This `Nightmare’ gets claimed by two holidays

The debate on whether ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ is a Halloween or Christmas movie has been been going on for three decades.
The debate on whether ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ is a Halloween or Christmas movie has been been going on for three decades.
The spooky spirit of Halloween dominates this film

One of the classic animated films, The Nightmare Before Christmas is fundamentally a Halloween movie, regardless of the film’s title. 

While the film does incorporate elements of Christmas, it does so within the framework of Halloween, resulting in a unique experience that has firmly established its status as a Halloween classic.

The film teems with elements that align it with Halloween. The main storyline revolves around a skeleton named Jack Skellington, who is the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, stumbling onto Christmas Town. He decides to take over the holiday by adding elements of Halloween into Christmas. 

This is not a Christmas movie because the holiday is typically associated with joy, love, and celebration. The spirit of Christmas is about family, kindness, and the magic of giving – but the mood of this movie is dominated by darkness. 

The Nightmare Before Christmas is filled with Halloween-themed characters, such as Oogie Boogie, the Boogeyman, and Sally, the rag doll. Their personalities align with the spooky nature of Halloween, rather than the warmth and cheerfulness of Christmas.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the movie, as it was released in October 1993 – right before Halloween. The film’s legacy as a Halloween classic has grown over the years and it has become an integral part of Halloween celebrations, with many fans rewatching it during the season. 

Its popularity during the Halloween season can also be seen when the movie returns to the theaters each October, and its characters are widely recognized as popular Halloween costumes. 

It’s a Christmas movie about new traditions

Without Jack Skellington’s voyage to Christmas Town, there would not even be a movie called The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The majority of the film is primarily focused on the topic of Christmas and how Skellington shares this experience in Christmas Town with his town, Halloween Town. This defeats the idea that Nightmare is a Halloween movie. 

The thought of solely and continually celebrating Halloween exhausts Jack Skellington, so he reaches an epiphany with his exposure to Christmas for the first time. The climax of the film is Skellington going to the extreme lengths of kidnapping Santa Claus to bring the festivities of Christmas to Halloween Town.

Though the beginning of the film breaks into song about the wonders of Halloween, the plot dramatically changes to focus on the festivities of Christmas time. 

The main message throughout the film is to explore other traditions and forms of merriment. This justifies the claim that the movie is intended to be a Christmas movie. 

Though the characters of the movie include typical witches, vampires, ghosts, and werewolves, the film also incorporates elements commonly found in Christmas films, such as elves, presents, Christmas trees, and snow. 

Halloween town is a grand part of the film; however, it is far from the major focus. Plus, “Christmas” is in the title of the film. 

This film is about abolishing narrow mindedness and being receptive to the exploration of new customs, traditions and celebrations. 

Despite the people of Halloween town being seemingly scary, they are just as worthy of having Christmas-like ideals introduced into the foundation of their Halloween festivities. 

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