Disney To Replace Catherine O’Hara’s Sally for New ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ Adaptation

in Disney, Entertainment

Jack Skellington and Sally in 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'

Credit: Disney

With the spooky season in full swing, Disney is gearing up for their annual re-release of Tim Burton and Henry Selick’s stop-motion classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). Hundreds of theaters nationwide will screen the timeless tale as part of its 30th-anniversary celebrations, introducing Halloween Town and its ghastly residents to a whole new generation of moviegoers.

Jack Skellington standing on top of the spiral hill
Credit: Disney

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Last month, Disney also revealed that they would bring The Nightmare Before Christmas to the real world for three nights at Los Angeles’ legendary Hollywood Bowl, with composer Danny Elfman returning as the Pumpkin King himself, Jack Skellington.

However, some might be surprised to learn that Sally, the half-stitched experiment of Dr. Finkelstein (William Hickey), will be played by an award-winning pop starlet for a portion of the live shows in place of her original voice actress, Catherine O’Hara.

jack and sally in the nightmare before christmas
Credit: Disney

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Over the years, The Nightmare Before Christmas has become a regular fixture in audiences’ rotation of annual Halloween rewatches. The claymation film was inspired by Burton’s original poem of the same name, detailing the frustrations of Jack Skellington, the macabre going-ons of Halloween Town, and the terror bestowed upon children after Santa Claus is kidnapped and replaced by a bonier doppelgänger on Christmas Eve.

Today, The Nightmare Before Christmas is considered a cult classic, and watching it during the lead-up to Halloween is practically tradition. Of course, some believe the film to be a Christmas movie, but that’s up to personal preference (FYI, it’s definitely a Halloween movie).

Jack Skellington (Danny Elfman) does his best Santa Claus in The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). Credit: Disney
Credit: Disney

As part of the autumn festivities, The Nightmare Before Christmas is returning to the Hollywood Bowl this month for a 30th Anniversary concert, which will cap off the spooky season with three live shows running from October 27 to October 29. But one Halloween Town icon will look…a little different from her movie counterpart — at least for the first two nights.

It was recently confirmed by Variety that singer/songwriter Halsey will “replace” O’Hara’s Sally for the first two nights of the Nightmare Before Christmas 30th Anniversary concert, joining an exclusive musical club of other pop stars who’ve played the fearless rag doll, including Phoebe Bridgers and Billie Eilish.

Jack and Sally in 'The Nightmare before Christmas'
Credit: Disney

But fear not, because O’Hara will be reprising her role for the third and final night, where she’ll be reunited with Elfman for classic numbers like “Kidnap the Sandy Claus” and “Sally’s Song.”

Check out the official announcement (via @Disneyconcerts on X) below:

Rounding out the cast is comedian Fred Armisen as Lock, actress Riki Lindhome as Shock, and original Oogie Boogie actor Ken Page as the gambling man in the burlap sack, among others. Accompanied by a live orchestra, it’s sure to be a memorable trip down memory lane for lovers of the film.

This is far from the first time Disney has put on a live rendition of The Nightmare Before Christmas, with Billie Eilish’s Sally taking center stage at Los Angeles’ Banc of California Stadium in a series of shows back in 2021 and Phoebe Bridgers taking over the role in a live-to-film production at the OVO Arena London in December 2022. It’s not uncommon to see Elfman jump at the opportunity to sing Jack’s parts at various concerts and musical festivals, much to the delight of fans.

jack skellington snowflake nightmare before christmas
Credit: Disney

It’ll be interesting to hear Halsey alternate with Sally’s original voice actress, but rest assured, these talented performers will surely give drop-dead performances that will put audiences of all ages in the spooky spirit.

With Sally acting as the central figure of this gothic tale, it’s not surprising that Disney has recruited some A-list talent for this concert series, making the character’s forbidden love with Jack Skellington all the more bewitching.

Advance tickets for Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas in Concert can be purchased online on The Hollywood Bowl’s official website.

What do you think of Halsey taking over the role of Sally for these live performances of The Nightmare Before Christmas? Let us know in the comments below.

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