In a 2013 interview for the 20th anniversary of the holiday classic, “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” director Henry Selick noted that Oogie Boogie was the most difficult character to create. After stating that there were three steps to bringing a character to life: drawing, sculpting, and building, he said of Oogie Boogie, “Oogie Boogie was the toughest because he’s big and pretty shapeless. Ultimately, Rick Heinrichs had to re-sculpt it, and then, when he gets his skin pulled off and he’s filled with bugs, that took some years off a few animators’ lives—it’s three or four killer shots and took about four months.”
Selick went on to say that the film, and Oogie Boogie, almost had a very different ending. Instead of turning into bugs, a prior idea was that the villain would be revealed to be Dr. Finkelstein in disguise — in what Selick called “sort of a ‘Scooby-Doo’ sort of ending.” He said that it wasn’t ever shot as an alternate ending, but it was storyboarded initially. Ultimately, it was Tim Burton who opted for the ending as fans know it.