Is The Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween or Christmas movie?


Jack Skellington holding a snowflake. Image from The Nightmare Before Christmas

Alexa Palafox, Staff Writer

There’s always been a debate over Tim Burton’s movie, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and whether it is a Christmas or Halloween movie. Arguments for the Halloween side tend to revolve around the fact that it’s based in a Halloween town, and that the characters are “Halloween themed”. On the contrary, those in support of Christmas argue that it’s the meaning of Christmas, and that Jack wants to be involved with Christmas that makes it a Christmas movie. 

Out of 23 students ask, 9 say that The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween movie, whereas 12 say that it’s a Christmas movie. 2 say that it’s both a Halloween and Christmas movie, or do not have a stance on the argument. [Insert quote] The movie itself follows a dark and gloomy theme throughout the entire film, even so in Christmas town. Visually, you could say the movie gives it’s characters a “spooky vibe” making it a “spooky movie”, however, it does not necessarily mean it’s a Halloween movie, considering this is Tim Burton’s style. 

“It’s a Christmas movie because it’s about Christmas,” says Elizabeth Makahleh, junior at ALHS. “Yes it’s directed by Tim Burton, but he took the idea of Christmas and turned it into a creepy and scary movie, which is rarely seen. Regardless it’s about Christmas so it’s a Christmas movie.” Her argument, like many, showcase that the desire for Christmas in the town makes it the perfect holiday movie since the rest of us also want Christmas to arrive. The movie shows the transition from Halloween to Christmas, and how the two probably shouldn’t mix.

On the contrary, once Christmas IS attained, everything goes horribly wrong. Santa is being mistreated, Jack is scaring all the children, and the military even gets involved to shoot Jack down. “The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween movie because it reflects back to staying Halloween, rather than Christmas,” says Tony Rosa-Lobos, junior at ALHS. All in all the creator of the movie, Tim Burton himself, has addressed this issue and laid the argument to rest by telling the world that The Nightmare Before Christmas is in fact a Halloween movie.