The Making of the Voice of Jack Skellington

When it comes to the character of Jack Skellington in Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, there is no denying that his voice is one of the most iconic aspects of the film. From his haunting singing voice to his distinctive speaking voice, Jack Skellington’s voice perfectly captures the spirit of the Halloween-themed world he inhabits.

Many people may not know that Jack Skellington’s singing voice is actually provided by the film’s composer, Danny Elfman. Elfman, who is known for his work on numerous film scores and as the lead singer of Oingo Boingo, brings a unique energy to Jack’s musical numbers that perfectly captures the character’s enthusiasm for all things Halloween.

However, when it came to finding an actor to provide Jack Skellington’s speaking voice, the filmmakers had a specific challenge. They needed someone who could match Elfman’s vocal inflections and bring the same level of energy and personality to the character’s dialogue.

Ultimately, the role of Jack Skellington’s speaking voice went to actor Chris Sarandon. Sarandon, who is perhaps best known for his roles in films like The Princess Bride and Dog Day Afternoon, brings a deep, gravelly tone to the character that perfectly complements Elfman’s singing voice.

Together, Elfman and Sarandon bring Jack Skellington to life in a way that is both terrifying and endearing. Their voices capture the character’s unique blend of enthusiasm, curiosity, and macabre humor, making him one of the most beloved characters in modern cinema.

The voices of Jack Skellington are an integral part of what makes Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas such a beloved film. Through the combination of Danny Elfman’s singing voice and Chris Sarandon’s speaking voice, the character is brought to life in a way that perfectly captures the spirit of Halloween and all the spooky delights it has to offer.

Did Danny Elfman Play Jack Skellington?

Danny Elfman played the singing voice of Jack Skellington in the film “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. However, actor Chris Sarandon provided the speaking voice for the character. Danny Elfman not only composed the film’s songs but also wrote its score. It’s worth noting that Elfman is a renowned musician and composer who has worked on several other films and TV shows. To summarize, while Elfman did not provide the speaking voice for Jack Skellington, he did lend his singing voice to the character and was heavily involved in the film’s music production.

jack skellington voice

Does Johnny Depp Voice Jack Skellington?

Johnny Depp does not voice Jack Skellington in Tim Burton’s the Nightmare Before Christmas. The character of Jack Skellington is actually voiced by actor Chris Sarandon. However, Johnny Depp has worked with Tim Burton on several occasions, including in movies like Edward Scissorhands and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Why Do 2 People Play Jack Skellington?

In the animated movie, “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” two people play the character of Jack Skellington. The reason for this is that the filmmakers wanted to have a distinct separation between Jack’s speaking and singing voice. Danny Elfman, the film’s composer, provided the singing voice for Jack, while Chris Sarandon was chosen to provide the speaking voice. The decision to have two actors play Jack Skellington was made to ensure that the character’s singing voice was consistent throuhout the movie, while also giving Jack a unique speaking voice that fit his personality and character. This allowed for a more dynamic and engaging portrayal of Jack Skellington, which added to the overall success of the film.


The character of Jack Skellington in Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas has a unique and memorable voice, brought to life by both Danny Elfman and Chris Sarandon. While Elfman provided the singing voice for the character, Sarandon was cast for his ability to capture the essence and vocal inflections of Elfman’s performance. The result is a haunting and iconic voice that adds to the overall atmosphere and charm of the film. Skellington’s voice is an integral part of his character and adds depth to the story, making it all the more memorable for audiences of all ages.

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William Armstrong

William Armstrong is a senior editor with, where he writes on a wide variety of topics. He has also worked as a radio reporter and holds a degree from Moody College of Communication. William was born in Denton, TX and currently resides in Austin.