Since I was ten years old, I have been locked in a debate with many of my friends. Is The Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? There’s no denying that the movie is a holiday classic, but for which holiday? The debate rages on, but both sides have valid arguments.
The Nightmare Before Christmas was based on a poem written by Tim Burton. One does not generally associate Tim Burton with Christmas, though one might associate him with Halloween due to the dark nature of most of his movies. Most of the movie also takes place in the Town of Halloween, which has its own theme song entitled “This is Halloween.” There is also a lack of original Christmas songs, something one might look for in a Christmas musical. The events of the movie seem more like they belong in a Halloween movie than a Christmas one. Jack Skellington has Santa Claus kidnapped, delivers presents that scare little kids senseless and probably even scars them for life, and manages to end up shot down by military. Even the title The Nightmare Before Christmas sounds like it’d be the title of a horror movie if you didn’t know what it was already about. This is why The Nightmare Before Christmas is viewed as a Halloween classic by some.
The Nightmare Before Christmas has Christmas right in the title. Normally you associate a movie with whichever holiday is in the title. Most of the events in the movie also happen after Halloween and are leading up to Christmas. Also, Tim Burton apparently based the poem on which the movie is based on Christmas specials. It can also be argued that Jack was filled with Christmas spirit, he just executed it incorrectly. He also saved Santa Claus’s life – how much more in the spirit of Christmas can a movie be? The song “What’s This” might not be a Christmas song, but it is based on all that holiday wonder that fills Jack when he first visits The Town of Christmas. This is why The Nightmare Before Christmas is viewed by many as a Christmas classic.
Settling the Debate?
In trying to settle the debate of whether or not The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie, I decided to look up the original release date. The movie was released in October of 1993. While this did get it out in time for Halloween, it was also in theaters for the Christmas season. The truth is that there is no piece of evidence that proves one way or another that The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween or a Christmas movie. No matter which holiday you choose to associate it with, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a good movie that’s fun to watch.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas.” IMDB