Disney Publishing is bringing in The Wicked Deep and Winterwood’s Shea Ernshaw to pen a new YA novel set after the events of Tim Burton’s beloved animated 1993 movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas. The story unfolds soon after Sally’s first kiss with Jack Skellington on Spiral Hill and will be told from her point of view. The original stop-motion animated musical dark fantasy is now a cult classic, so a sequel sounds promising. The original story followed Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town after he accidentally finds himself transported to another holiday-themed land: Christmas Town. He later decided to take over Christmas and become Santa Claus but things don’t quite according to plan.
The upcoming novel puts the spotlight on a happily married Sally and Jack. Until Sally accidentally lets loose a mysterious villain in Halloween Town. The adventure begins when the villain puts Jack, Halloween Town, and the other holiday-themed towns in the film’s universe,(there’s even one that fans have never seen before!), in danger. The Pumpkin Queen will set out to discover new things about her past life as she tries to save the world.
“This new book, written from the point of view of Sally, takes place shortly after the movie ends. It’s the yet-to-be-told love story of Sally and Jack. But it’s also a coming-of-age story for Sally, as we see her navigate her new royal title as the Pumpkin Queen of Halloween Town,” Ernshaw explained in a Disney Q&A provided to io9. “[It] will hopefully give fans a long-awaited second dose of Sally, Jack, and all the familiar residents of Halloween Town, while introducing a new cast of grim, strange characters, that I hope readers will love.”
Ernshaw illuminates that the new story hopes to give Sally the same depth of character that Jack got in the film. One of the core themes in The Nightmare Before Christmas was Jack’s struggle to understand his identity. He had grown tired of being the Pumpkin King, and in his longing for something more, he plotted to take over Christmas. In this book, “I really wanted to explore Sally’s identity, and better understand not only who she is now that she’s fallen in love with Jack and taken on the role of the Pumpkin Queen, but also understand how her past has affected her present desires, doubts, and dreams,” Ernshaw explained. “What does a ragdoll truly want out of life? What is she afraid of? And how much is she willing to risk to save those she loves? As we will learn in the book, she’s willing to risk quite a lot. Sally is one of the most compelling, and also richly-layered characters I’ve ever written, and it’s an honor to get to tell her story.”
Dive into Sally’s story when Ernshaw’s new The Nightmare Before Christmas YA novel debuts in July 2022.