Whether you view it as a spooky Halloween movie or a Christmas classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a beloved holiday classic. From the claymation animation to Danny Elfman's beautiful soundtrack, there's something for everyone in this Tim Burton masterpiece.
One of the truly fun aspects of the movie is how different and varied all the characters look and feel. Each one has their own distinct style and appearance, as well as a character quirk to help define them. With so many varied and different characters, some find themselves naturally rising to the top as fan favorites. So, we decided to try ranking all The Nightmare Before Christmas Characters to see which ones truly terrified or delighted audiences the most.
For a movie that deals with Christmas, it's surprising to have Santa on the bottom of the list. Unfortunately, Santa serves as the straight man in this cast of eclectic and oddball characters. He's meant to be the voice of sanity and reason among the demented townsfolk of Halloween Town, and as such doesn't have that special defining characteristic that most of the other characters do.
He spends most of his screen time at the mercy of Oogie Boogie, meaning we never get to see Santa in action. That being said, he puts things right at the end of the film, providing the true meaning of Christmas to Halloween Town.
7 Evil Scientist
The Evil Scientist is defined by his willingness to control his creations at whatever the cost. Voiced by William Hickey, the Evil Scientist is a minor antagonist, mostly by stopping Sally from having full agency as a person. While he creates the undead Reindeer that pilot Jack's sleigh, he remains mostly a background character for most of the film.
Given that he doesn't have much more of a defining trait than wanting to stop Sally from leaving the house, he's a fun character that just couldn't stand out cinematically beyond some of his creations.
Good boy, Zero. Jack's undead animal companion, Zero's ghostly form provides a more human element to the film. We see Jack care for Zero, and view him as a loyal pet despite being dead. When Halloween Town's version of Christmas is on the verge of being ruined, it's Zero's glowing ghost nose that manages to save the day.
The problem with Zero is that as an animal sidekick, he's limited in how engaging he can be. While he's a cute ghost dog, he's not enough of a character to carry any real weight (literally).
Most people joke about city officials being two faced, but the Mayor (played by Glenn Shadix) takes it to a new level. The manic-depressive personality of Halloween Town's Mayor is easily one of the most fun character tropes in the movie. However, as fun as he may be, he's a relatively useless character.
He's the first to panic when things go wrong, and he never provides any good ideas for plans to improve Halloween or Christmas. He's fine to take the credit off of others' hard work, and to lose his head (or heads) at the first sign of trouble.
A creation of the Mad Scientist, Sally (played by Catherine O'Hara) longs to be seen as a real person and to have her own life. She is immensely clever, coming up with plans to escape her captivity and distract Oogie Boogie. She is determined and willing to do whatever it takes to keep seeing Jack, and later to keep him safe.
Her love for Jack is heartbreaking and beautiful, and it helps to flesh out and humanize her. Although she's made of straw and burlap, she has more heart than anyone else in the movie.
These three little miscreants are never separated in the movie, creating one killer team. Though they may be children, they are cunningly sadistic in bringing pain upon others. Given that they're working with one of the more truly evil forces in Halloween Town, who knows what kind of horrors they've already committed?
They show a clear love for chaos and anarchy, and will lie to your face because they think it's fun. Truly, these are the worst kind of Trick-or-Treaters to show up on your door. Fun fact; Lock, Shock, and Barrel are played by Paul Reubens (aka Pee-Wee Herman), Catherine O'Hara (who also plays Sally) and Danny Elfman (Jack's singing voice).
2 Jack Skellington
The Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, Jack is the very face and personality of Halloween. And yet despite that, Jack is layered, complex, and emotional at times. He longs for meaning in his life, not wanting to be defined by what everyone simply expects of him.
When he finds a new way of thinking, it completely alters his world for a time. Ultimately, he discovers that the best version of himself is the one where he's true to what he is. He's fun, charming, melancholic, and dangerous all at the same time. In other words, Jack Skellington is the very personification of Halloween.
1 Oogie Boogie
If someone were to say that Oogie Boogie oozed personality, there's a very real chance they're talking about actual ooze. A card shark and gambler, Ooogie is all about taking risks and chances...so long as they're stacked in his favor. He manipulates others and delights in their pain, making him the worst of the worst in Halloween Town.
Even other characters don't like interacting with him, as evidenced by Jack telling Lock, Shock, and Barrel to keep Oogie out of his Christmas plans. Still, as far as villains go, Oogie is one of the most fun and iconic characters in animation. We're willing to roll the dice and say that Oogie is the best character from The Nightmare Before Christmas.