- “Jack, please, I'm only an elected official here! I can't make decisions by myself!”
- ―The Mayor[src]
The Mayor of Halloween Town is a supporting character in Tim Burton's 1993 stop-motion Disney film, The Nightmare Before Christmas. He appears to be the Head of Government in Halloween Town albeit most of his authority is ceded to Jack. Like most residents of Halloween Town, the Mayor loves the idea of Halloween and spooky themes and likes to plan ahead for such occasions.
Despite his office, the Mayor apparently has very little actual authority in the day-to-day running of the town, especially in planning for Halloween. This is attested when he arrives at Jack Skellington's house to discuss some plans with him, not knowing that Jack is not home. When Jack does not answer, the Mayor quickly gets hysterical and whines, more to himself than anyone, "Jack, please, I'm only an elected official here! I can't make decisions by myself!" His true role seems to relate to simply assisting Jack in governing the town, and concocting plans for Halloween, as seen during Jack's ambitions to bring Christmas to the world of Halloween, which the Mayor immediately supports, in spite of secretly having reservations on the subject.
Nonetheless, the Mayor acts quickly in case of an emergency; when Jack appears to have gone missing, he organizes a search party. He seems to enjoy his position as well. He apparently owns the only automobile in town: a hearse-like car called the "Mayor-mobile" that is equipped with a loudspeaker for making announcements and a black, cat-shaped hood ornament that sounds a siren when its tail is cranked.
The Mayor of Halloween Town is shown to be a benevolent, harmless and passionate individual. He has a comedic sense of humor and a keen appreciation of Halloween, especially in how it is celebrated by the residents each year. However, his most peculiar trait is his two-faced head, which flips itself depending on his mood; when he is happy, his face appears normal, however, the opposite of his head is shown to be neurotic and paranoid when he is anxious. This is supposed to be satirical, with his two faces being a representation of how politicians in the real world are often accused of being dishonest.
The Mayor is rather short, especially when compared to Jack. His head is cone-shaped and displays the two faces he is most notable for. One face (as well as his hands) is peach-colored, with rosy cheeks, a spiral eye, a black eye, and a mouth set in a permanent smile. The other face is bone-white, has a mouth set in a permanent frown (the teeth of which are pointed) with blue lips and pink eyes. There is a seam of some sort around the mouths of both faces because in the claymation for the movie, the mouths were replaceable to make the mayor talk. His top hat is gigantic, being the same height as the Mayor himself, but very thin.
The Mayor's body is also cone-shaped, with his body ballooning outward before ending on short, stubby legs with very tiny feet. He dresses in a black suit with a white undershirt and black-and-white pinstriped pants. He wears a pendant or bow-tie shaped like a black widow spider, though it only has six legs and the notorious red hourglass marking is on the spider's back and is much more detailed than in real life. There is a red ribbon with the word "MAYOR" printed on a white center pinned to the left breast of his blazer. He is never seen without his short, metal megaphone that he uses to issue orders, announcements, and, more often, call for help from Jack.
Role in the film
The Mayor appears at the beginning of the film in The Nightmare Before Christmas, and is one of the many who sings during the celebration. After the performance, he thanks Jack Skellington for his help and starts giving out the awards for the best performances, which disappoints Jack deeply.
The following morning, the Mayor gets the people of Halloween Town and himself ready for Halloween by asking Jack for help. However, after Jack goes missing overnight, the Mayor goes into panic fearing Halloween would be ruined without Jack's much-needed input; he decides to alert everyone and lead the search for the Pumpkin King. Thankfully, Jack eventually returns and requests a meeting to be held at town hall, to which the Mayor happily agrees.
Turns out, Jack visited a realm known as Christmas Town and wishes to use their festivities to celebrate the season themselves. The Mayor supports Jack and helps him in his quest to bring his own version of Christmas to the world, despite his secret misgivings about it.
While planning for Christmas in Halloween Town, the Mayor is repeatedly corrected for his mistakes in choices of words and terms. Eventually, Jack calls for Boogie’s Boys (Lock, Shock, and Barrel) who disrespect the Mayor by throwing rocks at him with their slingshots. When Jack secretly whispers to the children about his plans for them to kidnap Santa Claus, the Mayor attempts to listen in with his megaphone before realizing that the spider that once sat on his shirt is now stuck inside, and eventually places it back where it should be.
