The Nightmare Before Christmas Director Henry Selick Says Putting Tim Burton's Name on the Movie Was "Unfair"

It's safe to say that The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of the most famous animated films ever made, and it's often presented as Tim Buton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. While the Batman and Beetlejuice director created some of the characters and produced the film, a common misconception is that he also directed it. However, the beloved movie was actually helmed by Henry Selick who also directed James and the Giant Peach and Coraline as well as the new Netflix film Wendell & Wild. While speaking to The AV Club about his newest movie, the topic of The Nightmare Before Christmas came up, and the director revealed how he feels about not getting the credit he deserves. 

"No, that was a little unfair because it wasn't called Tim Burton's Nightmare until three weeks before the film came out. And I would have been fine with that, if that's what I signed up for. But Tim was in L.A. making two features while I directed that film, and I mean, Tim is a genius-or he certainly was in his most creative years," Selick explained. "I always thought his story was perfect, and he designed the main characters. But it was really me and my team of people who brought that to life. Now, of course, if you ask Danny Elfman, well, that's his movie [Laughs]."

He continued, "When we finished the film, it was so funny because he came up to me and shook my hand. 'Henry, you've done a wonderful job illustrating my songs!' And he was serious, and I loved it! Fine. But my thing was I'm going to hang in there long enough to where people actually say, 'Oh, that guy Henry, he does stuff.' And so in the long run, especially with Coraline and this film, I mean, Coraline is based on a really good book by Neil Gaiman. That didn't hurt. On [Wendell & Wild], my collaborator is Jordan Peele-and that is the reason we were able to set this up. So I really, truly like to collaborate. But I'm the one leading the team to make the movie."

Will The Nightmare Before Christmas Get a Sequel?  

Recently, Selick spoke with Collider about the possibility of a sequel. Selick confirmed that a "sequel has come up several times." He explained, "Initially, they always said, 'But it will have to be CG.' And that was a non-starter for me. It certainly was for [producer] Tim Burton." Selick added making The Nightmare Before Christmas-themed shorts hasn't been discussed, but he could see Burton liking the idea.

"The idea of a short has never come up in the past... I think that Tim might be open to a short," the director detailed. "It would have to be so refreshing...such a new take to justify making a sequel, but a short makes good sense." Selick began to brainstorm, "A short that's about Zero... his viewpoint of the world or a day in his life ... I think that's a fantastic idea. And doable. I predict Tim would back [it] then."

The Nightmare Before Christmas is available to stream on Disney+.