See the Cast of ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Then and Now
The origins of ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ were in a poem Tim Burton wrote in 1982. Disney became interested in the tale about a skeleton from a place called Halloween Town who tries to take over Christmas, but worried that the plot was “too dark and scary” for little kids.
But as Burton’s success grew, Disney decided they could release the musical fantasy through Touchstone, one of its alternative film labels. Released in 1993, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ became both a commercial and critical success, and has gone on to become a cult favorite.
Check out what the members of the voice cast that helped bring the film’s stop-action characters to life are up to these days.
Chris Sarandon, Jack Skellington
Then: Sarandon provided the speaking voice of Jack Skellington, a skeleton who rules Halloween Town and becomes obsessed with taking over Christmas too. While Sarandon’s Skellington is a sympathetic character despite his misguided designs on Christmas, the actor (and brother of Susan Sarandon) is probably most famous for playing a bad guy — Prince Humperdink in ‘The Princess Bride.’
Now: In 2012, the 70-year-old Sarandon played a supporting role in the Jason Statham movie ‘Safe.’ He is set to star in the thriller ‘Clean Me’ in 2013
Danny Elfman, Jack’s singing voice
Then: Danny Elfman tagged in as Jack Skellington’s singing voice in ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas.’ He also voiced the characters Barrel and ‘Clown with the Tear-Away Face’ and wrote all the movie’s songs. Before becoming a go-to composer for quirky films (‘Batman’) and TV shows (The Simpsons’), Elfman fronted the experimental pop group Oingo Boingo.
Now: Elfman is one of Hollywood’s top composers, penning music for ‘Frankenweenie’ and ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ in 2012. He is married to actress Bridget Fonda.
Catherine O’Hara, Sally
Then: O’Hara used her ‘SCTV’ comedy training as the voice of Sally, a rag doll and Jack’s eventual love interest. The Canadian actress first worked with Burton in ‘Beetlejuice’ and play ed Kevin’s mom in ‘Home Alone’ and ‘Home Alone 2′
Now: O’Hara is a regular in Christopher Guest’s mockumentary films (‘Best in Show,’ ‘Waiting for Guffman’) and often turns up on the big and small screen. Recently, O’Hara guest-starred on ‘30 Rock.’ Next year the 58-year-old will be one of the leads of the comedy ‘O.C.O.D.’
Paul Reubens, Lock
Then: You may have not even noticed, but Paul Reubens voiced the character Lock in ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas.’ He had been used to working with Burton, who directed him in ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure’ and ‘Batman Returns.’
Now: Reubens isn’t one to shy away from his most famous character and he’s recently popped up as Pee Wee on ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,’ ‘Conan’ and in a revival of his acclaimed stage show on Broadway. When he’s not donning the bow-tie, Reuben’s distinctive voice can be heard in movies like ‘Smurfs’ and TV shows such as ‘TRON: Uprising.’
Glenn Shadix, Mayor of Halloween Town
Then: In ‘The Nighmare Before Christmas,’ Shadix was the voice of Halloween Town’s moody mayor. Burton had given Shadix his first movie role in 1987’s ‘Beetlejuice.’ The next year Shadix played one of his bigger parts as Father Ripper in ‘Heathers.’
Now: Shadix died in 2010 after a fall. He was 58. His last movie was as the voice of Arkana in the 2011 kid’s film ‘The Little Engine That Kid.’
Ken Page, Oogie Boogie
Then: Ken Page voiced gambling-addicted bad guy Oogie Boogie in ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas.’ Previously, he had provided the voice for King Gator in ‘All Dogs Go To Heaven’ and had been in the original cast of the play ‘Cats.’
Now: Page’s last movie was 2006’s ‘Dreamgirls.’ More of a stage actor, he tours the nation with his one man show ‘Page on Page.’
Greg Proops, Various Voices
Then: In a ‘Nightmare Before Christmas,’ Proops voiced a variety of characters, including Harlequin Demon and the Devil. He went on to be the voice of Fode in ‘Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.’
Now: The 59-year-old is a well known improv comic, often appearing with Drew Carey. Since 2008 he has played Max Madigan on the Nickelodeon show ‘True Jackson, VP.’