Nightmare Before Christmas Pumpkin Prop Restoration

An intentionally subtle restoration of a Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Pumpkin prop.

This grapefruit-sized foam Nightmare Before Christmas pumpkin prop was used in one of the cemetery scenes in Tim Burton’s stop motion classic. Original props from this film are quite rare and it’s very cool to help conserve items from a classic.

As with all of our conservation work, our approach emphasizes maintaining the integrity of the original prop, puppet or figure. Wherever possible, we strive to preserve the original “feel” of the piece and especially any evidence of age and use in a production.

After much discussion with the client, we found an appropriate level of restoration for the Nightmare before Christmas pumpkin prop, which maintained the piece’s sense of age, while improving the overall look and condition.  Our goal was not a result that looks “brand new” (the way a replica might look) but to gently bring a piece of stop motion history back to life… to make it look “great for its age.”

We repaired the large crack in the foam jack o’lantern’s mouth to not only bring the piece back to it’s original look but to also help stabilize the piece. To keep the crack from getting worse in the future and endangering the stability of the piece.

We also did some subtle paint touch up on any to the areas were the foam had cracked or the paint had flaked and recreated the missing stem so the jack o’lantern looked more like it originally had in the film.

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