Christmas is the season of giving — and the director of the classic stop-motion film The Nightmare Before Christmas is hoping the world finally gives him… some effing credit this holiday season!
When many fans think of Nightmare they think of one person — the iconic Tim Burton (pictured above, right). In fact, most anywhere you look the film is credited as Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. But as some of you cinephiles out there may know, he didn’t even make the movie!
Burton conceptualized the idea, co-produced the film, and came up with those seriously cool character designs — but he had no hand in the direction, screenplay, cinematography, or animation of the blockbuster. The director of the film is actually Henry Selick (pictured above, left) — who you may know for his other hit movies like Coraline and James and the Giant Peach. And he’s had it with everyone thinking of the 1993 film Tim’s sole work.
In an interview with AV Club on Monday the director finally spoke out on his feelings surrounding the film’s conception — and how he got totally screwed over just 3 weeks before the premiere:
“That was a little unfair because it wasn’t called ‘Tim Burton’s Nightmare’ until three weeks before the film came out. And I would have been fine with that, if that’s what I signed up for.”
Selick was in production with Nightmare for about three years and then suddenly due to Burton’s previous success and name recognition, thanks to hits like Batman and Edward Scissorhands, Disney made the move to call it his film. That’s gotta sting — it’s understandable why Henry is a little salty! And a bit shady…
When talking about Burton’s involvement in the movie (or lack thereof), the 69-year-old says it’s unfair to discredit him and his team by giving all the glory to one person who wasn’t even there:
“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.”
Whoa. He refers to the Beetlejuice creator as a “genius” — but then totally clarifies that he was a genius. Past tense. Not so much anymore. Ouch!
Makes perfect sense. It must hurt to put so much effort and passion into something for it to be marketed completely with someone else’s name all over it. Continuing in the interview, Henry joked about music producer Danny Elfman taking credit for the movie, too!
“Now, of course, if you ask Danny Elfman, well, that’s 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!”
Elfman obviously was a huge part of the film as well, having written all the songs and score AND starred as the singing voice of Jack Skellington. But in the end, Henry is looking forward to getting his recognition for the film:
“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.’”
Luckily the director has gotten his due with his other films — and most recently has gotten it with his new movie streaming on Netflix called Wendell & Wild. He added he loves to collaborate with others as long as he gets his share of the praise:
“I mean, Coraline is based on a really good book by Neil Gaiman. That didn’t hurt. On , 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.”
It is only fair everyone who works on a project gets credit! ESPECIALLY the freakin’ director! What do U think, Perezcious readers? Sound OFF in the comments (below).
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