Is the Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween or Christmas Movie?

Is the Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween or Christmas Movie?

Bird Gurden, Writer, Photographer

Usually when you think of Halloween movies you think of horror movies, like Jason or Michael Myers. And when you think of Christmas movies you think of Santa Clause, reindeer, snow or even gingerbread men. You can clearly see the difference between each of the holiday movies. Personally, I haven’t seen an Easter Bunny in a Valentine’s day movie. But there is one film no one is quite sure which holiday it belongs to. The Nightmare Before Christmas has been a popular, hit movie for people of all age groups since it came out in 1993. It’s a classic!

With all of the spooky looking characters you would think that it would definitely be considered a Halloween movie, but you also have to think about the plot of the film. A character named Jack Skellington, The Pumpkin King, is named Halloween’s spirit patron. Basically like Santa for Christmas or Cupid for Valentine’s day. He then wanders into the forest where he finds different holiday themed doors, one specifically leading to Christmas Town. Jack steps into Christmas town and falls in love with all of the sights and ideas of Christmas. When he came back to Halloween town he wanted to embrace the new ideas, which included kidnapping Santa Claus so Jack Skellington could take his place on Christmas Eve. The town gets to work making their presents and decorations for all of the kids in Christmas town. Then on Christmas night, Jack sets off to deliver all of these horrifying gifts to the children, causing families to get scared and call the police. The police in turn, called the military to shoot down this “imposter” Santa, Jack Skellington. Jack’s heart changes and he wants to save Christmas by saving Santa from the Oogie Boogie Man. He saves Santa and saves Christmas and both if the holidays turn back to normal. 

You can see how the film could go either way when it comes to deciding whether it is a Christmas movie or a Halloween movie. Most of all of the main characters are creepy and spooky, something you would expect from a Halloween movie. “This is Halloween”, “Dr. Frankenstein” and “Kidnap the Santy Clause” are some of the most iconic songs from the film, all which are about Halloween. The film includes all three of the songs dedicated to Halloween. There are no songs dedicated to Christmas in the film either. You also have to take into consideration when the movie was released. The Nightmare Before Christmas was released on October 29, 1993, only two days before Halloween. Even some of the team that was a part of making the movie said it was a Halloween movie. 

But if you look at the evidence behind it being a Christmas movie, it makes sense too. The timeline of the film takes place around Christmas time. Also, the peak of the film is on Christmas Eve. There is a ton of Christmas spirit in The Nightmare Before Christmas. The joy sparked by Christmas in Jack Skellington and all of the other characters in the movie was undeniable. With all of the celebration of Christmas in the film, it could definitely pass as Christmas movie. 

At the end of the day, it’s an enjoyable movie that you can watch anytime of the year. But personally, after reading articles from the team of The Nightmare Before Christmas and other’s opinions and reasons, I think it’s a Halloween movie, but that’s just me.