Dr. Finklestein, Bigtime. Did he create Sally to be his daughter? His Sex Slave? An emotional companion? A servant? All of the above? Who knows! And what of the mother-like figure he's with at the end?
Tim Burton has said that he doesn't consider Oogie Boogie evil.
Lock, Shock, and Barrel: mischievous friends who work together and happen to have similar names, or siblings?
Arguably it does have a purpose, as it would have been Foreshadowing had they kept a deleted scene scene near the climax where, after Jack hears Sally and Santa screaming for help in Oogie-Boogie's layer and dons his Let's Get Dangerous face, he makes a terrifying face to scare Boodie's Boys away and proceeds to rescue them. Even without the deleted scene, it foreshadows Jack getting angry when he learns that the children cause a kidnapped "guest" in Halloween town undue terror and stress. The scene also illustrates that Jackmay not have qualms about kidnapping other Holiday residents to Halloween Town, but even he draws the line at hurting or frightening them unnecessarily.
Counterpart Comparison: Even critics have noted that Jack's tale of taking over Christmas is similar to the Grinch, right down to his dog pulling his sleigh. Not surprisingly, Tim Burton himself has compared the two, being a huge fan of the cartoon.
Oogie Boogie tend to get this a lot, often making Jack into a bully to do so. Also, Jack is probably one of the rare heroes (if not the only one) who gets this. Fans bash the military for shooting Jack down, despite the fact that they were justified in doing so.
Lock, Shock and Barrel have quite the popular fanbase, despite them being three homicidal, malicious, violent children. Although they do undergo a Heel–Face Turn later...
Then there's Oogie's Shout-Out comment to Santa, sounding like Oogie's going to rape him.
The Show Some Leg scene! Seriously, that's probably the reason for the Oogie/Sally ship!
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The Mayor ends up falling down the stairs of Jack's house trying to get Jack. This is hilarious until you realize that the Mayor's voice actor Glenn Shadix died because of blunt trauma to the head following a fall at his Birmingham condo.
Jack himself looks like a distant relative of Slenderman.
The movie ending with an epic throw-down confrontation between Santa Claus and the Boogeyman. Sounds familiar...
Ho Yay: Of all the citizens of Halloween Town, the Mayor appears to be the most worried for Jack when he goes missing — and it doesn't look like just as a professional and/or as a friend, either. In his defense, there are only 365 more days until NEXT Halloween.note 364!
It helps that his actor, Glenn Shadix, was openly Gay.
Narm: Clever though she may be, it's unfortunate that most of Sally's dialogue is an expository reminder to the audience about the state of the situation, or other obvious thoughts to herself.
Periphery Demographic: Amongst the most cited favorites of young Perky Goths everywhere. Tellingly, the average Hot Topic location probably carries just as much Nightmare merchandise as the average Disney Store (if not more).
The Problem with Licensed Games: Averted, mostly. As Halloween Town has made most of its appearances in Kingdom Hearts, it's been pretty good. As for the PS2 game...decent, but it would have made a better movie sequel than a game.
One-Scene Wonder: The Easter Bunny and Shrunken Head Kid both only appear for short scenes, but are among the most meorable characters.
Ron the Death Eater: Yes, Dr. Finkelstein has a rather... questionable and dysfunctional relationship with Sally, but this does not excuse the Fan Fic writers for writing him into a freaking rapist.
Sacred Cow: Zig-zagged. Some circles hate it just because Tim Burton was involved, while others consider it the only good movie (apart from Batman and Batman Returns) he was involved in. The fact that a lot of people grew up with it certainly helped.
Signature Scene: Both of the major scenes taking place on the spiral hill — "Jack's Lament", specifically the part where he walks up said hill against the full moon, and the final scene where Jack and Sally have their Final Love Duet.
The border of the removable faceplate on the Mayor puppet's happy face is clearly visible.
The bats flying towards the camera during the "This Is Halloween" sequence are clearly held up by wires. In the remastered version, most of the wires were digitally erased, but they are still slightly visible in a few frames.
The Halloween Town citizens. Justified because they're supposed to be creepy.
A lot of the fans think the elves are creepy. They're too cheerful, dammit!
The human children are creepier than most things hanging around Halloween Town.
Have you ever seen fanart of Jack drawn realistically? Dear Lord, there's a reason why Jack is a cartoony skeleton!
Vindicated by History: It was a modest hit in 1993, and well-received by critics, but it wasn't near as big as Disney's in-house fare at the time (Aladdin arrived the previous year, The Lion King the next). This was partially because Disney was nervous about the Nightmare Fuel; they initially released it under their Touchstone Pictures banner (which was reserved for mature films and the edgier Who Framed Roger Rabbit). But now it's arguably a much more popular film than any of Disney's post-Lion King animated efforts, and they've since allowed it to be released under the Disney banner itself.
Visual Effects of Awesome: The entire movie is absolutely gorgeous, and there are some really creative designs to be admired if you look at the citizens of Halloween. For a stop-motion film, it's very impressive/
There are small touches, such as motion blur for the sweeping camera movies, courtesy of a special camera invented solely for this film. If you know anything about stop motion, especially when it's shot on non-reusable film stock, this is extremely difficult and it does not show at all!
Special mention goes to Oogie Boogie. It can't be easy giving a burlap sack expressive animation, but they did it. The cloth movement is realistic, and the "My bugs!" scene was terrific. The puppet was one of the trickier ones to work with, but they did it!
The Woobie: All those who feel sorry for Henry Selick because he never gets any credit for this film, raise your hand. While he was a director-for-hire for Burton because he was away filming Batman Returns, he is still responsible for putting it all together. Luckily this seems to have changed a bit after his adaptation of Coraline was advertised as being from the director of Nightmare, causing some controversy over whether the studio was trying to falsely imply that Burton was involved and bringing a lot of attention to Selick. note This has had the unfortunate side effect of some people trying to downplay Burton's involvement and claim that it was all Selick, which isn't true. Burton wrote the poem the film was based on, was the one that decided to make it a musical, was heavily involved in the pre-production (contributing concept art, story boards, and co-writing the songs with Danny Elfman- though he declined a lyric credit), and handpicked Selick to direct the film. While it's good that Selick is getting more credit for his involvement, downplaying Burton's involvement ignores how significant Burton was in getting the film made. For the record, Selick himself acknowledges that the film was Burton's idea and that his job was to bring Burton's vision to life.
Sally. All the things she does for someone who doesn't reciprocate her feelings (at first) is heartbreaking. Though note that "not-reciprocate-Sally's-feelings" does NOT equal "hardly-notices-her".
Jack. A guy who gets tired of his job might sound whiny, but not when you consider that he lives in a town where it's all about said job. Put that on top of the fact that a lot of the responsibility for Halloween is on his shoulders, and all you have to say is "That's rough." Also since Jack is all bones he might be Really 700 Years Old, who knows how long he was doing the same thing every year. 10 years? 50 years? 100 years? Since Halloween was created?
Given Jack is placed opposite figures such as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny - who are the chief representatives and figureheads of their holidays - it could be easy to assume Jack has been doing that job since the concept of Halloween existed in a modern context.