‘A Nightmare Before Christmas’ Director Says It’s ‘Unfair’ That Tim Burton Gets All the Credit

Nightmare Before Christmas

Granted, this isn’t a Steven Spielberg versus Tobe Hooper level of controversy, but it is worth noting (again) that director Henry Selick (Coraline) was the actual director of the hit stop-motion musical A Nightmare Before Christmas. Selick is currently promoting Netflix’s Wendell & Wild, his collaboration with Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, and recently spoke with AV Club (via Variety) about the long-standing confusion about who actually animated the modern classic.

Coming off the phenomenal success of the Batman franchise and Edward Scissorhands, Disney decided to change the official title of the film to Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas just three weeks before the film came out. “That was a little unfair,” admitted Selick. “I would have been fine with that, if that’s what I signed up for.”

Selick continued:

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.

It’s time for Selick to receive more credit for directing Nightmare Before Christmas, the stop-motion masterpiece that has become a lasting staple and family tradition during the holiday season.

But Selick wants to also make it clear that he still loves to collaborate. “Coraline is based on a really good book by Neil Gaiman. That didn’t hurt,” Selick rightly states. “On [Wendell & Wild], 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.” Amen!

Wendell & Wild is available to stream now on Netflix.



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