The Nightmare Before Christmas: Henry Selick thinks it’s a little unfair Tim Burton gets all the credit

The Nightmare Before Christmas, Henry Selick, Tim Burton

As Tim Burton’s name is plastered right above the title of The Nightmare Before Christmas, many have assumed that he directed the stop-motion animated classic. While Burton did develop the story and characters of The Nightmare Before Christmas, it was Henry Selick who directed the movie. Selick went on to helm James and the Giant Peach, Monkeybone, Coraline, and the recently released Wendell & Wild, but he’d like a little credit for his debut feature.

While speaking with The AV Club, Henry Selick said that he’s “won many a bar bet” over who really directed The Nightmare Before Christmas, adding that Tim Burton’s name wasn’t added to the title until just weeks before the movie was released. “That was a little unfair because it wasn’t called Tim Burton’s Nightmare until three weeks before the film came out,” Henry Selick said. “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. 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.

Henry Selick added that if you ask Danny Elfman, he considers The Nightmare Before Christmas to be his movie. “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!” Selick explained. “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 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. But I’m the one leading the team to make the movie.” Henry Selick’s Wendell & Wild is now streaming on Netflix, and you can check out a review from our own Cody Hamman right here.

Source: The AV Club

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.