The Nightmare Before Christmas Joins National Film Registry

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In a celebration of cinematic history, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden recently announced the addition of 25 influential films to the 2023 Library of Congress National Film Registry. This annual selection honors movies for their cultural, historic, or aesthetic significance, preserving the nation’s rich film heritage. Among the diverse and iconic films chosen this year, one standout is the beloved Halloween and holiday classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), conceived of and produced by CalArts alum Tim Burton (Film/Video 79) and directed by fellow CalArtian Henry Selick (Film/Video MFA 77).

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a stop-motion animation film that follows Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween Town, who yearns for something new and stumbles upon Christmas Town. Inspired by the festive spirit, he decides to bring Christmas magic to his spooky domain. Burton and Selick’s film features creative set designs, and a musical score by Danny Elfman, coupled with the distinctive voices of Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey, Ken Page, CalArts alum Paul Reubens (Theater BFA 73), and Glenn Shadix.The widely beloved film has evolved into a tradition for many, blending the magic of both Halloween and Christmas into a dark and whimsical tale.

The Library of Congress also hosts a free screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 21 at 6:30 pm EST.

Check out the full list of films selected this year on the Library of Congress website.

CalArts Wild Beast | Image by California Institute of the Arts
PUBLISHED BY Elizabeth McRae

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