The Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloween Fright or as Christmas Sight?

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For years, the Nightmare Before Christmas has been a cherished holiday film. The question, however, that has come across nearly every fan’s mind is: Which holiday is the Night Before Christmas for? It’s main character is a skeleton by the name of Jack Skellington, the proclaimed Pumpkin King. Clearly, it’s a Halloween movie then right? Wrong! The entire plot of the film revolves around Jack attempting to take over Christmas. He even kidnaps Santa Clause!

What then, is the correct answer to the essential question that dawns upon so many confused film viewers? Here are two arguments for either side. You decide in the comments, who won!

Victoria Winter- One of the greatest Christmas movies of all time.

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Christmas movie. It’s even in the title!

The entire plot of the film revolves around Jacks Skellington attempting to become Santa Clause and experience the wonders of Christmas. He dons the red suit, rides his sleigh, and delivers presents to children across Christmas Town. Santa Clause even makes an appearance having been kidnapped and then held prisoner by the Boogie Man.

By the end of the film, Jack Skellington realizes he should leave the Christmas antics to Santa Clause and returns to Halloween Town, with a rejuvenated enthusiasm to spread his holiday spirit.

Although Jack Skellington is a skeleton, and Halloween Town is filled with spooky characters the celebrate Halloween, the movie begins right AFTER Halloween has happened. The entire movie takes place between November and December, leading up to Christmas Day. The film should not be considered a Halloween movie, if Halloween doesn’t even take place! To top it off, in the end of the film, Santa comes and brings snowfall to Halloween Town, a picturesque Christmas movie scene.

All in all, The Nightmare Before Christmas, is a tell-tale Christmas movie that the whole family can enjoy around a warm fire, while eating roasted chestnuts.




Jacob Jorgensen-A Halloween movie through and through.

Now that the pseudo-interpretation is done with it is time to reveal the true meaning of The Nightmare Before Christmas as the director saw it. Henry Selick, the director of this movie, is quoted as saying when asked by a little girl at a Q&A that “It’s a Halloween movie.”

The movie’s plot revolves around the king of Halloween Jack Skellington attempting to hijack Christmas, but in the end realizing that Halloween is more of his style.  The release date was also in October, specifically October 19th, 1993, which coincides with a Halloween movie.  The Disney Channel has been airing this movie every year near Halloween since it’s release.

Most of the important characters come from Halloween Town, not Christmas Town, to further the evidence that this movie is focused around Halloween.  The movie opens on Halloween night with the town mayor proclaiming that it is only 364 days until next Halloween.  Then there is the opening song that constantly reiterates that this is Halloween.  There is also only one song in the entire movie that actually uses the word Christmas in it and is by far the least memorable one taking place while Jack is attempting to explain Christmas to the townspeople.

From the presence of the pumpkin king and boogeyman to the guillotines marking the streets The Nightmare Before Christmas is a clear Halloween movie.  The main setting of Halloween Town only reinforces this idea.  The Nightmare Before Christmas is a family friendly Halloween classic like Halloween Town, or Casper the Friendly Ghost. It is a pleasant movie to watch with a family on Halloween night in between handing out candy.

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