Nightmare Before Christmas characters and what the cast looks like

It’s hailed as one of the best stop-motion animations ever made, but what are the actors playing the characters in The Nightmare Before Christmas like?

It’s considered one of the greatest animated films of all time, but what do the voice actors do? The Nightmare Before Christmas the characters look like? It’s been almost 30 years since Tim Burton and Henry Selick’s stop-motion musical The Nightmare Before Christmas hit theaters. The charming and spooky film tells the story of a ghoul named Jack Skellington (aka the “Pumpkin King”) who presides over a spooky kingdom known as Halloween Town and has grown tired of his titular holiday and thus tries to hijack Christmas with disastrous consequences.

The Nightmare Before Christmas was a critical and commercial success when it was released in 1993 and is now considered a Christmas and Halloween favorite. For a long time it was said that the movie would get a sequel and although The Nightmare Before Christmas 2 hasn’t happened yet, the original has spawned countless other spinoffs – from toys and video games to books and comics.

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One of the main reasons Burton and Selick’s film is so beloved is the talented cast who bring The Nightmare Before Christmas characters to life. Read on to find out what the voice cast looks like and which characters they play.

Chris SarandonJack Skellington


Chris Sarandon in The Nightmare Before Christmas and I smile back at him

Jack – or the “Pumpkin King of Halloween Town” to give him his full title – is the protagonist of The Nightmare Before Christmas which chronicles his ill-fated attempt to take over the Christmas holidays by kidnapping Santa Claus after he grows tired of only celebrating Halloween year after year. Jack Skellington is voiced by The princess to be married star Chris Sarandon, although his singing voice is provided by The Nightmare Before Christmas composer Danny Elfman.


Catherine O’Hara – Sally


Catherine O'Hara in The Nightmare Before Christmas and Schitt's Creek

Jack Skellington may be the protagonist, but the heroine of The Nightmare Before Christmas is Sally – a living rag doll who was created by Halloween Town’s resident mad scientist, Doctor Finkelstein, and who is secretly in love with Jack. Sally was hosted by multi-award winning actress Catherine O’Hara, best known for her roles in Alone at home, Schitt’s Creek and another Burton film beetle juice.

William Hickey – Doctor Finkelstein


William Hickey in The Nightmare Before Christmas and Bright Lights Big City

The Frankenstein-like Doctor Finkelstein is Sally’s father/creator and rather overprotective of his surrogate daughter/creation. The Nightmare Before Christmas the character is listed simply as “Evil Scientist” in the credits and is voiced by the late William Hickey, whose other films include Prizzi’s Honor – for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor – and who starred in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.


Related: Tim Burton’s Dark Christmas Trilogy Ranked (Including Batman Returns)

Ken Page – Oogie Boogie


Ken Page in The Nightmare Before Christmas and Dreamgirls

Bogeyman Oogie Boogie is the main villain of The Nightmare Before Christmas and a longtime rival of Jack Skellington who lives in an underground lair beneath Halloween Town and plans to cook the kidnapped Santa Claus into a stew. Veteran stage actor Ken Page (dream girls) is the man behind the voice of Oogie Boogie.

Paul Reubens, Catherine O’Hara and Danny Elfman – Bolt, Shock and Barrel


Lock, Shock and Barrel in The Nightmare Before Christmas;  Paul Reubens in Peewee's Big Holiday;  Danny Elfman;  Catherine O'Hara in Schitt's Creek

Lock, Shock and Barrel are a trick or treat trio Nightmare Before Christmas characters who act as Oogie Boogie’s henchmen. Lock is voiced by Pee-wee star Herman Paul Reubens while Shock and Barrel are voiced by Sally actress Catherine O’Hara and The Nightmare Before Christmas composer – and regular Burton collaborator – Danny Elfman, respectively.


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