One of Disney’s most successful, yet unusual, films is the classic The Nightmare Before Christmas. Released in 1993, this stop-motion treat directed by famous director Tim Burton has caused great controversy over the years – is it a Halloween or a Christmas film? I’m here to provide you with the simple yet delightful answer to that question… it’s both!  

Now, this film was originally based on a poem that director Burton had previously written whilst he was working as an animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation. He had budding hopes that his quirky poem would be turned into a movie. However, Disney was not so keen on the idea and only offered him a deal where the idea would be developed into a short film or a 30 minute TV special. Burton did not accept, with his dream being the concept made into a film and after a few years of negotiating production finally began in 1991. Originally, Disney’s concern was that the film would be too dark and scary for children, therefore, they released it through its Touchstone Picture label. Due to how successful the film has become and the iconic nostalgia it has developed Disney has now claimed it as one of their own, with plenty of merchandise to be found all across Disney stores.   

During the spooky season, there are plenty of factors about this film which contribute it to be one of the best fitting films for a fright night. The most obvious would be that this film is set in Halloween town, where all of the characters are spooky ghouls that live there. Characters range from Jack the Pumpkin King (who is actually a Skeleton…), Sally our beloved girl made as an experiment by a crazy professor and the Oogie Boogie man. The gang decide to create a Halloween themed Christmas day, with all of the spooky presents and skeleton reindeer we understand why this again would be a perfect film for Halloween. However, despite the obvious which indicates to us that this is a spooky film there are elements of the film which make it a heart-warming Christmas watch.   

The most striking reason why The Nightmare Before Christmas makes for a great Christmas film is that there are elements of Christmas constantly mentioned throughout the film. First of all, our beloved Jack Skellington stumbles upon Christmas Town by accident and during this scene for the spookiness goes out the window. He sings a song intrigued by the festivity that comes with the Christmas season, and it shows us all our favourite things we love about the jolliest time of the year. Additionally, we have everybody’s beloved Santa Claus featured as a prominent character in the movie. This helps to add festivity to the film, and let’s face it, what would a Christmas film be without good old Father Christmas? Finally, due to the positive notions brought about at the end of the film where the characters realise where they belong and the importance of loving who you are; this film really brings the feel-good factor. Films that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside with elements of the festive season are the perfect combination for a fantastic Christmas flick.  

So, whatever the occasion, Halloween or Christmas, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a classic that is treasured by us all. The perfect film to watch before trick or treating, or snuggling on the sofa Christmas Eve with a warm hot chocolate. This makes it a firm favourite in our eyes. So be sure to sit back, relax and enjoy yourself some screen time with one of Disney’s most special films this holiday season.  

Posted by Sammie Hermiston

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