I’ll admit that I have an interesting history with this particular movie, for the longest time I did not like this movie and thought it was quite boring and overhyped. I watched it again in preparation for this event and well, I genuinely enjoyed it. Perhaps, it came spending time with my big sister this past October, and seeing how much she loved it opened me up to giving it another chance. This is always a nice feeling but having said all this, there is one thing that bugs me about this movie. Oogie Boogie. I get that he’s popular and people love him, heck he has his own Halloween event named after him at DCA.
I get that he’s popular as are so many of the characters in this movie and that in part comes from how much Disney has marketed the film. But here’s my issue, for as much as I enjoyed this movie, Oogie Boogie is rather pointless to the story being told. This is not to say he’s a bad character far from it but rather Jack’s obsession with Christmas and the conflict of him trying to give kids the perfect Christmas without understanding what Christmas is about is interesting enough on its own. This is something I’ll touch upon when I discuss Lock, Shock, and Barrel but Jack seems almost neurodivergent and as though Christmas is his latest hyper fixation.
Taking this further, I do not believe Oogie Boogie was in the original poem that Burton wrote that was the basis for this movie. That does make sense and it reminds me of when Dr. Seuss’s stories are stretched out and given a villain that wasn’t in the original story such as the Mayor in Ron Howard’s Grinch.
Now, that is a bad character in a bad movie. I’ll elaborate on this more as we go along but keep in mind that I did enjoy this movie but felt Oogie Boogie wasn’t needed.
Ken Page does a great job of bringing this character to life bringing so much charm as I’ll talk about this when discussing his personality but Oogie Boogie is a Vegas showman with a flair for the dramatics. And Page is so good at that.
Now, he can be supposedly be seen as the shadow in the moon during “This Is Halloween”
Now, we do get a better look at Oogie Boogie during “Kidnap The Sandy Claws” when we see his shadow but we do not see him in full until Boogie’s Boys deliver Santa to Oogie Boogie. It takes quite a long time until we finally meet Oogie Boogie in full as a character and when we do, he doesn’t disappoint as he is quite a fun character.
As I mentioned, he’s something of a showman like you’d see in Vegas and that is taken further with seeing him throw die.
This is taken further with his lair having a casino vibe. It is a perfect encapsulation of who he is and we will see with his song, he holds a belief of The House Always Wins.
That is another fun element when looking at Oogie as a character.
This is perhaps the trickiest thing to narrow down considering how little Oogie is in the movie but it seems as though he plans to kill Santa Claus and perhaps Sally. I know it’s made clear that he hates Jack and is jealous of him but that’s the best I could come up with.
Maybe, I’m misremembering but that is honestly all I got from Oogie.
Lock, Shock, and Barrel
These three are fun and you do get a sense that they truly cannot be trusted. This is seen in how Jack seemingly wants to involve everyone in Halloween Town in his obsession but the Mayor is fearful of them. You can see that they shouldn’t be trusted and makes me wonder if Jack is perhaps too trusting of people. There is also the sense that they truly do not like another as heard during their song.
This is a fun number that plays on the mischievous side of what kids can be like.
Oogie Boogie’s Song
This is such a fun number that does a good job of capturing who Oogie is at heart. He is just a vile being that doesn’t really care about anyone or anything but himself. It is so catchy, it may not be the best number in the movie but it is quite good.
Most Evil Deed
Weirdly for as big a presence as Oogie has in this movie, I can’t comment on anything he did that stuck out to me. I think part of that is because Oogie is more show than action.
It’s gross. Jack comes in to save Santa and Sally and they have a stand-off where Jack gets the upper hand and tears Oogie apart and we see this.
All the bugs that were holding Oogie together fall out and spread around. Time to call an exterminator because ewe! That is perhaps the nastiest thing in this whole movie. It’s effective and memorable to be certain. Just bleh!
Is Oogie Boogie A Good Villain?
He’s fun and I do enjoy him as a character but I don’t think you’d lose a whole lot if he wasn’t in the movie. Again, not a bad character but the stuff without him is much stronger. Join me next time as we head into direct-to-video sequel territory as I look at…