Nightmare Before Christmas: Tim Burton Kicked a Hole in a Wall After Ending Was Almost Changed

Almost thirty years old, Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas was a true labor of love for all of the parties involved in its making (and though Burton's name is in the title, he wasn't there for most of production).As revealed in The Holiday Movies That Made Us, (a Christmas variant of the Netflix series "The Movies That Made Us") which has an episode focused entirely on the making of the film as well as the 2003 movie Elf, the process to get the film made was a long and harrowed road. This road had plenty of bumps along the way and one of them drew the ire of Burton so much he damaged the wall at Disney.

As revealed in the ending, there was a point where the ending for the movie was almost changed by the film's director Henry Selick. Fans know that in the end, big bad Oogie Boogie gets himself tangled up in his own machinery causing his stitches to come undone and reveal that he's actually a sentient pile of bugs. Selick conceived of an alternate ending however where it's revealed that Sally's father Dr. Finkelstein was controlling Oogie Boogie from the inside, giving the movie what they called a "classic Scooby-Doo ending." Tim Burton disagreed.

"I came up with this idea that Oogie Boogie was actually the evil scientist inside of him," Selick said. "(Tim) hated it, he hated it so much. He kicked a hole in the wall and I went 'Tim is your foot okay,' he said 'Yeah, they're steel toes.' That was one of our more colorful interactions."

The crew behind the movie revealed that after this incident someone wrote "Tim kicked a hole here" above the puncture, and that they later took it out of the wall and framed it. Even after the film was finished, writer Caroline Thompson approached Burton about rewriting the ending, which he took poorly and reportedly "erupted into a screaming fit" and "attacked an editing machine." The ending did not get changed.


This episode about the making of the movie recounted many other stories from the production of the movie like how Danny Elfman not only got involved with Tim Burton but how he worked on the movie, the extensive process that took in writing the film, and the decision making at the studio for why it become known as "Tim Burton's."

The Nightmare Before Christmas is available to stream on Disney+ for your Christmas viewing with The Holiday Movies That Made Us now streaming on Netflix.