Will There Ever Be A Nightmare Before Christmas 2? Here's What We Know

(Welcome to Will There Be a Sequel?, a series where we answer that question and explore what comes next.)

Although "The Nightmare Before Christmas" was released in 1993, it still maintains a strong cult following nearly 30 years later. Directed by Henry Selick and produced and conceived by Tim Burton, the charmingly spooky stop-motion holiday film that cleverly captures the spirit of both Halloween and Christmas was a critical success and eventually gained a legion fans, despite Disney's initial discomfort with it. In fact, it received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects and has grossed $91.5 million worldwide since its initial release.

With this in mind, it only makes sense explore why Disney may or may not revisit Jack Skellington and friends in "The Nightmare Before Christmas 2."

Tim Burton is Protective of His Work

The product of a fever dream, Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" originally began as a poem, and he's not too eager to sully the purity of his creation with unnecessary sequels. In 2006, he stated that he was not exactly keen on Disney's former habit of making small screen and direct-to-video sequels to their classic films, saying that they "eat away at why people like [the film] to begin with," and that he was "always very protective of ["Nightmare"], not to do sequels or things of that kind."

It was a reasonable decision for Tim Burton to avoid the noticeably lower-quality of Disney's direct-to-video sequel era, but a lot has changed since then. Disney has moved on to producing successful big-screen sequels like "Frozen 2" and "Ralph Breaks the Internet" with production quality and storylines that rival that of their predecessors, so perhaps there's still hope for "The Nightmare Before Christmas 2" to be created in a way that respects the integrity and striking visual quality of the first film.

Disney Initially Wanted to Do a CGI Sequel

In 2009, director Henry Selick revealed that Disney had been interested in producing a sequel to "The Nightmare Before Christmas," but the media giant wanted to abandon the stop-motion animation that gave the musical its iconic, surrealistic charm in favor of CGI.

"A few years back, Disney spoke to me and the sad thing was at the time, they said, 'If we do a sequel, it will have to be CG.' I was really disappointed. I asked why and they didn't think stop-motion was a viable way to make movies. I don't think they would say that now, and I don't think Tim would allow a CG sequel. There's been a few stories proposed and a few discussion but that's really Tim [Burton]'s decision. John Lasseter, from Pixar, is heading up all Disney animation and he goes way back with Tim. He might possibly persuade Tim to do it. But I kind of think not."

This particular iteration of "The Nightmare Before Christmas 2" never came to fruition, but this doesn't negate the possibility of an eventual sequel altogether.

Other Sequels and Spin-Offs Already Exist

It's no surprise that the popularity of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" has spawned additional side stories and related media in the form of books, manga, and video games. In 2005, video game company Capcom released "The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge" for PlayStation 2 and Xbox consoles. The game takes place exactly one year after the movie, with a nearly identical plot in which Jack once again becomes bored with his life and Oogie Boogie wreaks havoc on the world.

Additionally, in 2018, manga publisher Tokyopop released an illustrated, Tim Burton-approved sequel entitled "Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero's Journey." The comic book series chronicles the adventures of Jack Skellington's ghostly dog companion, Zero, as he goes on an accidental adventure through Christmas Town.

There Is an Official Sequel in the Works ... But It's Not a Movie

While Disney's initial plans for a sequel to "The Nightmare Before Christmas" were ultimately rejected, there is still technically a continuation in the form of a novel. The book, entitled "Long Live the Pumpkin Queen," was released in August 2022. According to the author, Shea Earnshaw, the book will be told from Sally's perspective and detail her experiences after marrying Jack and becoming the Pumpkin Queen of Halloween Town.

"After falling in love with Jack Skellington and marrying him atop Spiral Hill, Sally must grapple with her new title as the Pumpkin Queen of Halloween Town. When she happens upon a new doorway near the grove of holiday trees, she inadvertently sets loose a villain who could ruin Halloween Town forever. Now, Sally must venture to the other six holidays on a quest to save Jack and all of Halloween Town, a perilous journey that will lead her to unearth worlds she never imagined, learn the truth about her own past, and decide what this discovery means for her future."

Shea Earnshaw has also stated that "Long Live the Pumpkin Queen" expands on the darkly enchanting universe presented to us in "The Nightmare Before Christmas" by introducing new characters and locations while exploring Sally's backstory. While it's not "The Nightmare Before Christmas 2" in the format that fans of the original movie may have hoped for, it's still great to get more of the story from the perspective of such a well-loved character.