I’m sure we’ve all heard that age-old question: “Is The Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween or Christmas movie?” The film has been enjoyed during both holidays, celebrated for its terrifying art style and exploration of what makes Christmas…Christmas. The internet has raged about the topic for years. Henry Selick, the movie’s director, stated that it was a Halloween movie to him, but it wouldn’t be the first time the internet has turned a piece of media into something completely different. Why don’t we settle the score? Here are two of the most brought up arguments in conversation.
Majority of the movie takes place in Halloween Town. Why would a Christmas movie happen in a town that gives children nightmares? Christmas movies are usually drenched in snow and bright lights, but Halloween Town is gray and dreary. On the other hand, though we’re in Halloween Town, the movie takes place during the Christmas season. Everyone is preparing for a festive time, as the citizens of Halloween Town also attempt to do. That’s the hallmark of any Christmas movie.
The characters of the movie are all ecstatic about Halloween, planning an entire year in advance. I don’t know about you, but I think about my costume year round. The spirit of Halloween was definitely in all their hearts. They might’ve taken joy in scaring the crap out of small children, but it’s joy all the same. However, the main character, Jack Skellington, is so moved by the Christmas spirit that he attempts to create it in Halloween town. He bolsters the other inhabitants to embrace it, too. What’s more Christmasy than that?
Whether you side with Christmas or Halloween, how about a truce? Just until New Year’s. Why are we even fighting each other? The real threats are the people who believe The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Thanksgiving movie. Now that’s scary.