- 1 History
- 2 Haunted Mansion Appearances
- 3 Other Appearances
- 4 Trivia
Jack Skellington was the Pumpkin King and a popular figure in Halloween Town. However, he had grown tired of the holiday and wanted something new. When he discovered Christmas Town, he wanted to have it for himself. So, he took over the whole holiday, kidnapping Santa Claus and taking his place.
Jack's his vision of Christmas turned out to be a nightmare, and the people rejected it en masse. By the end of the film, he learned to appreciate what he had and to respect other holidays.
Other film appearances
- Jack's first on-screen appearance was in the 1988 Tim Burton dark-comedy film Beetlejuice where his head served as a topping for the ghost Betelgeuse's carnival headdress in the film's climax.
- In 1996's James and the Giant Peach, Jack is featured as an antagonistic undead pirate captain at the bottom of the ocean. This is because the film is a stop-motion Disney film being directed by Henry Sellick who also directed the Nightmare Before Christmas. An undead Donald Duck is among his crew-mates.
- In Tim Burton's 1999 film Sleepy Hollow, a scarecrow appears in the film's opening which greatly resembles Jack's scarecrow costume in the opening of Nightmare Before Christmas.
- In the 2003 Pixar film Finding Nemo, Jack's head briefly appears as bubbles in a fish-tank.
- In the 2008 Disney film, The Princess and the Frog, one of the shadows summoned by the villain Dr. Facilier is made to resemble Jack.
- In Henry Sellick's 2009 stop-motion film Coraline, Jack's head briefly appears in a cameo form as an egg-yolk.
- In Tim Burton's 2010 live-action adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, Jack's head is featured on the Mad Hatter's neck-tie.
Haunted Mansion Appearances
Haunted Mansion Holiday
"Jack Skellington came here from Halloween Town.
You'll notice his handiwork scattered around.
This year, he's decided to play Sandy Claws
But, when Halloween creates Christmas, you might see a few flaws..."
Jack is a main character in the holiday overlay of the Haunted Mansion, Haunted Mansion Holiday. Having heard about the mansion and all of its ghoulish delight, he took it upon himself to bring the Christmas spirit to the happy haunts. He invited all of his friends from Halloween Town to deck their halls and spread his own brand of holiday cheer.
Jack physically appears twice in the attraction although his likeness is displayed on the decorations around the house. Jack's first appearance is the Stretching Room where he shatters the window replacing the ceiling and calls down at guest's from the Cupola while dressed in his Sandy Claws outfit, achieved via CGI animated projection on the scrim in the stretching room.
Jack's second and last physical appearance happens right before the Graveyard sequence. He is next to the entrance gate, where the caretaker is for the rest of the year. He stands next to Zero and marvels at his vision of Christmas and the joy its bringing.
Jack can be seen throughout the attraction in paintings and pictures. He appears in one of the changing portraits, based on illustrations from the film: changing from the Pumpkin King to "Sandy Claws". He is also on the star tarot card, representing one of Madame Leota's gifts from her ghoul love. A portrait of Jack and Zero sits in the attic, where Constance Hatchaway is for the rest of the year.
Walt Disney World
The Magic Kingdom celebrates Halloween every year with Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween party. Because most park goers want to ride the Haunted Mansion as a Halloween ride during October rather than a Christmas themed one, the Haunted Mansion in Florida never received Haunted Mansion Holiday. The decorations and animatronics made for it went to Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare, instead.
However, Imagineers decided to integrate 13 alleged hidden references to the Nightmare Before Christmas into the mansion, most of which are hidden Jack Skellington depictions. While not all 13 of the references have been discovered, the known ones pertaining to Jack include:
- The Master Gracey Portrait: Where Jack's face can be faintly seen on the Master of the House's forehead.
- The Library Books: Where in the Mansion's library, one book has a picture of Jack on the cover, while another is labelled "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and has a drawing of Jack's face on the spine.
- The Attic Book: Where another book with a drawing of Jack (here in a different pose) can be seen in Constance Hatchaway's collection.
- The Snowglobe and Jack Doll: Where opposite to the Bride at the end of the attic scene, behind the hatbox stack and coatrack of her husbands' hats, Constance is shown to have a Jack Skellington snow globe, and Jack Skellington doll in her possession.
Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare
Jack makes the same appearances in Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare Tokyo Disneyland's version of Haunted Mansion Holiday as he does in Haunted Mansion Holiday, with some extra ones. A scarecrow outside of the mansion appears modelled after Jack's scarecrow costume from the film. A portrait of Jack as Sandy Claws sits in the foyer, where the Aging Man is for the rest of the year.
Jack stands on the balcony of the first scene once guests board their doom buggy, alongside Sally and the Scary Teddy. This is before the new portrait gallery of characters from the film - where the Sinister 11 are for the rest of the year.
Jack Skellington is mentioned in a 1932 newspaper describing the accounts of the Johnson family which owned the mansion in New Orleans before being forced to flee due to the spirits. They describe Jack as having come around the holidays and to have been, "A man adorned with a skinless face" in reference to his expressive skull.
Jack was the host of Halloween Screams, Disneyland's version of Happy HalloWishes. He began the show by inviting the happy haunts to socialize, before "Grim Grinning Ghosts" and "This is Halloween" played.
While Phantom Manor does not have any variation of Haunted Mansion Holiday, Jack has made meet and greet appearances outside of the attraction during the Halloween and Christmas season. In recent years, he's appeared in a gazebo just outside of the main entrance, where Mickey Mouse is for the rest of the year. During the Christmas season, he's dressed in his Sandy Claws outfit.
In artwork of the Stretching Room with Nightmare Before Christmas characters, Jack replaces Constance by sitting on his dog Zero's grave (which doubles as his dog-house). Jack appeared in plushy form in Disney Parks' WISHABLES series along with Oogie Boogie, the Vampire Teddy, the Giant Snake, and Zero.
- Despite Jack being an undead skeleton it is commonly believed that Jack was never living and never died as he appears to simply be a creature living in the alternate realm of Halloweenland.
- Some theorize that Jack is an adaption of the folkloric character of Stingy Jack who is the myth behind the Jack o' Lantern.
- Jack's singing voice and the film's composer, Danny Elfman, also composed the score behind Mystic Manor. He is referenced in portrait form through the S.E.A. member Maestro d'Elfman. He voices the trio of singing helmets, as well.
- Elfman is a fan of the Haunted Mansion, and grew up with the Disneyland version of the attraction.
- The scarecrow located outside the Haunted Mansion during Haunted Mansion Holiday was Jack's Halloween costume from the beginning of his movie.
- It is somewhat odd that the Johnsons encountered Jack Skellington and Zero due to the Nightmare Before Christmas being set long after 1936 and that story featuring the first time Jack learned of Christmas.