The Nightmare Before Christmas is perhaps the perfect movie to enjoy this time of year. Not quite a Halloween film and not quite a Christmas one either, it seems appropriate to enjoy the Tim Burton classic somewhere in between.
While the rumored sequel never did come to fruition, fans have re-watched Nightmare over and over again, pulling out every little detail of a project that was so painstakingly difficult to animate that it took 3 years to fully complete the film. The main location of Halloween Town certainly includes some of these hidden details and easter eggs that fans have been focusing on.
10 The Wooded Hinterlands
During the movie, Jack Skellington runs to the edge of Halloween Town to discover a cove of trees, each of them representing a different world. He of course enters the Christmas tree-shaped door and goes on a festive adventure.
The area is never actually named in the movie, but it’s thanks to additional projects such as the Kingdom Hearts franchise that fans came to learn that it was called the Hinterlands. The importance of this location means it has also appeared in a Nightmare Before Christmas game titled Oogie’s Revenge.
9 A Living Place
A spooky place like Halloween Town would seem to have a life of its own if anyone was ever stuck there by themselves. But, the film really does portray the town as a living place. The Spiral Hill is one such example of this.
It actually moves and bends, showcasing it’s like a living creature. There’s plenty of other subtle references to the living town, from the way the wind moves, to some of the gates and fences actually swaying to the music.
8 The Future Of Monster’s Inc
Monsters Inc may be famous for the relationship between Sully and Mike, the arrival of Boo and the adventure these friendly monsters go on, but it’s also known for its production design. From the doors to the world of monsters itself, the inspiration for the production is clear in this film.
The ‘This Is Halloween’ song takes the audience through the various monsters that haunt children. In these scenes is imagery that directly inspired Monsters Inc, so much so that early concept drawings for the film directly referenced the style of Tim Burton’s world.
7 The Halloween Colors
Halloween Town actually uses a very limited color palette. All of the images used throughout actually feature the cold colors of Halloween. From whites, greys, a few reds and pastel greens and oranges, the theme is extremely clear.
There are no bright colors in Halloween Town, all of which are instead reserved for Christmas Town. It’s this kind of attention to detail that gives the setting of the film such a distinctive feeling and look, making it so memorable as a Halloween film.
6 The Halloween Town Scarecrow
The opening of the film sees a glowing pumpkin tied up like a scarecrow, pointing the audience in the direction of Halloween town. Later this scarecrow is burned to reveal that Jack Skellington was actually under there the whole time.
Not only is this a little bit of connective tissue throughout the opening musical sequence therefore, but there’s a lot of religious and thematic imagery here, in regards to sacrifice for the town and leadership.
5 Corpse Bride Links
Corpse Bride may have an array of memorable characters and include some of Tim Burton’s unconventional charm, but it also has a number of connections to The Nightmare Before Christmas. In fact, it’s often thought that this is a part of an unofficial trilogy.
Indeed, there are many fans who believe that Jack Skellington and Victor Van Dort are the same characters, as are Emily and Sally and of course the dogs! The land of the dead seen in Corpse Bride has a number of visuals clues that feel as if they match the design of Halloween Town.
4 The Houses Have Faces
To continue the trend that this is somehow a living town, the houses have actually been designed to have faces. Not only does it support the theme of a haunted place, but it is also reminiscent of the carvings of a pumpkin.
Each house is internally lit with an orange or yellow flame, once again harking back to the imagery of a jack o’ lantern. It’s a tiny detail that would be missed on an initial viewing of the film, but really brings much-needed depth to Halloween Town.
3 Former Medieval Town
There are lots of examples of this town perhaps being from a medieval time, or from around the era of the French Revolution. It’s possible that Halloween Town wasn’t always meant for monsters and ghouls.
The design of the architecture, forms of execution like hanging or the guillotine, as well as some of the ancient brickwork, all allow this town to feel like it’s been taken out of time. It’s impossible to say what era it is exactly from though.
2 Only Themed Animals
There’s plenty of animals in Halloween Town but all of them relate in some way to Halloween. There are bats, black cats and spiders aplenty, but no signs of any other animals. This is all to keep in with the Halloween theme.
The one animal that isn’t traditionally considered to be a part of the Halloween theme is a dog. However, Zero has been giving a ghostly upgrade that allows him to fit in right alongside the other creatures.
1 Finkelstein’s Lab
Finkelstein is one of the main antagonists of the film, thanks to his constant suppression of Sally. His lab is supposed to link back to images of Frankenstein and his monster, with the satellite on top allowing the building to conduct electricity for his experiments.
But the house is also designed to look like Finkelstein himself. The design of the roof and circular dish look a lot like Finkelstein’s own head from many angles, thematically giving a sign of Finkelstein’s own egotism.
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