsible of the military to shoot Jack down over a suburban area when there is plenty of country side. Also, considering Jack's and the town's general attitude to Oogie, it's obvious that while they love scaring, they don't enjoy hurting people (in Kingdom Hearts: Chain Of Memories, Jack even tells Sora that the citizens of Halloween Town enjoy scaring people, not hurting them, though whether or not this is canon is debatable), so how likely is the presents going to actually hurt people? Also, Rule of Perception. We never see the military consider any other sort of option, nor do we see anything done to save the kids from the attacking toys in the first place. As far as we can tell, it's only when Sandy Claws Santa Claus comes to set things right is when the kids get any sort of help from the toys. Granted, they were going for the cause of the problem, but still, seriously, what the hell, police/military?!
      • Okay, I just read info added on the main page but a more knowledgeable person. The police/military weren't being as stupid as I thought.
      • You're welcome, civilian.
  • Alright, since there's debate on the main page, let's discuss it here: who's the true King of Town, Jack or the Mayor?
    • The Mayor has all the official power in theory, but between his own wimpiness ("I CAN'T MAKE DECISIONS BY MYSELF!") and the town's worship of Jack's celebrity, Jack ends up in charge for most intents and purposes.
      • Sounds good, but I'm still skeptical of the idea that Jack is "just a celebrity". This lyric in Jack's Lament "He'd give it all up/if he only could . . ." makes it sound like Jack has to be the Pumpkin King, which is unlikely if Jack's only a celebrity. Now, I know a lot a celebrities feel they have obligations, and that very well could be the case for Jack, but being the scariest guy in town doesn't sound so obligatory, as anyone else could take that job. I just get the feeling that Jack has, for a lack of a better word, some sort of legal obligation, like he inherited the Pumpkin King crown or something. *shrugs* I dunno, it's just me.
      • Seeing as how the town completely depends on him, going so far as to freak out if he's gone for even one night, it's not as easy as giving it up. I doubt it's anything legally binding, and in theory he could just decide to give up, but that'd require ignoring everybody in town.
      • Gee, that makes Jack even more pitiful.
      • I always regarded The Mayor's "I can't make decisions by myself!" as a Parental Bonus. It makes me laugh, at least.
    • Okay, I just read the trope, and part of the trope is the king having little or zero competence. So Jack doesn't fit as while he's an Idiot Hero, Jack definitely knows how to run things and has quite a bit of competence.
    • I always thought that The Mayor is responsible to the town itself, while Jack is responsible to planning the Halloween celebration. The thing is that there's not so much beside Halloween in Halloween Town and The Mayor's a wimp.
  • When Jack is shot down by the police and the people realize that Santa isn't coming, instead of going for a "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" moral and teaching Jack that Christmas was never just about the presents and decoration like he thought, they actually announce that Christmas will be cancelled this year because Santa can't come. Apparently, Christianity doesn't even exist in this universe.
    • In the "real world" of this movie, Christmas exists as it is seen by children. That is why you never see the adults' faces, Santa really delivers presents, and the military will shoot down a Santa impersonator. From a kid's point of view, a lack of presents would mean Christmas really was cancelled. The movie just portrays this as the reaction of the entire world.
    • Christians didn't always celebrate Christmas, you know. Christmas was originally a pagan celebration of the winter solstice that was absorbed into Christianity to combat the pagan celebrations. It's possible that in this universe that with the holidays having their own worlds, that the holiday Christmas, and by extension Easter, are celebrated in their secular forms, and the religious forms are celebrated separately. There's two possible reasons why they didn't go with a How the Grinch Stole Christmas! moral: 1. if the human children didn't care about getting presents (or, more likely, worrying about Santa's well-being), Jack won't have a reason to rush back and save Santa (and with Oogie about to eat Santa, that would have been disastrous) and 2. The writers didn't want to rip off How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.
    • Well, consider this; there's a huge attack of children's presents turning out to be monsters trying to eat them, and a creepy skeleton guy is flying through the sky. Christmas isn't being cancelled because there are no presents, it's being cancelled because it's causing problems. The moral of Grinch is less about Christianity and more about the joy of Christmas, and while Grinch just steals the presents, Jack was giving presents that were harmful. The kids were being traumatized by this version of Christmas, that's why it was being cancelled.
  • Why is it Jack is the only one who got bored of Halloween? Has he been doing this longer than anyone else?
    • Since he's basically become synonymous with Halloween in the first place, his whole life is forced to revolve around that one single day. It's understandable that sooner or later he'd get sick of it.
    • I always assumed Jack was simply more curious and adventurous in nature. The other citizens of Halloween Town were happy to just do the same thing day after day, but Jack wanted more than this provincial life.
  • I don't understand it why people say Jack has a lot of moodswings. He always seemed pretty chipper throughout the film kinda like Phineas. The part with the Easter Bunny and the battle with Oogie are the only times I see him angry.
    • I think people are using "Poor Jack" for the moodswing argument, as he does go from being depressed to happy in a relatively short time.
    • I always took it that Jack's mood swinging in "Poor Jack" was him going between lamenting that he's depressed and then arguing with himself that he shouldn't be. It seems like Mood Whiplash because he puts on an air of "Snap out of it, Jack!" during his counter-arguments.
  • So they spend an ENTIRE YEAR preparing for Halloween? Don't the residents have anything else better to do?
    • Apparently so. If it's a "go-world-wide-where-Halloween-is-celebrated" similar to Christmas, it can be understandable, but otherwise, yeah, it's really weird. And provides yet another reason why Jack wanting to take over Christmas isn't that surprising.
      • It's more that they use those 364 days planning the year's theme/gimmicks and how they'll go about bringing it to life. It's a bit like how Universal Studios does the "Halloween Haunts" thing, except these people are the key to the holiday itself.
