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Oogie Boogie

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Are you a gamblin' man, Sandy? Let's play.
~ Oogie Boogie to Santa Claus.

Oogie Boogie was the archenemy of Jack Skellington and the main antagonist of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. He was the personification of the common child's nightmare of the "Boogie Man", resembling a large burlap sack. When Oogie Boogie was defeated, it was revealed that he was a colony of bugs wrapped in sacking. He was also apparently "The Shadow on the Moon at Night" as the shadow shown on the moon was an exact replica of him.

He was voiced by Ken Page.


The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King

In the videogame prequel to the film, Oogie's origins and the birth of his rivalry with Jack were revealed. As it turned 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 Boogie

Oogie Boogie in his underground lair in: The Nightmare Before Christmas

During the time that Oogie was imprisoned in his lair and plotting his revenge, Lock, Shock and Barrel revealed the existence of Santa Claus to Oogie. Later, the trio kidnapped Santa and (against the wishes of Jack Skellington, who held Oogie in great contempt) sent him down to his lair beneath their Treehouse home, where he was bound to a giant roulette wheel. Sally, after finding out Santa's fate, attempted to rescue him, but was captured herself. Oogie then tortured and tried to kill Sally and Santa Claus, but was stopped by Jack, as Jack confronted Oogie. However, Oogie activated his robot killing machines and trapped Jack, but the latter acrobatically evaded the devices and managed to reach Oogie. Oogie tried to escape on a machine, but Jack pulled a loose thread on him, which opened him up and caused about ninety percent of his bugs to fall into his own snake and spider stew. He screamed, "My bugs!" then his voice changed to insects, ceased to exist, and left only squeaks. However, one bug tried to escape, but was squashed by Santa, which killed Oogie.

The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge


Oogie Boogie

In the 2005 video game, Oogie was resurrected by his henchmen, Lock, Shock, and Barrel, who sewed him back together. He quickly deceived the residents of Halloween Town and tricked the townsfolk 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 put up a fight by turning into a gigantic, junk-filled version of himself named "Mega-Oogie". He was again destroyed, though it was yet to be seen if he would return.


Oogie's life revolved around gambling, and he loved gambling with others' lives. Ironically, Oogie had no skills for gambling; on three occasions he rolled snake eyes (although some say he was looking at Santa's chances the first two times, because he laughed after looking at the results), and admitted that he had to resort to cheating---he slammed his fist upon the table to shake the dice the third time, which resulted in 11. Oogie was also somewhat lecherous, which was evident when he's easily distracted by Sally's bare (and dismembered) leg.

Oogie was a sadist who had his henchmen abduct people and brought them to his lair for him to torture and eventually kill and/or add to his his snake and spider stew. Unlike all of the other inhabitants of Halloween Town, who were merely innocent monsters who scared people for a living, and as a profession, and for whom "life's no fun without a good scare", Oogie was truly evil. It was suggested that his sadistic nature had resulted in his exile from the mainstream Halloween Town.


Oogie lived in an underground lair, which was full of traps and torture devices with a casino-like twist. Oogie-Boogie's lair, during his theme song, was lit with blacklights in the style of a cheap funhouse. Under those, Oogie himself glowed bright green. After the lights dimmed, however, the bright color was sapped from his lair, and transformed its appearance into that of a dank, cellar-like dungeon. Above his lair was the clubhouse of Lock, Shock, and Barrel, who fed him bugs regularly via a metal chute. It was at first believed that Oogie could not be killed or die, but it was later revealed he could be destroyed if his brain, or the lead bug, was crushed, smushed, or busted.

In Kingdom Hearts

Oogie Boogie Kingdom Hearts

Oogie Boogie as he appeared in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II

Oogie appeared as one of the Disney villains allied with Maleficent in Kingdom Hearts, who wanted the heart that Jack and Doctor Finklestein created to take control of the Heartless and use them to take over Halloween Town. Oogie succeeded in part, swallowed 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 depended on what number he rolled. Oogie could summon the Heartless, release a spinning blade wheel, summon a buzzsaw, or activate his healing machine. The player, however, could hit the dice and cancel out Oogie's attack. At the end of the battle, Oogie's seams split, released all the bugs from inside his body, and left nothing but his empty sack body and the Hearts. However, because Oogie had swallowed the Heart, the energies inside of it resurrected him, and merged him with his manor. His weak points were orbs of darkness that sustained his life. However, Sora destroyed them all, and caused Oogie's manor form to crumble into dust.

Oogie returned in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, as a creation from Sora's memories of Halloween Town. The false Oogie Boogie stole Doctor Finklestein's special potion that was said to bring "true memories" and drank it, but began to feel intense fear (presumably of what happened to him) and Sora defeated him. He also appeared in Riku's story as a token of the darkness in his heart. Oogie was the boss of Halloween Town in both stories. The strategy to defeating Oogie was to utilize card breaks to lower the bars that protected him until they retracted completely, after which he was 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 turning Santa Claus into "Santa Heartless". However, Oogie Boogie, still weak from being revived and suffering from retrograde amnesia, drove Maleficent away after he insulted her. Oogie converted Santa's Present Machine into a machine that summoned Heartless Presents. Oogie's fate in the end was similar to his initial fate from the first game, only that time Donold Duck squashed the final bug in the hopes that Oogie would not return (as Santa did in the film). Oogie Boogie was the only villain besides Pete in the game that Maleficent interacted with directly, instead of sending Pete to enforce her will.





  • Oogie Boogie was similar to Colony Sarff as both were being made with smaller creatures (Oogie being a sack filled with bugs whilst Sarff was a being made from snakes).
  • 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. In his autobiography "Burton".
    • on "Burton", Tim Burton says that Oogie Boogie was loosely inspired by Cab Calloway's 1932 appearance in a Betty Boop cartoon. In addition to this, Danny Elfman ended up referencing the Betty Boop cartoon The Old Man of the Mountain (1933), also featuring Calloway. Santa Claus' 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 this cartoon. An alternate idea for Oogie's identity was for him to be Dr. Finkelstein in disguise, gaining revenge on Jack and Sally, but it was not pursued past storyboards, this is visible on the Special Edition DVD.

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