The Nightmare Before Christmas is a 1993 American stop-motion animated musical dark fantasy film. It was directed by Henry Selick and produced by Tim Burton. The movie was thought to be too scary and dark for kids, so Walt Disney Studios initially released it through Touchstone Pictures. Though this happened to the original 1993 release only, as Walt Disney Pictures owned the movie since its 3D reissue. The plot follows the story of the King of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington, who, opening a portal, stumbles upon Christmas Town and immediately becomes obsessed with celebrating this holiday. He then decides to give each resident a task. One of the most lovable and memorable characters in Nightmare Before Christmas are Lock, Shock, and Barrel, but who are they exactly, and what is their role?
Lock, Shock, and Barrel are a trio of troublemaking children, also known as Boogie’s Boys. They are the secondary villains of the movie. Although they generally do get along, they can occasionally be seen disagreeing with one another and even fighting. Nevertheless, they are always pulling off pranks and wreaking havoc on the residents of Halloween Town. Their task in The Nightmare Before Christmas is to kidnap Santa. But, against the wishes of Jack Skellington, the trio delivers Santa to Oogie Boogie, their gambling-addict bogeyman master. With Santa’s life at stake, the endeavor results in a temporarily ruined Christmas.
Even though it hasn’t been confirmed whether Lock, Shock, and Barrel are dead or alive in the movie, this article will shine a light on their possible death causes. Keep reading to find out who Lock, Shock, and Barrel are in The Nightmare Before Christmas and see their other interesting appearances in video games!
Starting from the only female member of this trio, Shock is dressed in witch clothing and a mask with no facial expressions. Her nose is big and pointed, and her hair is blue and wiry. It’s almost as if there is no real difference between her face and her mask. She’s also the tallest one in the group.
She’s serving as the team’s reason and logic as she’s the most intelligent and cunning one. After all, she’s the one that came up with the plan on how to kidnap Santa. She is well aware of her abilities and she often wishes her friends weren’t so “dumb“.
Even though she oftentimes challenges the leader, Lock, she usually ends up following his orders. She is also most likely to solve any arguments between the boys.
In the original film, Shock is voiced by Catherine O’Hara, who also voices Sally – a rag doll monster-like creation, and Jack’s love interest. In the other appearances, such as in video games, she is voiced by Kath Soucie.
Barrel, the shortest, boy-like one, is a dimwitted member dressed in a skeleton costume and a mask.
His skeleton costume roughly corresponds to the location of the bones in the human body. His hair is green and perfectly combed, but his skin is pale and his eyes are sunken. He also has deformed feet, with the three of his toes being the same length.
His mask of a skull is simple, with the mouth being bare. We can usually see him grinning. Despite his protests to the contrary, he is considered the clumsiest and dumbest member which is why he is often made fun of.
In the original film, he is voiced by Danny Elfman, but in the Kingdom Hearts series, he is played by Jeff Bennett.
Last but not least, Lock is the boy dressed in devil-themed clothing. He is also the leader of their group.
His attire consists of a plain, long-sleeved red shirt, pants of the same color, and a mask that is formed into a smile, showing sharp teeth. His hair and eyebrows somewhat match his clothes, with the difference in tones of red. His shoes have pointed toes that curl upwards, and his hair is styled to form two horns in the front. With his grayish skin, yellow eyes, and blue lips, he looks just as unhealthy as his friends.
Even though he is a leader of the Oogie’s Boys, he is very impulsive and does not always think his plans through, so he oftentimes goes along with others’ ideas.
In the original film, he is voiced by Paul Reubens, with whom Burton had previously worked on Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and Batman Returns. Meanwhile, in the Kingdom Hearts series, he is voiced by Jess Harnell.
Together, they are a group of mischievous children that play tricks on people and abduct Santa in The Nightmare Before Christmas!
How did Lock, Shock, and Barrel die in The Nightmare Before Christmas?
Even though it has never been fully cleared whether the characters have even in fact died, there are many speculations and theories on how they might have died based on their looks.
It is thought that Lock has frozen to death, mainly because of his lips. When people die of coldness, their lips turn blue; just like his have. His costume is also completely red – which may signify the need for warmth.
Shock has pale lips, neither blue nor completely purple, which happens when you die of any cause other than freezing, drowning, or burning. So, it is believed she either died a natural death or took her own life.
Barrel’s lips and hair might allude to him being drowned. Both of them are green, which might be to remind us of seaweed. The body is also decomposing differently in water, which may be the reason he chose his costume to be a skeleton.
Appearances in video games
Besides Oogie Boogie, the trio serves other powerful villains such as Maleficent and is in most plotlines of the villain’s wars. They are boss characters that appear in Kingdom Hearts (and also in Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days) and they carry out many roles in the games. During the boss battles, all three of them are fought together.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie’s Revenge
In this game, they are seen resurrecting their master Oogie Boogie, allowing him to inflict terror on Halloween Town once again. Oogie then kidnaps the Holiday Lears for St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Independence Day, and Easter, imprisoning them in his underground lair. Lock, Shock, and Barrel are each tasked with hiding the seven Holiday Doors around the town. They also raise armies of ghosts and skeletons to fight Jack Skellington. Once they are defeated, they are not seen or mentioned again for the rest of the game.
- Kingdom Hearts series
In several parts of the series, Lock, Shock, and Barrel appear as antagonists in the world of Halloween Town. In the original Kingdom Hearts, they learn that Dr. Finklestein and Jack are working together to create a heart. The trio, knowing Oogie wants to control creatures known as the Heartless, informs him of this endeavor. They are sent to steal it but face defeat.
In Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, the trio is playing tricks on Roxas during his missions in Halloween Town.
In Kingdom Hearts II, the trio is serving as Dr. Finklestein’s assistant. After wreaking havoc on the doctor’s latest experiment, they run into town. Eventually, they bump into Maleficent, who then recruits them in her plot to turn Santa Claus into one of the Heartless creatures. In this installment, Maleficent revives Oogie Boogie so he can serve as her assistant. In the battle with Sora and Jack, they soon face defeat.
On the second visit, they are blamed for stealing Christmas presents from Santa, but they prove to be innocent.
- Disney Heroes: Battle Mode
Lock, Shock, and Barrel make an appearance in the game in October 2020 during the 2.3.01 update. They are a group of control-type heroes, and they have five abilities (All Caught Up, Unwanted Present, Henchmen’s Delight, Three of a Kind, and Scorpion Scare). In the game, they are friends of Oogie Boogie and the Cheshire Cat. Additionally, Mary Sanderson is friends with them.