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Jack Skellington is the "Pumpkin King" of Halloween Town. He is responsible for coming up with new and exciting ideas for each year's Halloween festivities. He first appeared in Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. He has appeared in all games of the series aside from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts coded.

Journal entries

Kingdom Hearts

The pumpkin king. He loves to scare people out of their wits. Headstrong, confident, and likes grand gestures. Now he's working night and day to make this year's Halloween festival the greatest ever.

He scared up some fun in "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993).

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

Halloween Town's master of the macabre.

Jack is always looking for new ways to bring the spooks and shivers of Halloween to all.

Kingdom Hearts II

First Entry

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Skeleton King. He loves scaring folks more than just about anything. When Sora and his friends first met Jack, he wanted to use the Heartless to spice up his frightening Halloween celebration. But things didn't work out quite like Jack planned.

Now Jack's enchanted by Christmas. He's determined to give Santa a rest and show he can do a top-notch job running the big day.

Second Entry

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

He loves to scare people silly — but when Jack discovered Christmas, he was captivated. He even thought he could improve it by adding his own special brand of fright.

Jack wanted to deliver presents to the children of the world for Santa. Santa helped him realize that his talents were really meant for Halloween. But Jack still has the Santa suit Sally made for him!

Story

Kingdom Hearts

In Kingdom Hearts, Jack takes a liberal role of performing a scary Halloween, in this case, using the Heartless. He asks Dr. Finkelstein to make a heart for the creatures so they can dance, but the Heartless get loose and wreak havoc in Halloween Town.

He requests the help of Sora, Donald, and Goofy to find a solution. After a fight with Oogie Boogie, he regretfully has to cancel the Halloween he had planned due to Oogie eating the heart. Sally states that they will come up with another plan together.

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

Jack makes an appearance as a figment of Sora's memory in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. His role this time remains relatively the same. He requested Dr. Finkelstein to make a memory potion, hoping that it would help in teaching the Heartless new Halloween tricks. Like in Kingdom Hearts, Donald was not very fond of Jack, especially since he scared Donald.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Jack appears once more, planning the perfect Halloween. He is at a loss of ideas, however, finally getting one when he catches Roxas leaving the world through a Dark Corridor. Upon Roxas's next visit, Jack is seen in the Town Square with Doctor Finkelstein, displaying decorated balloons that contained a horrifying surprise.

The doctor liked the idea, Jack still not satisfied. Roxas later encountered the Pumpkin King and his dog Zero in the Graveyard, the ghost-dog showing Jack that Heartless could now be found in the balloons. Not recalling having put the Heartless in the balloons, he deciphered that another mind had decided to place the dark creatures in them to add an extra level of terror.

Jack then continued brainstorming, hoping to prevent this other "great mind" from coming up with better ideas before he did. He then awarded Zero a bone after realizing the dog had given him a hint, Jack heading straight to Dr. Finkelstein's lab to tell him of a brand new, great idea.

By the time Roxas next arrived, Jack had put lanterns throughout Halloween Town to make is grand entrance spectacular. However, he wanted something with more oomph; Lock, Shock, and Barrel escaping Roxas by blowing a hole through a wall gave him a new idea.

When Roxas arrived the following time to track down the Hover Ghost, he had created exploding pumpkins that froze things upon ignittion, something he felt was from observing the world around him better.

When Roxas slew the Leechgrave, Jack had been near-by and liked Roxas' coat and the Tentaclaws, thinking they would be a good addition to his plans. He later shows Dr. Finkelstein a scarecrow he has made, that resembles Roxas in its hairstyle, as he saw Roxas briefly leaving the Manor Ruins; it also had claws like Tentaclaw and was armed with bombs.

Kingdom Hearts II

First Visit

SantaJack

Jack in his Santa costume.

Jack in his Santa costume in Kingdom Hearts II, he takes a comparable role to his character in the movie. He tries to take Santa's place (for the second time), and helps save him from a resurrected Oogie.

Eventually, thanks to Santa, he realized that it is his duty to take care of Halloween, as much as it is for Santa and Christmas. His Santa suit then helps Sora open a new pathway to the Pride Lands.

Second Visit

Later, Jack is blamed for stealing the presents from Santa's factory. He teams up with Sora again to help solve the mystery and clear his name. They do this by hiding in a giant present and tricking the thief into stealing it. Jack and Sora then defeat the thief, who turns out to be Dr. Finkelstein's Experiment, and save Christmas.

After that, Santa lets Jack ride in his sleigh. Later, Sally helps him realize that the most important thing of Christmas is not the gift box, nor the present inside it, but the wish of the giver to make someone happy.

