Imagine an adorable looking skeleton with legs that would put a Victoria Secret’s model to shame decked out in a pinstripe black and white old-fashioned costume with a tail billowing in the wind, a bowtie which resembles a bat and you have Jack Skellington.
Inspired by Jack Pumpkinhead from the Wizard of Oz, this animated character is a round, multi-dimensional garnering a serious fan following amongst Disney enthusiasts. Jack Skellington has been dubbed the patron saint of Halloween and embodies the spirit of Halloween, which he imparts freely as he works to scare as many people as he can on Halloween, all in good fun.
His first appearance in the Tim Burton universe is actually in ‘Beetlejuice’, where his head perches on top on the canopy of the merry go round which rests on Bettlejuice’s head. However, his first appearance as the protagonist is as the ‘Pumpkin King’ of Halloween town in Tim Burton’s ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’ a stop-motion Disney film that was released in 1993.
Chris Sarandon voices Skellington’s dialogue, while Danny Elfman voices his singing. His appearances are not only limited to films, but he also appears in a number of video games such as ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge’, the Kingdom Hearts series and the Return of the Pumpkin King.
Jack Skellington The Pumpkin King is best described as an ‘undead gentleman’ who is not only calm and patient but also extremely graceful as he practically glides from one place to another. He can be quite intelligent and logical, as well as through – his research on Christmas was very extensive.
However, his rationale can be questioned, as demonstrated by the incident where he simply goes along with the mere extent of his knowledge when he takes over Christmas.
Similarly, Skellington can be naive and too trusting, as he decides to trust Lock, Shock and Barrel to bring him Santa Claus without any hurdles despite them being in trouble with the Oogie Boogie.
Moreover, he lacks introspection and is impulsive, as he fails to see past himself and recognize the impact of his actions despite Sally’s warnings, as in the case of his ruining Christmas with the havoc he creates and failing to recognize the nature and extent of Sally’s feelings towards him as well as the fear he invoked in Santa Claus when they first met.
He is cool headed, as he doesn’t lose his temper, maintaining the graceful demeanor he has, but he is also peppered with the curiosity and excitement of a child. Christmas enamors him, and he is delighted when he first encounters it, showing openness towards new things.
His giddiness when handing out presents shows off a lighter, playful side towards him – he is not a cold, dark cynic. He further embodies the trait of childishness by maintaining untainted optimism that he will perform the Christmas Miracle perfectly until he fails.
Even in his failure, Skellington demonstrates the integrity of character by being willing to set his wrongs right by admitting his mistakes and handing the reins back to Santa Claus so that he can save Christmas. Skellington is not evil, by any measure; he is misunderstood and perhaps…