The Dolls Before Christmas

Painting matryoshka dolls to resemble characters from a movie or video game is a simple and fun way to express your affinity toward a particular fandom.

In this case, we have a series of five nesting dolls representing the characters from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Xmas Doll 1

Matryoshka dolls, also known as babushka dolls, are traditional Russian toys. They are simply a set of “nesting” dolls that come in decreasing sizes, so that the largest one contains all the smaller dolls. Kati Peck has taken this concept and applied it to the theme of “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, painting and modifying five dolls to resemble the film’s characters.

Xmas Doll 5

The first and largest doll is not actually a character, it’s the entrance to Halloween Town. The entire doll is given a texture that resembles the bark of a tree, contrasting with the smooth appearance of the remaining four dolls. On the back of the pumpkin door is the entrance to Christmas Town, which has a Christmas tree painted on it. While having one of the dolls represent a landmark instead of a character is a strange choice, the entire movie takes place within those two doors, so there is some rationale behind the decision.

Xmas Doll 2

The next doll is Jack Skellington, who is almost impossible to recognize in the rounded shape of the nesting doll.  Luckily, his skeletal face remains mostly unchanged, even if his pinstriped suit is  more filled out than usual.

Xmas Doll 4

The third doll is Oogie Boogie, a horrible sack-like creature stuffed with bugs who fueled the nightmares of my childhood. To be honest, I couldn’t stand to watch the movie for years, simply because of the scene in which Oogie is defeated – even now, I shudder to think about it. Lock, Shock and Barrel, a trio of mischievous kids, sit inside a moving bathtub at Oogie’s feet.

Xmas Doll 3

The Mayor of Halloween Town is the fourth doll and, having lost his usual ‘candy corn’-like appearance, he also becomes hard to recognize. While I can’t see the back of his head, I’m certain that it’s painted to look like a frowning face, in order to imitate his film counterpart.

Finally, we have a very diminutive Santa Claus. Since Santa’s role in the movie is quite small, it’s only logical that the doll representing him would also be small. In fact, Santa doesn’t do much beyond getting kidnapped and making it snow in Halloween Town.

Another neat Russian nesting doll series is this nerdy Super Mario Bros. matryoshka set, which includes nine well-known characters from the franchise. Also check out this stunningly beautiful Star Wars themed series of nesting dolls, featuring iconic characters like Yoda and R2-D2.