Jack Skellington, otherwise known as the Pumpkin King, is the main character in Tim Burton's 1993 animated musical The Nightmare Before Christmas. He has since appeared in other related media, notably several video games, and has become something of a pop culture icon.


Jack is a tall and slender stylized human skeleton who dresses in a black pinstriped suit whose coat has long, flowing tails. He wears an unusual device about his neck which appears to be a collar of some sort adorned with a spiny ruff. Jack is the king of Halloween Town, and is the owner of a small spectral dog named Zero.


Responsible for the smooth running of Halloween across the world, Jack nevertheless felt dissatisfied with his lot in the world and yearned for something different. On the day after one particular Halloween, he wandered alone into the woods bemoaning his situation, when he stumbled across a small clearing surrounded by trees, each of which had a strange door set in the front. Intrigued, Jack opened the one emblazoned with a Christmas tree, and was sucked through.

Coming to his senses, he discovered a land of snow, fairy lights and colorful baubles, and was instantly entranced. Finding the place to be called Christmas Town, he made his way back to Halloween where the population was in uproar because of his disappearance. Jack then described what he had seen, attempting to instill in his people the same sense of wonder he had felt upon seeing Christmas, but the townsfolk didn’t quite get the message. Despite this, Jack declared that this year, the denizens of Halloween Town would take Christmas for themselves . . .

Assigning each of the townsfolk a job, such as making presents to give out on Christmas night or building a bony sleigh, Jack went on to task some of Halloween's ne'er-do-wells, a trio of rogues called Lock, Shock and Barrel, to kidnap Santa Claus (or Sandy Claws as they had taken to calling him) and keep him somewhere safe while Jack looked after Christmas. After capturing Santa however, these little rascals handed him over to Oogie Boogie, a horrible creature who lived on the outskirts of Halloween Town, and who tormented Santa for his own amusement. Later, a rag doll named Sally who was secretly in love with Jack tried to rescue Santa, but was also captured by Oogie Boogie.

Jack dressed as Santa.

Meanwhile, Christmas Eve had arrived, and Jack took to the skies in his new sleigh pulled by three skeletal reindeer to deliver Halloween Town's special brand of Christmas presents. Unluckily for Jack, because the residents of Halloween Town had not quite grasped the concept of Christmas, all of the gifts were horrid, and scared or terrorized the recipients. As a result, people from across the globe began to complain to the authorities; soon the military were training their guns on the would-be Santa, and eventually succeeded in shooting him down.

Realizing that Christmas was not was he was destined to look after, Jack returned to Halloween Town and, finding that Oogie Boogie held Santa and Sally captive, confronted the evil creature and was nearly bested by Oogie before managing to catch one of his threads in a cog, causing him to unravel and be killed.

Afterwards, Sally and Jack met in the town cemetery and professed their love for each other while Santa went out to fix Christmas before giving the townsfolk of Halloween a very special gift: snow to play in.

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