Oogie Boogie

Oogie Boogie

Oogie Boogie is a Disney character and the main antagonist in the Tim Burton-produced Disney movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. He is voiced by Ken Page[1] in all of his appearances. Oogie Boogie is the Boogie Man, resembling a large burlap sack.

When Oogie Boogie is defeated, it is revealed that he is a colony of bugs wrapped in sacking. After the "brain bug" was seen it is possible and likely that he might just be a very intelligent bug.

Conception and creationEdit

Oogie Boogie did not appear in Tim Burton's original poem; but Burton later sketched a portrait of what appeared to be a potato sack man with horrible things inside.[2] The Oogie puppet was two feet high; twice the height of the other puppets.[2]

In the original draft, Oogie Boogie was really Doctor Finklestein in disguise. The idea is said to have been scrapped after Tim Burton accidentally kicked a hole in the wall, costing them too much to finish the scene.

In his autobiography Burton on Burton, Burton says that Oogie Boogie was loosely inspired by Cab Calloway's appearance in a Betty Boop cartoon, and that he asked Danny Elfman to make Oogie's song in "Nightmare" slightly resemble Calloway's song Minnie the Moocher. Elfman ended up referencing the Betty Boop cartoon "The Old Man of The Mountain": Santa's line "Well, what are you going to do?" and Oogie Boogie's response of "I'm gonna do the best I can!" are direct quotes from the cartoon.



Oogie's life revolves around gambling, where of he is an enthusiast and prone to bet other characters' lives. He is also implied to be "The Shadow on the Moon at Night", as the shadow shown on the moon was an exact replica of him.

Ironically, he is a poor gambler and often resorts to cheating. He is also somewhat lecherous, which is evident when he is easily distracted by Sally's detached leg. According to Lock, Shock, and Barrel, as well as some of his deleted song material (which is included in the soundtrack version), he is also very skilled at making a concoction known as Snake and Spider Stew, which often includes the bodies of prisoners captured by the trio thus meaning he is carnivorous.

It is possible that Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie are created to act as foils: Jack is slender, good natured, thoughtful, and mild (unless angered), whereas Oogie is fat, sadistic, dim-witted (although he seems to have some knowledge of machines, as evidenced by the booby-traps in his lair), and loudmouthed.


Oogie Boogie consists of a set of burlap sacks sewn into a shape resembling that of an anthropomorphic sea star, He is rotund and awkward. The sack is filled to bursting with insects and other invertebrates (and one snake), which retain his shape for moments even after the sack is removed.


Aside from his proportionate strength, Oogie has the ability to survive having his sack removed and most of his contents destroyed, provided that his "brain bug" survives. He also demonstrates an ability to inhale air with as much power as a jet engine. His shadow can materialize away from his body and move on its own. Other than this and despite his menacing appearance, he is in fact a coward, and relies on cheating and commanding the machines and booby traps in his lair to fight for him; in fact, most of Oogie's victims are already incapacitated so that he can do whatever he pleases without fear of being hurt or having his prisoners escape. Much of the "power" he exercises over others is derived from their fear and ignorance of his nature. He himself rarely leaves his fortress, preferring to send his henchmen, Lock, Shock, and Barrel, to do his bidding (and possibly to exaggerate his menacing reputation). Jack, having both faced and beaten Oogie before, shows absolutely no fear of him; on the other hand, Oogie is greatly afraid of Jack, as shown by his reaction to Jack's sudden and unexpected appearance in Oogie's lair in the film.

The Nightmare Before ChristmasEdit

Unlike all the other inhabitants of Halloween Town, who are merely innocent monsters who scare people simply as a celebration of their skill, Oogie is truly evil. It is suggested that his sadistic nature had resulted in his exile from the mainstream Halloween Town. He lives in an underground lair, which is full of torture devices of which each features a casino-like appearance. Oogie-Boogie's lair, during his theme song, is lit with blacklights in the style of a cheap funhouse. Under these, Oogie himself glows bright green. After the lights dim, however, the bright color is sapped from his lair, transforming its appearance into that of a dank, cellar-like dungeon. Above his lair is the clubhouse of Lock, Shock, and Barrel, who feed him bugs regularly via a metal chute. It is at first believed that Oogie cannot be killed or die but it is later revealed he can be destroyed if his brain, the lead bug, is destroyed.