Physical appearance

Jack is an extremely thin, and equally tall being, his legs being over twice as long as his torso. He is a skeleton, and so his head lacks hair and sports empty eye sockets and nostrils. Strangely, his neck is solid, not showing vertebrae segmentation. His skull is similar, showing no distinction between his upper and lower jaws. His mouth is thin and wide, marked by a number of small "seams", similar to a Glasgow smile. Jack is missing several teeth in a number of different places. Unlike his head and neck, Jack's hands do show joints.

Jack's usual attire is a macabre black suit with white pinstripes. The top has a single white button and a white shirt is visible underneath. His black dress shoes are bizarrely small in comparison to the rest of his body. The coat tails of Jack's coat reach to about knee-length, and he wears a large, black bow-tie shaped like a bat with several white veins in its wings and white eyes.

When masquerading as Santa Claus, Jack dons an obviously fake white beard (the part of the beard that should attach to his chin dangles a few inches from it) that reaches to the top of his thighs. His faded red pants have a vertical seam on the front, and his black, knee-high boots have fur lining at the top. Jack's tails in this outfit are about the same length as his normal ones, and he wears a maroon belt around his waist. His long sleeves are also fur lined at the cuffs. Finally, his faded red Santa hat also has white fur lining around the rim and a white fur ball at the tip.

Because of Jack's extreme height, he doesn't need to run to keep up with Sora. Instead, he is seen speed-walking throughout the series.

Personality

Jack is shown to be incredibly eccentric, always alive and active. He is somewhat of an optimist; when he puts his mind to something, he will not stop until he achieves it. He tends to be slightly oblivious, and never thinks things through, which usually leads to disaster. But he is an overall cheerful character who is greatly respected by all, with the exception of Oogie. He does, however, have a darker side to himself as when angered, he is the scariest thing around.

Abilities

Kingdom Hearts

Jack cannot equip a weapon, but his attack power and MP is still fairly high. Jack instead attacks using his magic, which is similar to Sora and Donald's, but has a Halloween theme to its animation. Jack has two equipment slots, and three item slots. Jack's abilities are as follows:

  • Applause!: Jack slides into enemies.
  • Blazing Fury: Jack launches a fireball at an enemies.
  • Icy Terror: Jack fires a barrage of ice crystals at an enemy.
  • Bolts of Sorrow: Jack conjures a barrage of thunderbolts to continually strike opponents.
  • Ghostly Scream: Jack conjures orbs of dark energy to attack opponents.

Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories

Jack is called to fight with his Friend Card that can only be summoned in Halloween Town. He uses magic like Donald. If you stock more of his cards, the higher level of magic he will cast. Below are the Sleights that Jack can be used in:

  • Surprise!: Stock two Jack cards; Jack double-casts Fira, Blizzara, Thundara, or Gravira.
  • Surprise!: Stock three Jack cards; Jack triple-casts Firaga, Blizzaga, Thundaga, or Graviga.
  • Terror: Stock two Summon cards and one Jack card; Strike fear in the enemy so they no longer approach.
  • Gifted Miracle: Stock one Summon card, one Magic card, and one Jack card; Reload cards and reset the counter while restoring HP to friends and foes alike.

Kingdom Hearts II

Jack is a mage character and fights using his magic, which is similar to Donald and Sora's, but with a decisively Halloween theme—his Fire magic for example, manifests as three blazing pumpkin heads. As such, his ability list is very similar to Donald's and he tends to burn through his MP quickly. Jack has no armor slots, two accessory slots and three item slots. His "weapons" are his own fists. Jack's abilities are as follows:

  • Blazing Fury: Jack charges forward surrounded by three flaming pumpkin heads.
  • Icy Terror: Jack fires a snowflake at an enemy.
  • Bolts of Sorrow: Jack conjures a barrage of thunderbolts to continually strike opponents.
  • Applause, Applause: Activates Dance Call Limit. Sora and Jack dance together as they unleash creepy magic to attack enemies.

Origin

Jack originally appeared as the main protagonist of Tim Burton's stop-motion animated classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and his is role almost identical to that of his role in Kingdom Hearts II. Being bored with Halloween, Jack goes for a walk in the woods and uncovers Christmas Town. Amazed by its magic, he decides to take over Christmas with disastrous results, but he eventually saves the day. Chris Sarandon reprises his role as Jack in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II.

Trivia

  • Jack's entry in Kingdom Hearts II's journal depicts him as the "Skeleton King", when Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories calls him the "Pumpkin King". The former is an incorrect title as in the original movie he is titled the "Pumpkin King".
  • In the BradyGames Official Strategy Guide for Kingdom Hearts II, Jack's weapon has been incorrectly labeled as the Scimitar. The page also includes Aladdin's stats and Auron's bonuses and upgrades.

See also