Back in early October, Danny Elfman announced that Billie Eilish would be joining him at the live The Nightmare Before Christmas concert being held at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, performing the songs of Sally from the iconic stop-motion animated movie. Elfman himself was also appearing at the event to reprise his role of Jack Skellington in the concert which saw the songs of the film performed live against clips from the movie along with some puppet versions of the characters. The performances were captured and shared on YouTube following the event and some of them can be seen below.
With Danny Elfman decked out in the pinstripe suit of Jack and Billie Eilish in a dress designed to look like that worn by Sally in the movie, the pair combined to create a magical rendition of the songs from the movie, and they were not alone as other performers taking part were “Weird Al” Yankovic, as well as seeing Paul Reubens and Ken Page reprise their movie roles of trick-or-treater Lock and the villainous Oogie Boogie respectively.
Disney Concerts has been doing performances of The Nightmare Before Christmas in this format since 2015, even having The Actors Fund put out a virtual concert in aid of the Lymphoma Research Foundation last year due to not being able to physically put on a show due to the Covid pandemic. Previous years have seen the Disney concerts performed at the Hollywood Bowl in 2016 and 2018.
The Nightmare Before Christmas is now a huge Halloween and Christmas classic, but when it was first released, the movie came and went without much fanfare, having been put out by Disney under their Touchstone banner as they believed the movie would be too scary for young children. Elfman recalled how the movie was originally pushed aside back in 1993 when he was interviewed by Variety earlier this year.
“When [Nightmare] came out, I did a two-day press junket and virtually every interview started with: ‘Too scary for kids, right?’,” Elfman told Variety over the summer. “I think that’s why Disney was like, ‘What do we do with this thing? We’re a family film company.’ So to come back years later and to see families out there, and to be getting recordings of people’s kids who are 4 years old singing ‘What’s This’ or ‘This is Halloween,’ makes me really feel blessed. It’s like a second life and proving them wrong.”
Having learned the hard way about the mistake they made with The Nightmare Before Chirstmas, Disney have since tapped back into the property, with numerous lines of merchandise now available as the movie provides an annual stream of income both at Halloween and again when Christmas time rolls around. In addition, the House of Mouse announced earlier this year that they are planning on releasing a young adult novel as a sequel, which will be told from the view of Sally, as she attempts to live up to her title of Pumpkin Queen of Halloween Town.
Those looking to relive the magical tale from the mind of Tim Burton can find The Nightmare Before Christmas on Disney+ now.