Jack Skellington, also known as the "Pumpkin King" is the lead character in Tim Burton's, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Jack is a tall skeleton who wears a black pin-striped suit complete with a bat-bowtie. He has earned the title of Pumpkin King by being so terrifying to humans, a clearly well-earned title as it appears he is even able to scare the monsters that occupy the town. He lives in Halloween Town, a world based solely on the holiday of Halloween. In the beginning of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack is dressed as a scarecrow with a jack-o-lantern head. This suite is to hide his appearance from mortals during his annual Halloween scares. Jack has a pet ghost-dog named Zero, who has a glowing pumpkin nose. His lover is Sally. The official film soundtrack contains an epilogue not in the film, stating that "many years later" Santa Claus returned to Halloween Town to visit Jack. He discovered that Jack had "four or five skeleton children at hand" who play together in a xylophone band. Given the ending of the movie, it can be assumed that these children are Jack and Sally's.
In the movie "James & the Giant Peach" (Directed by Henry Selick), Jack Skellington makes a "minute longer than brief " appearrance as the undead pirate captain of a sunken ship in the North Atlantic. His crew consists of a viking version of Paul Bunyan, an eskimo, Ragetti, & Donald Duck. When Centipede finds him, he makes 2 referrences to him; "Skellington", & "Jack-pot". He spends most of his appearance saying "aargh", trying to catch, follow, or pick up his head, which keeps getting rolled around & tossed like a potato. When centipede leaves, he comes out with the compass, Jack's hat, sword, & arm.
Jack is very much an (undead) gentleman, graceful and patient in equal measures Jack never loses his temper or calm and can usually be counted upon to do what is in everyone's best interest.
Though his logic is sound his reasoning can be questioned at times, he was quite thorough in his christmas research but opted to go with what he and his friends knew when he decided to giveSandy Claws this year off and take over for him. He was also oblivious to Sally's feelings for him throughout most of the story, showing that while among the more intelligent citizens of Halloween Town he is a bit of a dope at reading people's feelings. This is backed up by the fact that he barely even recognized Santa Claus's distress when they first met. It seems that Jack might be slightly naive at times, as shown that he trusted Lock, Shock, and Barrel enough that he believed that they would simply get him Santa Claus without causing trouble, despite them being allied with Oogie Boogie. And he didn't realize all the chaos he was causing on Christmas Eve before it was too late.
He is rare to anger and hardly ever raise his voice, but Jack was unable to contain his contempt for Oogie Boogie and did not hesitate to severely punish his old foe for endangering his friends with grim dedication.
It is also shown that Jack enjoys things that are new to him. He quickly become delighted with Christmas and grew increasingly excited as Christmas was being remade in Halloween Town just as he pictured, even giddily laughing as he gave out presents on Christmas Eve.
It appears that Jack, being undead, may be immortal, and may or may not feel physical pain. At the climax of "This Is Halloween", he sets himself on fire without serious injury. He also has the ability to remove bones from his body. Jack can take off his head (to "recite Shakespearean quotations") and remove ribs to play fetch with his dog Zero. Despite this inability to feel pain, Jack reacts negatively when Sally accidentally pricks his thumb with a needle. Jack also is very flexible for being a skeleton and possesses incredible agility which makes it easy for him to climb ledges and walls. Occasionally hints are made to further powers, particularly during an episode in one of the original film's video-game spin-offs, in which he fights Oogie Boogie and his army of bugs with fire and ice magic as well as possible dark and musical magic. In the Kingdom Hearts series, he also can use dark magic. This appears to be unfaithful to the original story, as Tim Burton has stated on the audio commentary for The Nightmare Before Christmas, that Halloween Town does not possess any "magic".
- Jack's Corpse Bride counterparts are Victor Van Dort and Bonejangles.
- Jack Skellington makes an appearance in Bleedman's webcomic: Grim Tales Down Below. Jack is the younger brother of Grim ( The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy).
- He is mentioned in the song "I Miss You" by Blink 182 when they sing "The unsuspecting victim of darkness in the valley, We can live like Jack and Sally if we want, Where you can always find me, We'll have Halloween on Christmas"
- The reason for Jack having two voices is that they didn't have time for Chris to have singing lessons, so Danny took over. However, Danny does not take part in The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge.
- Jack's head appeared on Beetlejuice's carnival hat.
- Jack makes a cameo appearance in James and the Giant Peach, when Mr. Centipede goes to the bottom of the Atlantic ocean to retrieve a compass from an army of pirate skeletons; Jack (in pirate attire) is the captain who fights back.
- In the original film by a personal request Danny Elfman does Jack's singing voice, Chris Sarandon wouldn't do his character's singing until "Oogie's Revenge".
- Jack Skellington makes an appearance in Bleedman's webcomic: Grim Tales Down Below.It is revealed that Jack is the younger brother of Grim (Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy).
- Jack was listed #22 in Empire Magazine's The 50 Best Animated Movie Characters. Stating as his stroke of genius The song "What's this", as Jack - accustomed as he is to the dark, twisted Halloween Town, tries to get his head around the sweetness and light of Christmas Town.