Is ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ a Halloween or Christmas Movie?

Touchstone Productions/ Skellington Productions

Touchstone Productions/ Skellington Productions

Well? Which one is it? Tim Burton’s ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ has been the center of many divided arguments. Released in 1993, the film stars Jack Skellington, The Pumpkin King, who yearns for something more than jumpscares and monsters. He runs into another world where he learns of a holiday completely opposite to his own: Christmas. This musical motion picture revolves around his character development as he takes over Christmas and learns to appreciate his own celebration. 

Many believe that it is solely a Halloween film, akin to Henry Selick’s “Coraline” or David Green’s “Halloween,” while others accept it as a Christmas movie along with John McTiernan’s “Die Hard” and Jon Favreau’s ‘Elf’. 

Really, the movie should be classified as both.   

Of course, the movie takes place before and during Christmas but the scenes give off a spooky feel along with the monsters the story revolves around. When the villain’s henchmen, Shock, Lock, and Barrel, kidnap the victim, they yell “Trick-or-Treat” and stuff him in a sack. The villain ends up being the Boogieman who goes by Oogie Boogie and the victim happens to be Santa Claus himself. 

The crossover between both worlds stays perfectly balanced throughout the entire movie. I’m sure we can all agree that the movie contains both aspects and can therefore be labeled both a Christmas and Halloween movie.

As Christmas draws near, do you plan to enjoy the movie for a little while longer or choose to stand by your credence?