Debate: The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween classic

The film’s composer and director says it’s a Halloween movie, and it is

Jack Skellington from the Tim Burton classic. (Disney/ Press Photos)

Jack Skellington from the Tim Burton classic. (Disney/ Press Photos)

Henry Selick and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is a holiday fantasy centred around Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king from Halloween Town who stumbles upon Christmas Town and plots to abduct Santa Claus. It is a fan favourite filled with laughter, magic, and music. 

The question lies in whether The Nightmare Before Christmas is better suited to watch during Halloween or Christmas time. Of course, such a debate exists. Christmas is in the title, but the movie overrides with aesthetically spooky elements.

You have the right to believe what you want. Sure, the movie has Christmas elements, but the dominating aesthetic is quite creepy. I mean, there is a zombie child who has his eyes sewn shut. It doesn’t get spookier than that.

This movie is definitely the best for watching during the scary season, not the merry one. 

Let’s go all the way back to 1993. Nothing says a movie is made for Halloween than the day it was released. On Oct. 29, 1993, The Nightmare Before Christmas was released two days before Halloween, and two months before Christmas.

It is also the physical setting and characters that make this movie perfect for this time of year. 

For most of the movie, the characters are set in “Halloween Town” and the spooky residents of the town are both the stars and heart of the film. 

We also cannot forget about the music. Tim Burton is known for hiring Danny Elfman, who made these classic tunes. 

The soundtrack is gold, and three of these songs feature characters who aren’t afraid to voice their confusion about Christmas and the merry traditions. To me, three separate songs that are anti-Christmas spirit doesn’t seem very merry to me. 

It isn’t just me who believes that this movie is better suited for this season. Even the creators of this movie believe the same thing. You can’t disagree with the people who brought this movie to life in the first place.

Elfman and Henry Selick, the film’s composer and director, have publicly agreed over the years that this film is a Halloween movie. 

Christmas has a lot of movies dedicated to it already, and there are not many movies for kids in the horror and spooky genre. 

Also, did I forget to mention that Jack is literally the “Pumpkin King”? Though the movie highlights Jack moving away from what he is and trying to be something he is not, there is no denying that Jack will always be the Pumpkin King. 

This debate has gone on for 28 years after the release of the movie. No matter what you believe, and while there are good arguments on both sides, there is no denying that the spooky setting, the chilling songs and gestures, and iconic characters seal this as the best movie for Halloween time.