OPINION: Is ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ a Christmas movie?


Miles Johnson, Editor in Chief

My favorite Christmas movie is Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and it wasn’t until I recently brought it up in class that I realized there was a debate on whether or not it was a Christmas or Halloween movie. I’m here to settle this debate because it’s obviously a Christmas movie.

If you haven’t seen the movie, it follows Jack Skellington, Halloween Town’s Pumpkin King. The day after Halloween, he discovers a mysterious holiday called Christmas, so naturally he decides he wants to kidnap Santa and do Christmas his own way.

Sure this movie takes place in Halloweentown, but it starts off the day after Halloween. It takes place during the time between the two holidays and ultimately has its climax on Christmas. If it is a Halloween movie, why is it not on Halloween? 

There is literally zero overlap between the movie and the Holiday. This is a Thanksgiving movie before it is a Halloween movie.

This movie is also about the holiday of Christmas. It is Skellington wanting something more and finding out that thing is Christmas, so he decides to kidnap Santa and send him to the boogieman. 

The whole of Halloweentown is getting ready for Christmas, making presents, decorating trees, the whole kit and caboodle. I have never seen a Halloween movie where everyone was getting ready for Christmas.

There would be absolutely no reason for a Halloween movie to be about getting ready for Christmas. Every single Christmas movie I watched as a kid was either about the days getting ready for Christmas or about the day of. If you still think this is a Halloween movie, get checked.

Once Skellington is ready he takes off in his makeshift sleigh and skeleton reindeer and gives kids creepy and sinister gifts like huge snakes and evil dolls. The government gets mad because he ruins Christmas with his presents and shoots his sleigh out of the air.

In his wreckage, he reflects and realizes he should stick to Halloween. If there were one instance where someone could possibly argue that this movie is about Halloween, it would be this moment right here.

But this climax is on Christmas Eve with Skelington, in a Santa costume, after giving every kid a bunch of presents. So it’s a Christmas movie. 

To save Christmas (which is something that never happens in a Halloween movie) Jack has to rescue Santa from the boogieman. Once he’s free, Christmas is saved because Santa quickly gets to his sleigh and gives all the kids there presents. 

Overall, I’m tired of the slander and ridicule I get when watching this movie during Christmas time. This is a Christmas movie. Sure there are some spooky Halloween themed components to it, but it’s about Christmas.