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Is Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween or Christmas Movie

Is the Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween Movie or a Christmas Movie? Let's Settle This

The Nightmare Before Christmas is an iconic holiday movie, to be sure, but one thing about the stop-motion fantasy has never been quite clear: which holiday is it really about?

Yes, a lot of the movie takes place in Halloween Town and main character Jack Skellington is the Pumpkin King, but there are also plenty of Christmas elements once Jack travels to Christmas Town. Is it a Christmas movie that happens to take place around Halloween, or is it a Halloween movie with strong Christmas themes? The debate between which is which has raged on among fans ever since the film's release in 1993 (in late October, it should be noted), so much so that director Henry Selick finally had to step into the fray.

Selick, who went on to direct James and the Giant Peach and Coraline, participated in a Q&A at the Telluride Horror Show in Colorado back in 2015 where he was asked by a little girl in the audience to settle it, once and for all. Are you ready for his answer?


"Oh boy," Selick said to the crowd. "It's a Halloween movie."

Ding, ding, ding! #TeamHalloween, let the vindication wash over you. The director went on to explain that although the story of The Nightmare Before Christmas involves quite a bit about Christmas and that he's consistently told that people "love [the movie's] Santa," the core of the film is devoted to a love of Halloween and all of the spooky inhabitants of Halloween Town. Despite Selick's response, the debate is still alive and well on Twitter, where plenty of people hashed it out in light of the upcoming holiday.

Image Source: Everett Collection
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