Art & Life

‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’: Halloween or Holiday?

Nightmare or Christmas
Graphic by Amanda Bollig.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a film regarded to many as one of the best stop-motion animated movies of all time. It reminds people of many things like 2000s-esque gothic fashion, the brilliant soundtrack and Tim Burton himself who spearheaded the production, and the topic of this debate. Should the film be classified as a Halloween movie? Or should it be classified as a Christmas one? There are many elements in this film that pay homage to both the Christmas and Halloween genres, so they are on an equal footing. Comment what you think of the points because we’d love to hear what others think as well! 

Chris’ View: The movie gives a stronger vibe toward the hallows-eve side of things for me because, a lot of aspects involved in its production were definitely meant to give the movie a darker atmosphere. For instance, the characters were all designed out of left-handed drawings so that each of them looked more unsettling, since many of those who worked on the film were right-handed. Even jolly-old Santa Claus himself has that Tim-Burton edge in his aesthetic. Most of Burton’s work is also gothic in nature, having created “Edward Scissorhands,” “Beetlejuice” and “Corpse Bride.” I believe this film belongs in his category of gothic fiction, so that makes this a Halloween film.  

Jessica’s View: Sorry Chris, I disagree. “The Nightmare before Christmas” is a non-traditional Christmas movie but still a Christmas movie. Jack discovers Christmas for the first time and want to bring it to his town as well as share gifts that his town made with the rest of the world. Jack also saves Christmas and Santa, which happens in most Christmas movies. Additionally, something happens that may cancel Christmas and the hero saves the day. Yes, things did go badly, but the Halloweentown residents learned the spirit of giving as well as how to work together to bring joy others, which is the spirit of Christmas and that is why I think “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a Christmas movie.  

Which side are you on? Sound off in the comments below and let us know your thoughts. Burton came out to settle the debate, but that doesn’t mean you have to agree. 

Image courtesy of Amanda Bollig

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