The Nightmare Before Christmas: Halloween or Christmas movie?

The Nightmare Before Christmas: Halloween or Christmas movie?

Generally, the differences between Halloween and Christmas are pretty easy to spot. However, one film that has left us confused is the stop-motion classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas. 

We wanted to open up a discussion with our readers as to whether you would class The Nightmare Before Christmas as a Halloween or Christmas movie.

So, let's start with the basics...

  • The film is set in Halloween Town.
  • The main character is called Jack Skellington, also known as The Pumpkin King.
  • Jack's pet dog is a ghost.
  • The majority of the cast are Halloween characters. 
  • The movie was released on October 29th, 1993 - two days before Halloween.

Sounds like a Halloween movie, right?

Well this is where it gets complicated...

  • The movie is set primarily during the Christmas season.
  • The main character, Jack hatches a scheme to kidnap Santa Claus and take over Christmas with the help of Halloween Town residents.
  • The characters are deeply affected by the Christmas spirit.  

There is an ongoing discussion amongst fans about which holiday the stop-motion classic truly celebrates: Christmas or Halloween. It is a debate that continues to divide people on social media and even in real life, 25 years later.

For us at Vanilla Underground, despite the movie being released in time for Halloween back in 1993, watching Jack Skellington prance around in a Santa costume gives us all the Christmas vibes. 

However, Henry Selick, the director of the film claims that The Nightmare Before Christmas is in fact, a Halloween movie but what do you think?

Of course, there is always going to be people who will say it is both a Christmas AND Halloween movie. If you are one of those people OR are still undecided, look at this way.. The Nightmare Before Christmas is whatever kind of movie it puts you in the spirit for. 

If you want to watch it in March and it makes you feel festive, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! 

Here at Vanilla Underground we think it is a great film to watch all year around.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below! 

Skeleton thinking


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