‘A Little Unfair’: ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ Director Claims Tim Burton Gets Too Much Credit

‘A Little Unfair’: ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ Director Claims Tim Burton Gets Too Much Credit

Most fans associate the stop-motion animated musical dark fantasy Disney film “The Nightmare Before Christmas” with Tim Burton, but the film’s director Henry Selick says he deserves credit too.

Selick directed the 1993 cult classic film and now he’s giving his opinion on why Burton shouldn’t be the only one lauded for the project.

“No, that was a little unfair because it wasn’t called ‘Tim Burton’s Nightmare’ until three weeks before the film came out,” Selick said during an interview with The A.V. Club when asked if he’s ever felt like he should concede credit to Burton. 

“I would have been fine with that, if that’s what I signed up for,” he continued. “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. 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.”

Selick joked that composer Danny Elfman could also want credit for “Nightmare” because he came up with the music, including the featured song “This Is Halloween.”

The director went on to say he’s done other collaborations in Hollywood and didn’t mind them when credit was given fairly. 

“And so in the long run, especially with ‘Coraline’ and [‘Wendell & Wilde’ with Jordan Peel], I mean, ‘Coraline’ is based on a really good book by Neil Gaiman. That didn’t hurt. On this, my collaborator is Jordan Peele — and that is the reason we were able to set this up. So I really, truly like to collaborate,” he concluded. “But I’m the one leading the team to make the movie.”

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” was conceived from a poem Burton wrote in 1982 while he was working as an animator at Disney. Studio execs were hesitant about approving the project, which they feared was too scary for children, but the film ended up being a box office success, grossing more than $91 million worldwide since its release. “Nightmare” was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in 1994.

Burton recently made headlines for saying he had no intention of working with Disney again on what he sees as repetitive content. “It’s gotten to be very homogenized, very consolidated. There’s less room for different types of things,” the 64-year-old director said last month, as The Daily Wire previously reported.

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