Zero the dog is one of the fan-favorite characters from the popular stop-motion animated film, The Nightmare Before Christmas. In addition to appearing in the original film, Zero has appeared in various spin-offs and other media related to the Nightmare Before Christmas franchise. Whether you’re a new fan to the film or a diehard ‘Nightmare’ fanatic, the following is everything you need to know about Zero.
He’s not the only ‘undead’ Burton dog
Dogs have played a role in three of Tim Burton’s stop-motion animated films: Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, and Frankenweenie. In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Zero is a ghostly dog who is the loyal companion of Jack Skellington; in Corpse Bride, Scraps is the former dog (now a skeleton of his former self!) of the main hero, Victor; and in Frankenweenie, Sparky is raised from the dog by his young, science-loving owner after his untimely passing.
He makes appearances in several video games
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge is a video game sequel to the original film. Although Zero doesn’t plain a main role in the story, and is not a playable character, the player makes use of Zero several times in order to sniff out bad guys and clues. The player can even visit Zero’s home during the game!
Zero also makes appearances in several Kingdom Hearts games, although is only seen in the background for both Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, Zero alerts the main character and Jack Skellington to any “Heartless” monsters nearby.
Nobody knows who provided Zero’s vocal effects
The barks, growls and other noises heard from Zero during The Nightmare Before Christmas film were voiced by an unknown person! To this day, the source of Zero’s voice in the original film is unknown. Some people believe that it may have been Bill Farmer or Frank Welker, who both performed work on the film.
Zero was meant to parallel Rudolf
The character of Zero was meant to parallel aspects of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer—and it’s not just his bright red nose that connects him to the most famous reindeer of all. Another parallel between the two is that it is Zero who leads Jack Skellington to the Christmas Tree door which leads him to Christmas Town and sparks his desire to make Christmas his own!