In the movie, Lock, Shock, and Barrel kidnap Santa Claus and (against the wishes of Jack Skellington, who held Oogie in great contempt) send him down to Oogie Boogie's lair, where he is bound to a giant roulette wheel. According to deleted song material (found in the soundtrack version), Oogie plans to add "Sandy Claws" to his new batch of Snake and Spider Stew, to "add a little Spice". Sally, after finding out Santa's fate, attempts to rescue him but is captured herself. Oogie then tortures and tries to kill Sally and Santa Claus, but is destroyed when Jack pulls a thread loose from him, which causes the majority of his bugs to fall into the stew and die. One of them, believed to be the lead bug, is crushed by Santa Claus; however, the true lead bug (apparently the "brain" of Oogie) is later revealed to have escaped to rebuild its body in video game spin-offs of the movie.

Oogie Boogie is a rarity among Disney villains in that he has killed often prior to the film (many fans agree that NegaDuck and Shere Khan are the only Disney villains to share his sadistic tendencies). Skeletons of his victims are shown in his lair.

Video gamesEdit

The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin KingEdit

In the video game prequel to TNBC, Oogie's origins and the birth of his rivalry with Jack were revealed. As it turns out, he once had his own holiday, Bug Day, that was (most likely) forgotten by the people of the real world and thus vanished. Unfortunately, Oogie escaped, found Halloween Town and decided that it would be the new Bug Day. He and his army of insects invaded the town and nearly took it over. Jack found out and he defeated the bugs and Oogie. Oogie survived the battle, learned to fear the Pumpkin King, and was banished to his underground lair.

The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's RevengeEdit

In the 2005 video game, Oogie was resurrected by his henchmen, Lock, Shock, and Barrel, who sewed him together. He quickly deceived the residents of Halloween Town and tricked the townfolk into making traps for his arch enemy, Jack Skellington. Oogie attempted to become the Seven Holidays King. He successfully kidnapped the real leaders and tried to murder Santa Claus again, but his plans were foiled by Jack. Desperate, Oogie puts up a fight by turning into a gigantic, junk-filled version of himself named "Mega-Oogie". He is again destroyed, though it has yet to be seen if he will return.

Kingdom Hearts seriesEdit

Oogie KH

Oogie Boogie as he appears in the Kingdom Hearts series.

Oogie appears as one of the Disney villains allied with Maleficent in Kingdom Hearts, wanting the heart that Jack and Doctor Finklestein created to take control of the Heartless and use them to take over Halloween Town. He succeeded in part, swallowing the artificial Heart, but because the heart was faulty he couldn't summon as many Heartless as he expected. He tried to destroy Sora, Jack, and the others by trapping them in his giant roulette machine. Aside from throwing explosive dice all of his attacks depend on what number he rolls. He can summon Heartless, release a spinning blade wheel, summon a buzzsaw, or activate his healing machine. The player however can hit the dice canceling out Oogie's attack. At the end of the battle, his seams split and released all the bugs from inside his body, leaving nothing but his empty sack body and the heart. However, because he had swallowed the heart, the energies inside of it resurrected him, merging him with his manor. His weak points were orbs of darkness that sustained his life. However, Sora destroyed them all, causing Oogie's manor form to crumble into dust.

Oogie returns in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as a creation from Sora's memories of Halloween Town. The false Oogie Boogie steals Doctor Finklestein's special potion that is said to bring "true memories" and drinks it, but begins to feel intense fear (presumably of what happened to him) and Sora defeats him. He also appeared in Riku's story as a token of the darkness in his heart. Oogie is the boss of Halloween Town in both stories. The strategy to defeating him is to utilize card breaks to lower the bars that protect him until they retract completely, after which he is entirely vulnerable to any attack.

Oogie was resurrected by Maleficent in Kingdom Hearts II as part of her plan to take over Christmas Town while making Santa Claus into "Santa Heartless". However, Oogie Boogie, still weak from being revived and suffering from anterograde amnesia, drove Maleficent away after insulting her. Oogie converted Santa's present machine into a machine that summoned "Heartless" presents. His fate in the end was similar to his initial fate from the first game, only this time Donald Duck squashed the final bug in the hopes that Oogie would not return (as Santa did in the film). Oogie Boogie is the only villain besides Pete in the game that Maleficent interacts with directly, instead of sending Pete to enforce her will.

Halloween EventsEdit

Haunted Mansion HolidayEdit

Near the end of Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland, Oogie, with a Santa Claus beard and a candy cane, appears operating a crooked wheel of fortune in the exit cyrpt (replacing the Hitchhiking Ghosts) and has a few lines just before the guests see his henchmen: Lock, Shock and Barrel.

Happy HallowishesEdit

Oogie Boogie makes a voice appearance in the Halloween-themed fireworks show HalloWishes at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World during "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party" separate-admission ("hard ticket") event. He is joined by Ursula The Sea Witch, Jafar and Maleficent, singing a re-written version of his song, replacing "Santa Claus" in the introduction with "a trick-or-treater".

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