FILM STUDY: The Tim Burton TRIO Theory

Anyone who is a Tim Burton fan, or has even scoured the internet for a little bit knows [or at least, has heard of] this theory: Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, Corpse Bride, and The Nightmare Before Christmas are all one big movie. It seems to make sense, based on the above picture with each character looking like one another and each having a [dead] dog. However, after being asked by a friend to tackle this theory [especially since I’m a fairly large Tim Burton fan] and after over thinking these films – which I’ve watched over a dozen times each – I’m fairly confident in saying that these films are not connected in any way;  and I’m prepared  to explain why. So sit back, grab a snack and a drink; because this is going be one hell of a long post. okay. ~deep breath

Let’s start with Frankenweenie, the supposed beginning of this “timeline”.  Our story begins with Victor Frankenstein of New Holland, who comes off as a young and budding scientist and film maker with his best [and seemingly only] friend: Sparky – his dog. After a freak accident, [involving a simple game of “catch” with his dog] young Victor is friendless and alone.. or so he thinks! After learning about electric currents in his science class, and how electricity can shoot through the body, making body parts move. A typical Frankenstein scenario plays out with Sparky coming back to life, then dying..again.. and then Victor accepting that his friend is gone for good.

Flash forward to Corpse Bride, arguably my favorite of the three films we’re discussing today and the “middle” of the theory’s timeline. The movie follows Victor Van Dort of Victorian England, who is set to marry a woman he’s never met. While this Victor looks like a grown up version of Frankenweenie’s Victor, there is no correlation, let alone a mention claiming that they are even related.  Not only are Van Dort’s parents completely different than Frankenstein’s, the time lapse is completely wrong as well – New Holland is found in North Lincolnshire, England. Like in the town in Frankenweenie, it’s a really small village. To prove this, its population at one point was only 955 people! The period of Victorian England on the other hand, started in 1837, making these two films impossible to be under the same timeline. Also, It’s important to note that although they both had [dead] dogs, Sparky and Scraps have two separate names. Though, that last one is a smaller, less important detail.

Lastly, we have The Nightmare Before Christmas, or the ‘end’ of the theory’s timeline – This film follows Jack, the Pumpkin King playing an almost ‘reverse Grinch’ where, instead of hating Christmas, actually falls in love with the idea and tries to have his own Halloween-ed version of it, with his [dead] dog Zero helping out. Now right off the bat, things have proven themselves that Jack [and Zero], Victor F [and Sparky] and Victor V [and Scraps] are completely different people/dogs, specifically – their names and appearances.  Through-out Nightmare, we also learn that Jack is, and has been, the Pumpkin King for a very long time – long enough that even a hint at his ‘human life’ [assuming he had one] was never mentioned in film. As far as viewers are aware, Jack has always been a living skeleton. Also, going back to names, what would be the reasoning for Victor to change his name to Jack? [and Sparky to Scraps to Zero? these are important questions]

In closing, I feel that this theory doesn’t make much sense, with each character not entirely matching up to the character they supposedly become. While I wish it could be true, the facts against it are too strong.. How do you feel about this theory? Could Jack Skellington actually be Victor Frankenstein? Or does the whole theory feel too farfetched? Let me know in a comment or two down below!  Also, if you found yourself to enjoy this piece of writing, please take a minute and follow me over on Facebook where you can click the “like” button on my Facebook page. By clicking “like”, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted. I also share links and pictures that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps a ton, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share the page with family and friends!



  1. Actually i think Viktor Van Dort is Jack Skellington and that the Viktor from Frankenweenie is a decendant from Viktor Van Dort from The Corpse Bride,bessides he did have a wife and eventually had kids with her and then those kids they had married off when they grew,and then Viktor Van Dort died an old man becoming the Jack Skellington we all loveand adore,and it does say that when we die as stated by “Casper The Friendly Ghost” that when you die your memories are wiped clean is like life does not mater anymore,hence in that one scene when Jack entered “Christmas Town” he said and i quote “he found something familiar about it like a memory long gone from when he was alive and we know that “Corpse Bride” movie takes place on a december of the 1800’s cause we do see Viktor Van Dort entering the woods where Emily was,were covered in snow. stating that if just for a split second Jack recalled one of his past memories of when he was still “Viktor Van Dort” who was a human and alive back then we also hear that jack says in his song called “Jack’s Lament” that he was known throughout “England” and “France” and “Corpse Bride” takes place in England.

    Now for the dogs they are all the same breed a weenie dog. in 1800’s England were “Viktor Van Dort” Lived at,we see in one scene that when talking to Emily she gives “Viktor Van Dort” A box that has the remains of his dead weenie dog “scraps” of course when “Viktor Van Dort” returned to the world of the living he might have gotten himself a new dog of the same breed and called it “sparky” who i think later died as well burying him and this leads me to “Viktor Van Dort’s” descendant,the “Viktor Frankenstein” From “Frankenweenie” now oddly Viktor Frankenstein called that dog “Sparky” just like the dog “Viktor Van Dort” named back in the 1800’s so maybe according to all this “Viktor Frankenstein” might have heard stories from his granparents about his great great great granfather called “Viktor Van Dort” who had a weenie dog called “Sparky” so maybe in his great great granfather’s memory “Viktor Frankenstein” decided to call his dog “Sparky” again in honor of his great great granfather “Viktor Van Dort’s” dead dog back in the 1800’s yrs later i belive “Viktor Frankenstein” marries his childhood friend the nease of the mayor of “Viktor Frankenstein’s” town and they too have kids and ass family tradition they get themselves a weenie dog who as always probably dies and comes back a ghost in “Halloween Town” and becomes the partner friend or buddy of”Viktor Frankenstein’s” great great granfather “Viktor Van Dort” who in Halloween Town he is known as “Jack Skellington The Pumpkin King”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This theory makes more sense than any other than I have heard/read so far especially the false fact that these 3 movies aren’t related.


  2. “Sparky” was named for the electricity. He died. He then becomes “Scraps” due to him being scraps of dog bones… The spirit is “Zero” In Halloween Town because he has no body. It’s all the same dog.


  3. You realise that dogs can be renamed, right? That’s your biggest argument against this, that they all have different names, but dogs can be renamed when they change owners…


    1. but what about the people? Jack/Victor? Jack has ALWAYS been the Skeleton King, never human. Timelines also don’t match up for the Victor[s] and/or Jack to be the same person. The theory that claimed they were was not very sound to begin with..


  4. I see your point in regards to the timelite. However, to add to your theory, it is possible that after the events in “frankenweenie” Victor wa’s forced to leave his small town and start a new life, hence the change in his last name and parents. This could also include his dog as well. And lastly, if all the stories were connected it could be concidered that since Victor had such a connection with death and the after life that it would only make sense that he would be immortalized as “Jack”. Once again in death as we saw in corpse bride some memories would be lost. Loosing all sense of his former “Victor” self he may have choosen a new name and embraced his life as the pumpkin king again not remembering his dogs former name choosing a new name for him as well.


  5. Maybe when he was cast to the town of Halloween his memory of his previous life was erased and he got Jack from the every so popular Jack-o-lantern and just ran with it.


  6. Well according to the special features of Nightmare before Christmas the idea came from a poem written by Tim Burton as he watched decorations being changed in a store window. Burton has also said there is no relation between any stop animation films he has done.
    These are great theories, yet I think you arw fallowing the wrong character if you want to attempt connection between the three films. There is not one; however, if you fallowed the Dr’s back story in Nightmare you’ll see that he is an acomplished scientist who has an assistant named igor who resembles Victor Frankenweene’s school friend.


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