When The Nightmare Before Christmas premiered in 1993, the film industry was forever changed. This stop-motion animated musical masterpiece followed the epic journey of Jack Skellington as he attempted to take over the holiday of Christmas. With a gorgeous score written and performed by Danny Elfman, The Nightmare Before Christmas was our movie magic. Now, tragedy has struck after one of the film’s talented creators has passed away at 72 years of age.
Jack skellington Tim Burton coming back to theatres live action

Credit: Disney

A Film Like Never Before

It is evident that the impact of The Nightmare Before Christmas continues to live on in Disney Parks and in the hearts of fans all around the world. Whether it is the Oogie Boogie Bash celebration or the The Nightmare Before Christmas-themed “Haunted Holiday” overlay at the Haunted Mansion attraction, Disney still pays homage to this incredible film to this day.

Sadly, today, we are paying homage to one of the film’s brilliant artists who passed away just last week.

Pete Kozachik, an esteemed visual effects artist who gained recognition for his work on the iconic film The Nightmare Before Christmas, has sadly passed away at the age of 72. Kozachik’s contributions to the film industry and his creative talent will forever be remembered by his millions of fans.

Pete Kozachik’s career spanned several decades, during which he worked on numerous groundbreaking projects. His collaboration with Henry Selick and Tim Burton on The Nightmare Before Christmas garnered critical acclaim, earning the film an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects. Kozachik’s innovative techniques and attention to detail brought the fantastical world of Halloween Town to life, capturing the imagination of audiences worldwide.

Related:Danny Elfman’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” Returning to Concert This Halloween

Pete Kozachik

Credit: Katy Moore-Kozachik

Pete Kozachik: A VFX Legend

In addition to his work on The Nightmare Before Christmas, Pete also contributed his talents to films like James and the Giant Peach, Corpse Bride, Coraline, Ghostbusters II, Star Wars: Episode II- Attack of the Clones, and Starship Troopers. His vast knowledge and passion for filmmaking stemmed from his childhood, where he made animated films in his backyard.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Pete passed away due to “complications from primary progressive aphasia, a rare form of Alzheimer’s.” Pete’s wife, Katy Moore-Kozachik, spoke to the publication to share that he passed away peacefully on September 12, 2023, in his Northern California home, where he was being treated by hospice care.

Pete had been suffering from aphasia for the past ten years but refused to let the illness stop his creative mind. In 2021, he released his memoir titled Tales From the Pumpkin King’s Cameraman. 

Nightmare Before Christmas

Credit: Disney

While Pete’s death is absolutely tragic, the legacy and impact he has had on the world couldn’t be more positive. Pete’s incredible creativity and imagination gave a generation a reason to laugh, sing, and dream bigger than ever before. There is no doubt that Pete and his creations will live on for generations to come.