Zero is Jack's ghost-dog and the tritagonist of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. Zero has a glowing pumpkin nose, an obvious Halloween pun of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Zero helps guide his master Jack Skellington through the fog on Christmas Eve. Zero has a doghouse gravestone seen before Jack enters the hinterlands.
The Nightmare Before Christmas Edit
Jack first summons Zero from his doghouse before he starts his Lament and leaves for the forest. Zero whines and begs for him to play fetch with his rib, to which Jack gives in and tosses it. He and Zero both fall asleep during their walk, where they wake up as soon as they reach the Holiday Doors. When Jack finds the door to Christmas Town, Zero barks after him as he gets sucked into the tree. He then waits for Jack to return, and is later rejoiced with him as they go back into Town to share his discoveries.
Zero can be seen sleeping in his dog bed with a candy cane in his mouth while Jack reads Christmas books late at night. He is also napping in his dog bed when Jack returns from Dr. Finklestein's Tower with his
science experiments. When he takes an ornament from the Christmas tree, Zero is groggy and watching him from his bed. While Jack expresses his frustrations with Christmas, Zero brings him a picture of his Pumpkin King picture and jumps in surprise when he begins to toss ornaments on the ground.
Later, when Jack wants to take off to deliver presents, Zero has to light the way because of the thick fog, similar to Santa and Rudolph. After he is shot down by the missiles, Zero is carefully returning Jack's skull to his body after the crash. He follows him back into Halloween Town and down into Oogie's Lair. At the end of the movie, Jack and Sally kiss each other as Zero looks at them and does not fly into the air, transforming into a star.
For the most part, Zero is seen accompanying Jack Skellington's side for a majority of the film. During Jack's Lament, he visibly shares the same emotions as he does. When Jack cheers, Zero smiles. When he frowns, Zero does, too. He is devastated when they crash, much like how Jack was, but changes his attitude when Jack does. He openly mirrors and expresses the same things Jack does, but is constantly loyal to him, as he never leaves his side and even waits for him to return from Christmas Town.
He is also very attentive, as Zero is the one who sees Sally hiding during Jack's Lament. He also grins when he watches her along with Jack as she leaves for the Graveyard at the end of the movie. He also watches as they kiss on the Spiral Hill and turns into a star. In the alternate ending scene, Zero is the one who flies along with Sally as she climbs the Hill, possibly implying that he and her have a friendship that wasn't revealed in the film.
Zero also knows what's right, as he brings Jack a picture of his Pumpkin King self to urge him back to his true self. At the end of Poor Jack, Zero brings him Santa Claus' hat in reminder that Jack needs to go back and set things right. He is very supportive of him, as he cheers him on while battling Oogie, barking from above, and helping him by leading the skeletal reindeer team.
Zero is the only main character in the movie that doesn't speak. The only way he communicates with Jack and others is by barking like a regular dog.
The PoemEditZero first appears in Tim Burton's original poem, who is described as "the best friend (Jack) had". Zero feels sad after going unnoticed by Jack, attempting to cheer him up but coming to no avail. At the end of the poem, Zero turns into a tissue box for Jack to wipe his tears with.
Zero appears in the sequel video game Oogie's Revenge, where he first appears out from his grave in the graveyard and approached by Jack. He helps Jack find the Hanged Men by flying in the graveyard and barking to alarm him when he sees one. Zero doesn't make many appearances in the game, only assisting Jack in two levels.
Zero is a purchasable character featured in the video game, Disney Magic Kingdoms. He can be bought with either 140 "gems" or could be purchased through a bundle. He can also be obtained through Nightmare Before Christmas legendary chests. In the game's Halloween event, he is able to help defeat Oogie Boogie as well as quests with the other characters.
He has his own quests titled A Dog's(Un)-Life, Beware of Ghost-Dog, A Ragdoll's Best Friend, and A Grave Solution. In these quests, he interacts with Jack Skellington, Sally, and even trying to prevent Oogie Boogie from breaking into Jack's House. Unlike the other Nightmare characters, Zero is easier to level up and requires less tokens.
Zero returns as the protagonist of the sequel comic book, "Zero's Journey", where he gets lost in Christmas Town after an accident in Jack's House. He first appears sleeping in the comic, but wakes up wanting to play with Jack. He first gets ignored, but convinces his owner to stay for a game of fetch, where Jack removes his rib bone and tosses it around the room. Zero chases after it and nearly causes a mess in Jack's study, wearing his night cap after falling into a pile.Jack throws his bone one more time, accidentally bumping into his desk and dropping his portal device. He also incidentally opens up the portal through Halloween Town, which Zero flies through in an attempt to catch his rib. He chases it through the graveyard and into the forest, where he finds the rib in the middle of the holiday doors. Much like his owner, Zero becomes fascinated with the Christmas door and goes through it, and gets lost in Christmas Town.
The reason he appears as the main character is because, according to a message left by creators TOKYOPOP, they "always wished there were more scenes with Zero. He was always there for Jack, floating along, a loyal companion."
- Interestingly enough, it is implied in the movie that Zero still needs to breathe, as when you see him asleep in his basket in Jack's tower, part of his sheet-like body around his chest moves up and down.
- When Zero is happy, he can wag his "tail", or flip in circles happily.
Click here to view the gallery for Zero.