  • In the opening narration, it says, "'Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems . . ." Yet if the Real World is any indication, the movie takes place fairly recently. Am I the only one confused, or am I just thinking too much into this?
    • It may not seem that long ago, but it's actually longer now than it seems.
      • That does not answer the question.
    • The real world seems to be in the late 50s or early 60s, based on the style of the TVs we see and the low-tech toys that the children are given. Still doesn't answer the question, I know.
    • If you look closely at Jack's chalkboard, he's noted the date as 1993, the date the film came out. So, uh... yeah.
    • At the time of writing, it's 2013, twenty years later. Time is relative. Twenty years ago I still had natural colour in my hair. It's all a matter of personal perspective. Alternatively, Jack may have just been using an alternate dating system. If there were a Hanukkah Town (like in The Critic), they'd be using the Hebrew calendar... Jack might subscribe to a weird variant of the Phantom Time Hypothesis. Maybe it really was the sixties at the time? And come on - Phantom Time? Delicious.
  • Why does everyone assume that Jack's an Idiot Hero? I mean, I know that he practically ruined one of the biggest holidays ever, but that doesn't technically mean he's stupid. For all we know, he could actually be pretty smart.
    • I'm sure Jack does have quite a bit of intelligence. What makes Jack an Idiot Hero isn't a lack of intelligence, it's lack of common sense. After all, having the citizens of Halloween Town try out Christmas when they don't understand the holiday is definitely not a smart move. Plus, as the main page detailed, Jack's a more justified example than most, as he never encountered anything like Christmas before.
  • I just noticed this. The Mayor refers to Lock, Shock and Barrel as "Oogie's boys." Sure, this could just be simplifying things for the script, but "kids" could have worked just as well. This would imply that Shock is a boy and not, as people typically assume, a girl. Depending on their intended ages, this could easily be the case, as it can be difficult to tell a young boy with a high voice and atypical manners from a girl.
    • Shock is clearly in a witch costume. Maybe it could be a really bad wizard costume? Or if she was, as one fan theory states, a human child in a Halloween costume, maybe "he" had really gender-identity-liberal parents?
    • I'm pretty sure "boys" wasn't actually referring to gender. Kind like saying "Hey, you guys!" when one of them is a she.
    • I heard the line as "Boogie's Boys", and thought it was supposed to be an alliterative gang name or something.
    • I thought there was a point when Shock made a comment about boys in general being dumb, which would seem to confirm that she was a girl, but maybe I'm misremembering.
      • She said, "I wish my cohorts weren't so dumb."
  • A bit surprised it's not been mentioned yet—why had nobody else stumbled upon those holiday trees? Jack had only been walking for one night and he found it.
    • I like to think that Jack has some unconscious powers that come directly from being synonymous with the holiday of Halloween, or at least it responds to him more than to other residents. He apparently had the ability to unfurl that twisted hill thing, so he was probably led directly to the holiday trees subconsciously while he was asleep through the same force that did the aforementioned unfurling of the thingy.
    • This is directly related to the above question about Jack being the only one to get tired of Halloween; until then, nobody had ever really bothered to walk around in that direction because they were happy where they were. Jack, being the curious type, searches for more and so he finds it. This kind of puts the Halloween Town residents in a sort of lemming position, but again, the movie does show that staying within their comfort zone has resulted in them being very closed-minded.
    • As pointed out above, you get lost very easily in the Hinterlands level in Oogie's Revenge, which implies that maybe the doors can only be found if you're actively looking for them, and Jack was certainly looking for something new...
  • So Jack has the three trick-or-treaters kidnap Santa Claus, but they bring the Easter Bunny instead. He sends them back to return the Easter Bunny and get the real Santa Claus. This happens at least 36 days before Christmas. When they actually do kidnap Santa Claus, it’s the day before Christmas. What took them so long?
    • They had some fun with him beforehand?
    • Maybe they let Oogie have him and spent their sweet time enjoying the show before they high-tailed it back to the forest.
    • There is also the fact that they are three candy-loving children with a knack for trouble going into two holiday worlds with a lot of focus around sweets. Who's to say they didn't linger long enough to stock up on goodies while they were there? (Being the tricksters they are, stealing probably isn't out of their league).
  • Now really, guys, why the hell are children opening their presents on Christmase Eve night?? Don't they know you're supposed to wait until Christmas morning??
    • Only in some countries. Many, primarily in Europe, traditionally open their gifts on Christmas Eve.
  • So can Oogie Boogie actually leave his Or is he trapped in there? And if so, by whom?
    • He can probably leave, but since he's obviously very unpopular, and known to be an evil dick by the Mayor(who is terrified of him) and the King (who hates him), he would probably not spend a lot of time outside of his own area.
  • So, how did Jack know where Santa and Sally were being held again? And for that matter, why does the random gravestone he just happens to land near magically transport him back to Halloween Town?
    • My impression was that he didn't. Remember Lock, Shock, and Barrel's "home" seems to be right above Oogie's lair. He was probably going to them to find out where they took Santa and luckily for Sally and Santa, heard the cries. As for the grave portal, maybe Jack has some magic that allows him to make a portal back to Halloween Town.
  • Is this a Christmas Film or a Halloween Film?
    • And don't just say it's both, it's one or the other.
    • Yes.
    • Why does it even matter?
  • On a more trivial note, is Zero the only dog in Halloweentown? Remember, the vampires identify him from one bark, and dog voices aren't that distinctive. Sure, someone who has multiple dogs in their household can usually at least make a good guess at who's barking, but a stranger would probably only be able to deduce the size of the barker sight unseen.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the WindHeadscratchers/FilmPhineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension

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