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Why Is Tim Burton’s Name In ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Title?

Coraline director Henry Selick is now the helmer of Netflix’s Wendell and Wild and co-wrote alongside Jordan Peele. That intentional team effect stands in sharp contrast to what happened with The Nightmare Before Christmas. As Selick recently revealed to AV Club, he’s still a little bit sore over directing that 1993 movie and watching the movie be rebranded as Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas mere weeks before its release.

To be clear, Selick pulled the Jack Skellington-focused movie together as director after Burton crafted the story that screenwriter Caroline Thompson fleshed out. Burton’s aesthetic obviously permeates the film, but Selick has pointed out that although Burton’s story was “perfect,” the truth was that “it was really me and my team of people who brought that to life.” So, why did Burton’s name end up all over the film at the last hour?

The answer’s actually (and sadly) a simple one. At the time, Burton was riding high on Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, and putting Michael Keaton in a Batsuit. His name on the marquee likely pulled a ton of butts into seats, which was the goal of Disney/Touchstone pictures, who (as odd as it sounds) may have been a little nervous about selling Selick’s revolutionary brand of stop-motion animation to an audience. The movie eventually spoke for itself, but yup, Burton’s name in the title was totally a name-recognition thing. Nowadays, Selick and Burton are both doing just fine with their new projects (Selick’s Wendell and Wild and Burton’s Wednesday) on Netflix.

(Via the AV Club)