5 trivia from the classic The Strange World of Jack

Released October 29, 1993, Jack’s wierd world is one of the most popular animations with the stop-motion technique. With a non-standard visual and script, the musical created by Tim Burton won many fans.

A must-see movie during Halloween — and Christmas — this Walt Disney Studios classic has a lot of curiosities. Next, learn about some interesting behind-the-scenes stories from the feature film.

Henry Selick and Tim Burton alongside one of the movie sets.Source: Walt Disney Studios/Disclosure

1. Tim Burton is not the animation director

Despite being the creative mind behind the work, Tim Burton is not the director of Jack’s wierd world. Busy with recordings of Batman: The Return (1992), the filmmaker invited his colleague Henry Selick to take over the direction of the Disney project.

After the success of animation, Selick became an expert in stop-motion. James and the Giant Peach (1996) e Coraline and the Secret World (2009) are some of the highlights of the director’s filmography.

Burton's original drawing used to illustrate the poem “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.Burton’s original drawing used to illustrate the poem “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.Source: Tim Burton/Reproduction

2. Story based on a poem

Burton worked as an animator for Disney in the early 1980s. At the time, the artist wrote several concepts for future shorts, including the poem “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.

The story was a parody of the book A Visit from St. Nicholas (1833), by the American Clement Clarke Moore. The popular Christmas tale is also known as “The Night Before Christmas”.

Written in 1982, the poem/parody focused on the boredom that dominated protagonist Jack Skellington. In addition, the short story featured the ghost dog Zero and Santa’s kidnapping plan.

More than 250 puppets were used during the production of the film.More than 250 puppets were used in the production of the feature.Source: Walt Disney Studios/Disclosure

3. The animation took 3 years to complete

Like other stop-motion animations, Jack’s wierd world had an extensive and time-consuming production. In all, the project had 120 professionals and around 17 animators to create the 75 minutes of film.

The feature film was shot at 24 frames per second, so artists had to adjust the characters’ positions 24 times to photograph the movements and create just one second of scene. At this rate of work, 1 minute of the film required 1 full week of shooting. At the end of the project, 109,440 frames, 277 puppets and 20 individual scenarios were used.

Burton in the studio of musician Danny Elfman.Burton in the studio of musician Danny Elfman.Source: Disney Enterprises/Disclosure

4. The songs were written before the script

Musician Danny Elfman, leader of the band Oingo Boingo, was invited to compose the songs for the animation. However, much of the material was created before the script was finalized. The artist’s references were only the descriptions and some sketches of the scenes imagined by Burton, based on what he wrote the songs that are part of the animated musical.

In addition to being the composer of the soundtrack, Elfman played Jack Skellington in several parts of the original version of the feature. And actor Chris Sarandon was responsible for giving the character a voice in non-musical moments.

Jack Skellington in one of the film's scary moments.Jack Skellington in one of the film’s scary moments.Source: Walt Disney Studios/Disclosure

5. Jack’s wierd world it’s a Halloween movie

Despite the constant references to Christmas, Jack’s wierd world it is, in fact, a movie about Halloween. Interestingly, the idea of ​​bringing the two dates together began in Burton’s childhood. The filmmaker grew up in Burbank, a sunny California city with little variation in temperature between seasons, so the young man followed the passage of time throughout the year through the decorations in the stores.

Seeing that Halloween and Christmas decorations mixed in the last quarter of the year, the artist wanted to write a story about the meeting of these “two worlds”. Years later, this became a reality with animation.

Burton vetoed possible sequels to the story.Burton vetoed possible sequels to the story.Source: Walt Disney Studios/Disclosure

Bonus: CGI continuation “canceled”

After the success of Jack’s wierd world, Disney planned a sequel in computer graphics with direct home video release. However, the project with Jack Skellington visiting other anniversaries was rejected by Burton. “I was always very zealous about doing a sequel. I feel like the original movie had a purity, and that made people like it. So I try to respect the fans and keep the originality of the material as much as possible,” the creator told MTV in 2006.

What is your favorite character from Jack’s wierd world? Let us know in the comments.

Watch The Strange World of Jack at Disney+

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