Before The Nightmare Before Christmas became a holiday classic, the animated film was actually a poem (and a very detailed poem, at that!).
The idea for The Nightmare Before Christmas was created around 1982 when Tim Burton was working as an animator for Disney. He came up the character Jack, a lonely, sad skeleton who wanted more out of life than just Halloween. Burton created a poem around Jack that pretty much sums up the entire plot of the movie. We’re even introduced to Jack’s pup Zero and Santa Claus.
While the poem is detailed, it’s missing one important plot point — Sally! Sally, Jack’s love interest, was added in a later draft (as was the creepy Oogie Boogie).
Aside from a couple additions, the poem pretty much tells the whole story, which Disney originally passed on but thankfully changed their minds. Listen to the poem, narrated by Christopher Lee, below.