Unpopular opinion: ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ is a Halloween movie


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Many people refer to “The Nightmare Before Christmas” as a Christmas movie, but columnist Janyce-Monique Johnson believes it’s a Christmas movie.

By Janyce-Monique Johnson, Columnist

I have heard many people refer to “The Nightmare Before Christmas” as a Christmas movie, and I have seen it listed on Christmas movie lists, but I disagree. While Christmas is mentioned in the title and throughout the movie, I do not consider this movie to be a Christmas movie.
Many of us adore this popular spooky Tim Burton film because we love Jack Skellington, and the songs are infectious. In the movie, Jack grows tired of the mundane routine of scaring people. He discovers Christmastown and decides to take over, giving a spooky twist to this jolly holiday and making himself Santa Claus.
First off, all the main characters (Jack Skellington, Zero, Oogie Boogie, Sally) are citizens of Halloweentown, and the movie consists of characters that are skeletons, ghosts, franken-creatures, mad scientists, werewolves, witches, which are all Halloween-themed characters. The only character relative to Christmas is Santa Claus, and he spends most of the movie kidnapped by Oogie Boogie.
Songs within the movie such as “This is Halloween,” “Oogie Boogie’s Song,” and “Kidnap The Sandy Claws” are spooky and Halloween-themed. There are a few songs that one could argue are ‘Christmas songs’ such as “What’s This?” and “Making Christmas,” but they aren’t exactly songs I listen to when it’s Christmastime.
The poster for the movie includes a full moon and a field of Jack-o-lanterns, and the title includes the word “nightmare,” which supports the Halloween/spooky theme.
Another clue that “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a Halloween movie and not a Christmas movie is looking at the other animated Tim Burton movies such as “Corpse Bride” and “Frankenweenie,” which both give the same spooky Halloween ambiance.
The movie has a dark theme to it, and while Jack is trying to be a good Santa Claus, he ultimately fails because he gives children toys that terrify them instead of delighting them. At the end of the movie, Jack realizes that he is better suited for his role as king of Halloweentown.
So as Halloween approaches, consider rewatching a Halloween classic like “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”