The Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloween or Christmas movie?

Delaney Smith l Feature Editor

There is some debate over whether Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas should be considered a Halloween thriller or a Christmas classic. The title of the movie might lead someone who is not familiar with the film to believe that it is in fact a Christmas movie, but many people would say otherwise.

From the first scene of the movie, it is clear that the movie was intended to be enjoyed during the Halloween season. This spooky Disney film opens with a graveyard scene and the characters singing a chilling song about Halloween.

The creepy design choices for the scenery and characters, some of whom are recognizable from classic Halloween tales, along with the eerie songs, create a spooky atmosphere felt throughout this holiday. Pumpkins, ghosts, bats and gravestones are present throughout the film, further contributing to the ambiance.

Jack Skellington, the protagonist of the movie, is even from a town called ‘Halloweentown,’ yet, some people believe that this is a Christmas movie simply because ‘Christmas’ is in the title. While there is a very strong Christmas component to this movie, it is mainly focused on incorporating parts of Christmas into Halloween.

The townspeople spend the duration of the movie trying to incorporate the elements that people love the most about Christmas into their holiday, but the citizens of Halloweentown only end up ruining Christmas and decide that they prefer the spookiness of Halloween.

This movie was released on October 13, 1993, a date closer to Halloween than Christmas. Just because the movie takes place in the weeks leading up to the Christmas holiday does not alone make it a Christmas movie.

This isn’t the type of movie that evokes the warm, cozy, festive feeling that comes when watching Christmas classics by the warm fire. Instead, the combination of the spooky soundtrack and grotesque monsters sends shivers down the viewer's spine.

You will find yourself peeking around corners and jumping at strange noises after viewing this film. This is the opposite of Christmas movies which leave you with a joyful feeling inside and excitement for the holiday season.

So, grab a mug of warm apple cider and bowl of candy to enjoy this festive Halloween movie with friends and family.

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