In director Henry Selick’s cult classic Nightmare Before ChristmasOogie Boogie was originally written to be revealed as another compelling character at the end of the movie. Jack Skellington, the film’s main protagonist, reigns as the Pumpkin King over Halloween Town. Every year on October 31st, Jack leads his countrymen in preparing Halloween celebrations for the world. However, repeating the same routine every year made Jack want something new and different.
Upon discovering Christmas by chance, Jack becomes instantly obsessed with his warm cuteness and decides to kidnap Santa Claus and the holiday. Jack and the spooky residents of Halloween Town are expected to be poorly equipped to host Christmas, and while Jack makes blunders during his attempts to deliver holiday cheer, his wary and reluctant henchmen send kidnapped Santa Claus to the bogeyman Oogie Boogie instead of guarding Santa themselves. After failing to deliver Christmas, Jack defeats Oogie Boogie and saves Santa Claus, who cures the festive promiscuity and returns Halloween and Christmas to their rightful places.
The main character working in the background to help save Christmas is Sally, a patchwork doll-like creature who falls in love with Jack but is too shy to admit it. Dr. Finklestein, Sally’s jealous and possessive creator, was Oogie Boogie’s true identity in the original, having donned a bogeyman bag as his costume. In the first version of the script, Dr. Finkelstein is jealous of Sally’s affection for Jack Skellington, and to take revenge on both Jack and Sally, he uses Santa as bait to lure Jack into a duel. In the end, though, creator Tim Burton hated Oogie Boogie’s alternate ending and asked the writers to separate Dr. Finklestein and Oogie Boogie’s characters.
Why Oogie Boogie is a better separate character
The film’s main theme is the celebration of the holidays and their unique functions, and Dr. Finklestein’s presence as the main antagonist would undermine that message by shifting the film’s focus to its star-crossed lovers. Nightmare Before Christmas It is, after all, a man’s story versus a subjective one. The film’s protagonist, Jack Skellington, overcomes his arrogance and saves the situation by tackling the problem that caused it, and the movie comes to a happy ending with Jack Skellington wiser and more humble than he was in the beginning.
In the latest installment of this family-loving Halloween movie, Oogie Boogie is ultimately just a tool in the plot’s evolution, not an aggressive driving force, and rightly so. Tracing the dramatic moment of Oogie Boogie’s defeat, every move leading to Santa’s potential demise stems from Jack’s decision to step away from Halloween and his responsibilities as the Pumpkin King in Halloween Town. Had he not been so preoccupied with his need for excitement, he would have realized that Christmas was falling apart, and had he not been so self-centered throughout the film, his minions would not have had the chance to escape unnoticed with Santa in their nursery. Jack’s oversight put Santa and Christmas at risk, and Oogie Boogie just so happens to be in the right place at the right time for Jack to redeem himself.
Plus, in true Tim Burton style, Nightmare Before Christmas It combines classic horror and sci-fi styles into one movie creating a sense of intimacy that will appeal to generations old and young alike. Oogie Boogie has to be distinguished as a manifestation of the bogeyman from Dr. Finklestein, who plays Mary Shelley’s famous Dr. Frankenstein. The function of the bogeyman’s archetype is intangible mystery and horror – it has no face, no identity, no origin, no morals. in case if Nightmare Before ChristmasGiving Oogie Boogie a “real identity” in the form of Dr. Finklestein defeats the purpose of his character. By contrast, the definitive version of the rewrite in which the audience sees Oogie Boogie disintegrate into a collection of bugs that spread far and wide, meets the non-essential nature of the archetype. should The Nightmare Before Christmas 2 As ever, we hope it offers more renditions of classic horror archetypes and explores their functionality in the zeitgeist of the modern age.
Next: The Nightmare Before Christmas Characters and What the Actors Look Like