It’s usually pretty easy to tell what holiday a movie is celebrating. first of all, it usually takes place during said holiday, and the characters usually celebrate or at least mention said holiday during the film. Sure, there are exceptions to this rule, but the debate usually turns to whether or not the movie in question qualifies as a Christmas movie.
Take Iron Man 3, for example. The 2013 Marvel classic takes place at Christmas as the film’s resident hero, Robert Downey Jr. goes through a kind of identity crisis around the holidays. There’s Christmas decorations and plenty of hot chocolate (and Disney+ even caused quite a stir when it added it to the Christmas category), but few consider the film to be a Christmas movie, mainly because there are so many more villain brawls, dangerous explosions, and avengers. deaths than any Christmas cheer. Unless it’s a typical Christmas at his house, we’ll go ahead and say that’s not exactly in the Christmas spirit.
However, when it comes to debatable Christmas movies, there’s one movie that’s in a category of its own: The Nightmare Before Christmas. why? well, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who’s seen it and doesn’t think the stop-motion classic isn’t a Christmas movie. But there is still a big debate among fans about which holiday it celebrates: Christmas or Halloween? This is due to the plot of the movie, which revolves around Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town and patron spirit of Halloween, who decides he’s sick of the year-round Halloween life. and hatches a plan to kidnap santa claus and take over christmas.
is a debate that has divided people both on twitter and on the internet for years:
so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to expose both sides of the debate and settle this issue once and for all.
everything that points to the nightmare before christmas being a christmas movie:
If you’re at #teamchristmas, the best evidence in your favor is definitely the overall spirit of the movie.
The characters in The Nightmare Before Christmas are deeply affected and moved by the Christmas spirit… even if they don’t fully understand the traditional version of the Christmas spirit.
The true driving story of The Nightmare Before Christmas is the Halloween Town characters’ obsession with Christmas and the discovery of the Christmas spirit. many argue that this means that, thematically speaking, it is definitely a Christmas movie.
the movie is set mainly during the Christmas season.
the setting (time-wise, more on other types of settings in the movie below, in the team’s halloween movies section) is very christmassy. the movie takes place during the time between halloween and christmas, which means that most of the action actually takes place during november (a fact some mavericks have latched on to and declared it…wait for it…a movie thanksgiving). But the folks at the Christmas crew are quick to point out that the real heart of the story falls on Christmas Eve, which they say makes it firmly a Christmas movie.
everything that points to the nightmare before christmas being a halloween movie:
Just because the movie takes place on Christmas doesn’t mean everyone thinks it’s meant to be a Christmas movie. The most common pieces of evidence given by #teamhalloween members are the physical environment and the characters that star in the film.
meaning, most of the movie takes place in halloween town, and the residents of halloween town are, without a doubt, the stars (and heart) of the movie.
the film has three songs in which the characters express their confusion about Christmas traditions. Not quite Christmassy, if you ask me!
the release date of the movie is also compatible with team halloween.
See also: Watch Why Him? 123Movies
The film was originally released in theaters on October 29, 1993, just in time for Halloween, but well before the holiday movie season (which usually kicks into high gear in mid-November).
people who made the nightmare before christmas tend to think of it as a halloween movie.
If you’re on the team’s side of the Halloween movie debate, you’re in good company: Many people involved in the making of the film have gone public in recent years proclaiming the classic to be a Halloween movie.
danny elfman, the film’s composer, has even gone on record as saying that it is a halloween movie.
During a 2019 interview with USA Today, Elfman made his stance on the film’s true Christmas spirit very clear, explaining:
henry selick, the film’s director, also says it’s a halloween movie.
this is perhaps the strongest argument that the nightmare before christmas is, in fact, a halloween movie.
“oh boy,” selick responded when asked about the film’s holiday status during a 2015 question-and-answer session at colorado’s telluride horror show film festival. “it’s a halloween movie.”