The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween movie

Illustration by Megan Rowe

Illustration by Megan Rowe

We’ve all seen The Nightmare Before Christmas-- the Tim Burton classic set in the town of Halloween. You probably watched it back in October, because it’s a Halloween movie. The main character is literally a skeleton nicknamed “the Pumpkin King.”

Sure, the movie features heavy holiday undertones, but would you really want to watch a gloomy, spooky claymation during christmas? I’ll answer that for you; no. The artistry and cinematography of the movie are perfectly orchestrated to fit the dark atmosphere of Halloween, not the brightness of christmas. Santa is kidnapped by some little gremlins, for pete’s sake.

The Nightmare Before Christmas is about a skeleton who is being selfish, bratty, and needy; three things that are not normally associated with Christmas. The first song is literally called “This is Halloween.” How much more proof do you need?

I went out of my way to conduct some research in order to sway your opinion on the matter. I posed a question to my social media followers on twitter and instagram to see what would get the most responses: “IIs The Nightmare Before Christmas a Christmas or Halloween movie?”

On instagram, the poll received 68 responses, with the 53 percent majority in agreeance that it is a Halloween movie. The Twitter statistics backed up these results; with 24 responses, and a 58 percent majority, public opinion couldn’t be more clear.

Cassandra Krois, a second year UMD student, is also a firm believer that the movie is solely for Halloween. “I think it’s a Halloween movie because it’s centered in a Halloween town and everything in it goes back to being about Halloween,” she said.  “When Jack attempts to bring Christmas into his town it ends up being taken over by all the terrifying gifts—when I was younger I was actually scared of the movie because of the animation and the setting. It didn’t seem “christmassy” to me in the slightest.”

The director of the movie, Henry Selick, even settled the debate and said that it is a Halloween movie.

While the movie does incorporate a lot of Christmas elements, the core of the film is focused on Halloween and the residents of Halloweentown rekindling their love for the holiday, in a weirdly twisted way.

I think it’s time for everyone to drop the act and accept the fact that the Burton classic should not be blasphemed and viewed as a Christmas movie in any sense.  

VoicesClare Cade