The Nightmare Before Christmas : Halloween or Christmas Movie?

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a well loved Disney movie, and rightly so.  In this film we follow our protagonist, Jack Skellington, and understand that he has become tired of terrifying people of the real world every year. After sulking in the woods, Skellington comes across a magical door that leads him into Christmastown. After exploring this new world and all its wonders, Jack plots to take over Christmas and replace Santa Claus. This film was directed by Henry Selick, produced by Tim Burton, and has music by Danny Elfman. There has been one disagreement that has been widely discussed, is this a Halloween or Christmas movie?

The Nightmare Before Christmas was released on October 19, 1993, this proves that the movie was intended to be a Halloween movie. The release date could have been postponed if it was meant to be a Christmas film. When watching this movie one notices that all of our main characters are citizens of Halloweentown, we also notice that the main setting is completely themed around Halloween. Jack Skellignton, our main character, is referred to as “the pumpkin king” or the king of Halloween. Tim Burton and Danny Elfman do an amazing job at giving this movie a dark  tone with gothic music and an eerie artstyle. Most people can also agree that stop motion animation can be very frightening to young audiences, making this a great view for Halloween. 

Though the film was released during the Halloween season, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is a Halloween movie. The movie takes place in the month of December, and the climax of the film is shown to be on Christmas and Christmas Eve. Jack’s main goal was to take over this beloved holiday, showing us that Christmas has a strong significance. We also get to see Christmastown, giving us the cozy, whimsical feeling which is felt during winter. Another major factor that favors Christmas is having Santa Claus as an important side character. Overall, we get a very strong energy that leads us to feel like it’s meant to be watched around Christmas 

In the end it doesn’t really matter whether this movie is a Christmas or Halloween film. You can watch this movie anytime, the holiday is not something that prevents this. It is clear that both holidays have a prominent involvement in this film, it can count as both. The movie has a both wonderfully creepy and heartwarming feeling. It is important to just appreciate the film for the masterpiece it is rather than pick apart every detail about it and start an argument.