The Nightmare Before Christmas: Christmas or Halloween Movie?


Courtesy of Disney

Abigail Lott, Staff Writer

The Nightmare Before Christmas has been a widely popular film for over 20 years. It has a massive fanbase, and its merchandise makes up most of the stock at Hot Topic and other stores. But it has created a large debate: Is it a Christmas or Halloween movie?

The movie was created by filmmaker Tim Burton and was released in October of 1993. It tells the story of how the members of “Halloweentown,” led by Jack Skellington the Pumpkin King, attempt to run Christmas, leading to some interesting results. The movie was made in the difficult style of stop-motion animation. It currently has 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and 8/10 on IMDB, so it is fair to say it’s well-liked. The Nightmare Before Christmas has become a classic movie for both the Halloween and Christmas seasons. All over the world, people wear merchandise from the film, and the characters have had a lasting impact on pop culture.

Because of the overlapping themes of Halloween and Christmas, it is difficult to pinpoint what category to put it in – Christmas or Halloween. In a poll that was conducted by me, 32% of takers said The Nightmare Before Christmas was a Christmas movie, while 68% said that it was a Halloween movie. Falmouth Academy students weighed into the debate. Some believe The Nightmare Before Christmas is certainly a Christmas film. 

“It’s because of where it’s placed. The beginning is Halloween, but the actual movie happens during Christmas,” said Charlotte Ray ‘23.

Wyatt Thornton ‘26 agreed, saying, “Because it talks about Christmas and him [Jack Skellington] taking over it.”

Others disagree, saying that Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween movie. Bobby Frigon ’23 said,

“It’s spooky and takes place in Halloweentown.”

Ursula Junker ’23 agreed with Bobby, saying that the main character’s name, Jack the Pumpkin King, was Halloween-like.

Whether you think it is a Christmas or Halloween movie, I highly recommend that you watch it. It is a great movie with lovable characters and a terrific ending.