The Mayor assists in helping to make Christmas possible in Halloween Town, as he rides around in his vehicle and checks in on everyone, while also singing about making Christmas.
Before Jack’s departure around the world as the new Santa Claus, the Mayor begins to give a speech before being interrupted by the fog placed out by Sally moments before. Realizing that Christmas might be canceled, the Mayor falls into pity with the rest of the town before Zero shows up and helps Jack light his way. During his trip, the Mayor and the rest of the town watch him as he goes from house to house, delivering their horrific presents.
When Jack is apparently killed by the US Army while delivering presents in place of Santa Claus, the Mayor openly admits he had a very bad feeling about "this Christmas thing," in "his gut" and sorrowfully goes off in his Mayor-mobile to make the announcement throughout Halloween Town and the surrounding countryside that "the king of Halloween has been blown to smithereens".
Later, he is told by Lock, Shock, and Barrel that Jack is alive, and comes to retrieve him and Sally after Oogie Boogie has been defeated. The Mayor of Halloween Town is among the citizens surprised when it starts snowing in Halloween Town, going from worried to happy and cheery.
The Mayor appears in the first level. He gives Jack advice to help him out during his quest.
In Oogie's Revenge, the Mayor is seen in the opening cut scene congratulating Jack on another "horrible" Halloween. He is later seen in the level "Mayor's Madhouse" where Jack rescues him from a cage hanging from the roof of his house. While Jack goes to Christmas Town, the Mayor frees the other holiday leaders.
In Kingdom Hearts, during Jack's rehearsal in the town square, the Mayor introduces Jack while the Search Ghosts perform. After Dr. Finkelstein's first attempt at creating a heart, the Mayor comes into the entryway to the lab in distress and tells everyone that the Heartless have started rampaging. He later appears in the graveyard and tells Sora and company how to obtain the "surprise" ingredient, the Jack-in-the-Box.
In Kingdom Hearts II, when several Heartless appear in the Town Square, the Mayor stands to one side, yelling ineffectually at the Heartless to leave and calling for Jack to stop them stating that he's only an elected official. After Sora and company defeat Oogie Boogie, later on, the Mayor arrives in Christmas Town looking for Jack. He and Jack then walk off in order to plan for the next Halloween, just as the Gate appears to Sora. During Sora's second visit, Heartless have again invaded the town square, this time playing with Santa Claus's missing Christmas presents. The Mayor again tries to order the Heartless to leave Halloween Town, to a predictable lack of effect, and he calls on Jack and friends to stop them.
During the end credits, the Mayor is seen hurrying into Doctor Finklestein's lab to listen to Jack's plans for next Halloween.
The Mayor was part of The Nightmare Before Christmas pack as a playable costume character.
In 2003, along with the other The Nightmare Before Christmas characters, the Mayor made a special, one-time live appearance in Disneyland for the Haunted Mansion Holiday opening event. The Mayor's likeness is also featured in the attraction, itself.
In 2016, the Mayor was featured in a unit based on The Nightmare Before Christmas in Disneyland's Frightfully Fun Parade, where he led the unit in his automobile while announcing their presence on the megaphone.
- The fact that he has two faces is a play on the term "two-faced dictator."
- His two faces could also suggest that the Mayor has some form of a personality disorder, switching from one face to another.
- The Mayor appears to only have three moods in the movie: worried/scared, happy/jolly, and sad.
- The Mayor has been released as a Funko Pop! three times with different variants, two of them being classified as rare (one of the two being limited edition).
- Although the movie wasn’t released for another seven years, the Mayor shares a lot in common with another fictional Mayor (Mayor Augustus Maywho) from the film How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
- Both have a likeness for Christmas, both come off as jolly, both share a similar voice, and both have an obsession/likeness for one of their town’s residents.
- The Mayor usually confuses scary and spooky terms (such as “spooky” and “terrifying”) with cheerful and uplifting words (such as “jolly”). This might also be a reference to the main theme of the movie.
- The Mayor was given a bigger role in Oogie’s Revenge compared to his standard role in The Nightmare Before Christmas.
- The Mayor is easily recognized as one of the more popular characters from the film.