Since its release in 1993, fans have loved the stop-motion animated musical masterpiece that is Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. With characters like the ever-dashing and charismatic Jack Skellington, the independent and lovable Sally, and the spooky and hilarious Oogie Boogie, alongside a plethora of other captivating characters, viewers quickly fell involved with the songs and story.
The story focuses on Jack, the Pumpkin King, who is growing restless with scaring people and Halloween as a whole. But once he stumbles upon Christmas Town and the wonder associated with it, he wants nothing more than to take the roll of Santa Claus and have Christmas all to himself. After some misadventures, Jack realizes his true calling with Halloween and ruling Halloween Town, and the end of the movie shows him returning to his position of Pumpkin King.
However, this has raised the debate as to whether The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween movie or a Christmas classic, and the answer is simple. While the movie does have Christmas in its name, it is clearly a Halloween movie. If you have never seen the movie or still aren't in the same boat that the movie belongs to the spooky season, here are some reasons why it is clearly for Halloween.
1. The director literally said so.
At a 2015 Q&A panel at the Telluride Horror Show in Colorado, Henry Selick, the director of The Nightmare before Christmas, made his stance on the matter very clear. Selick is quoted saying "Oh boy…It's a Halloween movie" after a young fan asked which holiday he believed the movie belongs to. He did acknowledge the fact that a lot of people like Christmas Town more than Halloween Town, but he also said that he had to tell the truth: and the truth is the movie is about Halloween, the people of Halloween, and how they react to something like Christmas. Well said, Selick, well said.
2. The release date was in October.
The film premiered at the New York Film Festival on October 9th, 1993. Afterward, it also had a limited release on October 15th and a wide theatrical release on October 29th of that same year. Just in time for Halloween and a little too early to be intended for Christmas.
3. The iconic song "This Is Halloween"
The opening song to the movie is the ever iconic "This Is Halloween," a song that you never seem to forget once you listen to it. While there are definitely other memorable songs in the movie, there is a reason this song is the introduction to the rest of the movie and that is because it's to set up the fact that this, my friends, is a Halloween movie.
4. The characters as a whole
The characters in this movie all have a semi-spooky vibe. Yes, they are lovable and goofy, but there is definitely something to be said about a cast made up of a Skeleton Pumpkin King, a ragdoll/zombie/scarecrow hybrid, a mad scientist, a personified boogeyman, and the many other ghouls and goblins dancing around during the film. And that something is that they belong to Halloween, just like the movie they belong to.
All the clear and obvious proof that it is a Halloween movie aside, we can all agree that, no matter what season it's meant for, "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is an amazing movie and we should take any opportunity we can to watch it.