The Nightmare Before Christmas script
Synopsis: The film follows the misadventures of Jack Skellington, Halloweentown's beloved pumpkin king, who has become bored with the same annual routine of frightening people in the "real world." When Jack accidentally stumbles on Christmastown, all bright colors and warm spirits, he gets a new lease on life -- he plots to bring Christmas under his control by kidnapping Santa Claus and taking over the role. But Jack soon discovers even the best-laid plans of mice and skeleton men can go seriously awry.


But once there occurred a calamity SO GREAT!

When two of the worlds did collide by mistake...

The october 31st page peels back to... nothing. To BLACK. We

fall in, or perhaps it should feel more like we're swallowed up.


Carved JACK O'LANTERNS come at us in the long tunnel of darkness.

Collision seems inevitable, but in the instant before we would

slam into them, the jack o'lanterns veer off, turning to display

the various credits on their uncarved backsides.

When the last jack o'lantern zooms toward us, it doesn't veer

off. It keeps coming and fast. Rather than collide with it

though -- we fall straight into one of the PUMPKINHEAD'S CARVED-

OUT, TRIANGULAR EYES into the further black there and out...


which opens onto the


The bloated orange disk of the MOON illuminates Halloweenland's

delicately decrepit graveyard.


giant jack o'lantern head now set on the squat vines of his many

leafy legs. He looks more like a spider than like anything else

as he scuttles across the cemetery toward the big pumpkin patch.



Boys and Girls of every age

Wouldn't you like to see something strange?

Come with us and you will see...

This our town of Halloween!

Pumpkinhead has reached the


where he drops down among his fellow pumpkins -- who all wake up

at once -- sudden jack o'lantern mouths and eyes glowing wide for

the chorus...

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Caroline Thompson

Caroline Thompson (born April 23, 1956) is an American novelist, screenwriter, film director, and producer. She wrote the screenplays for Tim Burton's films Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Corpse Bride. She co-wrote the story for Edward Scissorhands and recently co-adapted a new stage version of the film with director and choreographer Matthew Bourne. Thompson also adapted the screenplay for the film version of Wicked Lovely, a bestselling fantasy series, in 2011, but the production was put into turnaround. more…

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"The Nightmare Before Christmas" STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 20 Jan. 2018. <>.

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