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Pete Kozachik: Oscar-Nominated Visual Effects Artist of ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ Passes Away at 72

Pete Kozachik, Oscar-Nominated VFX Artist, Dies At 72

The animation and visual effects community mourns the loss of Pete Kozachik, best known for his work on the beloved movie “Nightmare Before Christmas.” Sadly, he passed away on September 12, aged 72, at his home in California’s Bay Area after battling aphasia and primary progressive aphasia for several years.

From Tucson to the Oscars: The Life & Career of Pete Kozachik

Pete Kozachik’s ties to Tucson were strong; he completed both high school and college in the city, where his brother, Steve Kozachik, now serves as vice mayor.

Source: Simon Jacobs, Warner Bros. Pictures

Kozachik’s illustrious career, punctuated by an Oscar-nominated stint on “The Nightmare Before Christmas” in 1993, began in 1984 with “Dreamscape.” He worked on various notable projects in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,” “Innerspace,” “Willow,” “Ghostbusters II,” “Hudson Hawk,” and “RoboCop3.”

Pete Kozachik’s Impact on Visual Effects: From ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ to ‘Coraline’, and Beyond

Pete Kozachik’s impact on visual effects began with “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” where he served as visual effects supervisor and director of photography, earning an Oscar nod. His collaboration with directors Henry Selick and Tim Burton shaped their distinctive styles.

Source: Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Kozachik’s work extended to “James and the Giant Peach” (1996), “Corpse Bride” (2005), and “Coraline” (2009). He also contributed to “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” (2002), “Monkeybone” (2001), and “Starship Troopers” (1997).

Survived by his wife, scenic artist Katy Moore-Kozachik, his pioneering work remains celebrated.