The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Oogie Boogie is Much More Complicated Than Fans Think


  • Oogie Boogie’s evilness is not solely his own doing, but rather a result of his influence from Edgar, the former Pumpkin King.
  • Oogie Boogie’s lair and his henchmen were obtained through Edgar’s influence, showing how deeply he was connected to his mentor.
  • Oogie Boogie’s descent into villainy is a result of his impressionable nature as a youth, his competitive nature, and his inability to fulfill his promises. He ends up scorned and consumed by negative emotions.



Though Oogie Boogie may seem like a rather simple antagonistic force in The Nightmare Before Christmas, he is far more complicated than many would initially give him credit for. The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Battle for Pumpkin King reveals how he became a villain, as well as some of the finer details of his schemes and scheming ability. He didn’t turn evil on his own, but he was never completely innocent, either.

Released in 1993, The Nightmare Before Christmas introduced one of Disney’s most iconic Halloween villains in Oogie Boogie. Made of bugs pulled together into a burlap sack body, this evil Halloween Town resident loves causing trouble. Oogie Boogie used to be best friends with Jack Skellington according to The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Battle for Pumpkin King. This new Disney manga from TokyoPop has the creative team of Deborah Allo, Roberto Scalia, Dan Conner, D. J. Milky, and Shaun McLaughlin.

The Nightmare Before Christmas Reveals More Details About Oogie Boogie

Created by Disney, with creative contributions from Deborah Allo, Roberto Scalia, Dan Conner, D. J. Milky, and Shaun McLaughlin

Nightmare Before Christmas manga cover art featuring Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie facing off against one another.

Within the story, Oogie Boogie begins his life as a young and energetic monster having fun with his best friend. Thanks to the competition to become Halloween Town’s Pumpkin King, Oogie falls under the influence of Edgar – the former Pumpkin King. This origin story shows that he always had the potential to become selfish, but his evilness is directly fed by his would-be mentor. His competitive nature, combined with youthful jealousy and eventual resentment towards his rival, leads to a much darker future for him. Yet cheating and a big personality shift aren’t the only things he received from Edgar’s influence.

Oogie Boogie’s lair is an impressive underground hideaway, but it wasn’t completely of his own design. It is one of several things that the upstart villain received from his “mentor.” The hideout used to belong to Edgar, but Oogie took it over for himself, partially in revenge for his loss in Halloween Town’s competition. Even his henchmen, Lock, Shock, and Barrel teamed up with him thanks to Edgar’s intervention. Despite their ages – being toddlers in this story – the former Pumpkin King recommends Oogie employ their services for the competition’s events, such as tower building and pumpkin carving. This Disney manga details the first of many schemes carried out by their spooky boss.

Oogie Boogie in The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Battle For Pumpkin King, smashing a pumpkin and declaring that he will no longer be Jack Skellington's friend

While Oogie may have had the potential to be evil thanks to his competitive nature, Edgar and his inability to deliver on his promise pushed him into villainy. This is especially true because of how impressionable the walking burlap sack bug collection was in his youth. He readily engaged in cheating and tried to steal the upper hand in whatever way seemed possible. However, he just didn’t prove effective at finishing what he started with optimum effort. As a result, Disney’s iconic villain ends up scorned and gives in to his negative emotions, while believing in only himself and his own abilities. Though Boogie seems like a villain with little substance, The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Battle for Pumpkin King proves Oogie Boogie has far more history and depth than fans may have initially thought.


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