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Disney News (10/22) – Jollywood Nights at Hollywood Studios, and 7 Secrets you don’t know about The Nightmare Before Christmas

Episode 5

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In this week’s episode, Kelli gives an overview of the new nighttime holiday event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Jollywood Nights, and Chris shares 7 secrets you don’t know about Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. 

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All music for this episode is available through a creative commons license. The background music for the News segment was created by Kevin Macleod: Fuzzball Parade by Kevin MacLeodLink:

Show Notes:

Jollywood Nights Foodie Guide:

  • World Showcase
    • Happy 30th Birthday to The Nightmare Before Christmas!!
    • 7-ish Secrets of this classic!!
    • Thank you to for the help with this one.
    • The Movie was based on a poem… written by Tim Burton
      • While working as an Animator at Disney (already with the things Chris didn’t know)…. He wrote the three-page poem, which was a parody of Twas The Night Before Christmas.
        • Do you know the actual name of that Christmas poem? “A Visit from St. Nicholas”
      • While at Disney he was experimenting with alternative methods for storytelling. SO he and a colleague, Rick Heinricks, developed storyboards and concept art for the Characters of the poem, Jack Skellington and his ghost dog Zero. Sometimes they would get help from fellow Disney animator Henry Selick.
      • Production on a major motion picture began in 1991, but took 120 artists 2 years to bring the moview to fruition.
    • The Poem was inspired by Seasonal decorations
      • Burton grew up in So Cal.
      • He said he often could only track the change in seasons based on the decorations people put up in and around their homes, or shopping centers etc.
      • He was struck by the colliding of decorations in the stores between Halloween and Christmas, which eventually coalesced into his poem.
    • Tim Burton did not direct the movie
      • So the guy that chipped in some ideas during the storyboarding phase, Henry Selick… he directed.
      • Tim Burton had already committed to directing Batman Returns… the sequel to the huge 1989 blockbuster, Batman.
      • This was Selick’s feature length directorial debut.
        • He describes his creative vision in general as being from the same planet, possibly the same neighborhood as Burton.
      • He went on to direct James and the Giant Peach, and Coraline.
    • The set included secret passageways for animators.
      • The set included 19 soundstages and over 200 model sets.
      • The artists could roam about under the set and pop up through trap doors to manipulate everything from large actions and movements to changing facial expressions.
    • Disney wanted Jack to have eyes.
      • Disney wasn’t super excited about the movie at the start, feeling like the darker subject matter might not work with their target audience – which is partly why they ultimately released it under their subsidiary, Touchstone Pictures.
      • Still… Disney execs had notes, one of which was to give Jack’s empty eye sockets a pair of friendly eyes.
        • Burton and Selick disagreed and moved forward with their vision despite a long held foundation rule of animation being that eyes of the character are one of the best tools to connect with the audience.
        • In an interview, Burton explained: “The first rule of drawn animation is that you have to have eyes for expression. I thought it would be great to give life to these characters that have no eyes. Disney really fought for us to give Jack these friendly eyes instead of dark holes but we wouldn’t budge.”
    • Jack’s suit was originally all black.
      • Early camera testing though showed that Jack blended into the background of Halloweentown a bit too much.
      • Henry Selick gave Jack a makeover that included the pinstripes to his outfit.
    • Artists Ronald Searle and Edward Gorey were hugely influential.
      • In the documentary, The Making of TNBC, it’s explained that the art directors wanted everything in the movie to remind viewers of turning through pages of a pop-up book where the visuals were throwbacks to the pen & inks styles of Searle and Gorey.
      • Ronald Searle, among so many other things, was a satirical cartoonist for the New Yorker.
      • Edward Gorey was a writer, an artist, and a playwright. He even was a Tony for Costume Design. Like Searle, he also publish books of his drawings.
      • The art directors for TNBC worked super hard to bring their styles into the sets, scenery, and overall feel of the movie.

Transcript: Coming Soon!

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