By Hugh Brown
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, NY – The age old debate concerning 1993’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is still asked in 2018. Many people argue that the dark “Tim Burton style” would make the film a Halloween movie. Others argue that the fact that the film is about delivering presents on Christmas makes it a Christmas movie. Most try to say that the film is both.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is unequivocally a Christmas movie. Despite the horrific settings and characters, the overall plot is what classifies it. It’s a classic Christmas film plot; the main character needs to put on the Santa clothes and save Christmas. It’s been parodied countless times and it’s honestly surprising that the film even has anything new to add to the main idea.
The setting and characters being halloween-esque figures does not mean it is a movie about Halloween. A movie about Santa celebrating St. Patrick’s day is not a Christmas movie. The film’s positive themes and messages about Jack Skellington wanting to be Santa is very “Christmas” in nature.
If this is a movie you like to watch before Halloween, more power to you. The truth is, it’s ok to see it as a Halloween movie, but the film is still to its core a Christmas movie. The themes and characters are sweet and redeeming; not cold or scary. I mean there’s even a cute dog.
The film, for those who haven’t seen it, is worth a watch. It is very similar to Burton’s other animated films; weird with a sense of sincerity. It is wonderfully voice-acted (which is an overlooked aspect of animated films).
The most important part of this film is watching it when you want and enjoying hours of stop-motion filmmaking and great direction. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a 90s classic either way you watch it.