Ashley made me watch Nightmare Before Christmas and it was just Thanksgiving which we spend with Pete’s family (thanks Pete!) Tim Burton famously said “I was always very protective of [Nightmare] not to do sequels or things of that kind. You know, ‘Jack visits Thanksgiving world’ or other kinds of things just because I felt the movie had a purity to it and the people that like it.” You see where this is going.
Trick or Turkey
It’s the end of another Halloween. All of Halloweentown is celebrating except for Sally. She is depressed. Jack and their young son Sam sing a song about how good their lives are and how she should be thankful. She can’t be consoled, she brings up the fact that Jack always disappears around this time and is never honest about where he goes. Moreover Doctor Finklestein, her maker, disappeared earlier in the year and she doesn’t want to be alone. Jack is vague about where he goes but says it’s something he needs to do.
During the night Jack sneaks out. We see that Sam had been waiting for this moment and follows his father into the woods. Jack approaches the circle of trees with the holiday doors. He looks around guiltily before going through the door with a turkey on it. Sam follows.
Sam sings a ‘What’s This’ type song about Thanksgivingland but it’s melancholy and is about wondering what is so special about this place that Jack chooses it over home.
Jack is sitting at a huge Thanksgiving feast. He is wearing a pilgrims hat and is joking around with everyone at the table. He seems at home and everyone clearly knows him. Jack notices Sam out of the corner of his eye and looks guilty. Sam runs off and Jack follows.
Sam runs deep into the woods and discovers a hidden laboratory. He sneaks inside with Jack close behind. Jack catches up and is about to say something but he is distracted by a strange noise. There is familiar voice coming from deeper in the lab.
While investigating they come upon a large map and various blue prints. Someone is planning to attack Halloweentown with an army. They continue on and discover that the voice is Doctor Finklestein. He is explaining to a darkly robed figure engulfed in shadows that the number of troops he is asking for is unrealistic. There are turkey bones spread out on an operating table. The Doctor throws a switch and the bones come together to form a hideous insect like creature.
Sam let’s out a screech. The Doctor yells “Get the intruder!” The creature begins to scurry after the fleeing pair. Just as they think they have gotten away hundreds of other creatures burst through the walls. Jack barely escapes but Sam isn’t as lucky.
With no alternative Jack returns home to Sally. In a sad song he tells her everything and apologizes. The song ends with Jack saying he can’t fix this. Sally responds, “you are right, you can’t fix this… alone.”
With Sally’s help Jack visits all the different holiday lands and recruits them to help defend Halloweentown. There is a big song in which all the different groups of characters build defenses around the town.
Sally convinces Jack that they have to confront Doctor Finklestein and try to convince him to stop and free their son. Just as Jack agrees the bone army attacks.
The battle is huge. Cupids and Native Americans shoot arrows, Uncle Sam launches fireworks and leprechauns hit the bone army with socks filled with gold. The elves with Lock, Shock and Barrel’s help have created a war machine that’s doing tons of damage.
Jack, Sally and Santa leave the battle to confront the Doctor. They approach base camp and sneak past his guards. Sam is in a cage hanging from the ceiling. The Doctor is watching the battle play out magically in a cauldron.
“Finkelstein you have to stop this!” yells Sally. “I…. couldn’t fight him… GET OUT OF MY HEAD!” A centipede squeezes out of the slit in Finklestein’s head, scurries across the floor and disappears into a cloaked figure hiding in shadows.
Jack says, “It can’t be! Not-” The cloaked figure interrupts “Oogy Boogy, the one and only!” The Doctor’s head pops open and bugs stream out and join up with Oogy Boogie. “Not him again” sighs Santa.
In song Oogy Boogy explains that all his work is to get revenge on Jack. The most effective method he could think of to take down the Pumpkin King was to destroy his kingdom.
While he is singing we see Sally detach her arms and with the help of Santa’s magic Sam is able squeeze through the bars and climb down a rope Sally tied to the bottom of the cage.
Jack laughs, “I used to think like you Oogy. But I’ve come to understand that it’s not the place that’s important, it’s about who you are with, your family,” Jack looks over at Sam. “No!” screens Oogy who follows his graze. “And friends” Jack finishes. In that moment the doors fly open and an army of turkeys stream in. They tear Oogy apart and eat the bugs.
We cut to a huge Thanksgiving feast. Jack is at the head of the table and characters from all the different holidays line the sides. They all sing a Thanksgiving song about the importance of families and friends.