The Nightmare Before Christmas stands out as a seminal creative triumph from the legendary film making duo of director Tim Burton and composer Danny Elfman. Since its release over 25 years ago, this beloved family film has become a world-wide classic. This unique live cine-concert production features Danny Elfman, the original singing voice of the film’s main character, Jack Skellington, performing live in sync with the full-length movie projected on the big screen above a full symphony orchestra, choir, and additional members of the original cast. The production has performed to sold out audiences across the globe, including The Hollywood Bowl, Wembley Arena, Barclays Center, Tokyo International Forum, and Dublin's 3Arena.
Tim Burton, widely regarded as one of the cinema’s most imaginative filmmakers, has enjoyed great success in both the live-action and animation arenas. Most recently Burton directed “Big Eyes” and the critically acclaimed “Frankenweenie” which was a 2012 Academy Award® nominee for Best Animated Picture.
Earlier in 2012 Burton directed Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter and Eva Green in the gothic thriller “Dark Shadows,” based on the cult favorite television show. He also produced the fantasy horror “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” which was directed by Timur Behmambetov.
In 2010, he directed “Alice in Wonderland,” an epic fantasy based on the classic story by Lewis Carroll, and starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, and Mia Wasikowska in the title role. The film earned more than a billion dollars at the worldwide box office, making it the second-highest-grossing release of 2010. “Alice in Wonderland” also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy, and won two Academy Awards®, for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.
Burton was previously honored with an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature for the 2005 stop-motion film “Corpse Bride,” which he directed and produced. He earlier received BAFTA Award and Critics’ Choice Award nominations for Best Director for the acclaimed fantasy drama “Big Fish.” More recently, Burton won a National Board of Review Award and garnered Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award nominations for his directing work on “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” which also won the Golden Globe for Best Film – Musical or Comedy. Depp earned an Oscar® nomination for his performance in the title role of Burton’s 2007 film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical thriller, also starring Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman.
Burton began his film career in animation, and, in 1982, directed the stop-motion animated short “Vincent,” narrated by Vincent Price, which was an award winner on the film festival circuit. He made his feature film directorial debut in 1985 with the hit comedy “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.”
In 1988, Burton helmed the inventive comedy hit “Beetlejuice,” starring Michael Keaton as the title character. He then reteamed with Keaton on the action blockbusters “Batman,” which became the top-grossing film of 1989 and also starred Jack Nicholson as the Joker, and “Batman Returns,” also starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito.
For over 30 years, four-time Oscar nominee Danny Elfman, has established himself as one of the most versatile and accomplished film composers in the industry. He has collaborated with directors such as Tim Burton, Gus Van Sant, Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, Rob Minkoff, Guillermo del Toro, Brian De Palma, James Ponsoldt and David O’ Russell. Beginning with his first score on Tim Burton’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Elfman has scored over 100 films, including: Milk (Oscar nominated), Good Will Hunting (Oscar nominated), Big Fish (Oscar nominated), Men in Black (Oscar nominated), Edward Scissorhands, Batman, To Die For, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Alice in Wonderland, The Grinch, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Spiderman, A Simple Plan, Midnight Run, Sommersby, Dolores Claiborne, and the Errol Morris documentaries The Unknown Known, and Standard Operating Procedure. In addition to his film work, Elfman wrote the iconic theme music for the television series The Simpsons and Desperate Housewives. Elfman recently scored the Marvel feature Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
A native of Los Angeles, Elfman grew up loving film music. He travelled the world as a young man, absorbing its musical diversity. He helped found the band Oingo Boingo, and came to the attention of a young Tim Burton, who asked him to write the score for Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. 37 years later, the two have forged one of the most fruitful composer-director collaborations in film history. Since 1985, composer Danny Elfman has set the tone for over 100 films with his instantly recognizable scores, garnered four Academy® Award nominations, collected two EMMY® Awards and one GRAMMY® Award, generated hundreds of millions of streams, and earned platinum and gold certifications.
Elfman has expanded his writing to composing orchestral concert works which include: Serenada Schizophrana, a symphony commissioned by the American Composer’s Orchestra, which premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2005, Rabbit and Rogue, for the American Ballet Theater choreographed by Twyla Tharp, performed at The Metropolitan Opera house in 2008, and Iris for Cirque du Soleil directed by French choreographer Philippe Decouflé. In 2013, Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton live orchestral concert, premiered at Royal Albert Hall, and has since toured around the world and won two Emmys.
In 2017 Elfman premiered his first violin concerto “Eleven Eleven” which was co-commissioned by Stanford Live and performed at Bing Concert Hall in March, 2018. “Eleven” was recorded by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and released on Sony Classical records which also contains his first Piano Quartet commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic. In March 2022, two of Elfman’s compositions had European world premieres: Percussion Concerto #1, performed by Colin Currie with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Cello Concerto #1, performed by Gautier Capuçon with the Vienna Symphony.
In 2021, Elfman performed a concert of Nightmare Before Christmas featuring Billie Eilish. He recently released the double “Chamber Punk” album BIG MESS along with 7 singles and videos from the album culminating in his critically acclaimed career spanning 2022 Coachella concert!
“I need to push myself into new territory with fresh challenges as much as I can and whenever I can. I am told I have a recognizable style, but my greatest pleasure is when I can surprise the audience with my music.” – Elfman
Nightmare was nothing if not a dream — the kind of dream we all desperately need to emerge from our long, shared nightmare."
Variety: Billie Eilish Joins Danny Elfman, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic and Paul Reubens at ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ Shows