Is 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' a Christmas or Halloween Movie

This is kind-of a poll but it’s a movie poll so I’ll put it here. The subject kind of says it all.

I love The Nightmare Before Christmas and it’s time to introduce my kids to it. I have always been torn, though, about whether it’s a Christmas-themed Halloween movie or a Halloween-themed Christmas movie.

Should we be watching this in October or December?

Christmas-themed Halloween movie. I never get why it’s considered a “Christmas movie” - the whole movie is about the denizens of Halloweentown taking over Christmas and making it scary! The only stereotypically Christmassy part is when Jack first lands in Christmastown.

We watch it while carving pumpkins each year.

It’s perfect for Thanksgiving.

I think of it as a Christmas movie. But since the characters are nearly all Halloweeners, you should introduce your kids to it right about now, and keep it in rotation through December.

My son and I first saw it when he was about 2 1/2, and he still watches it a few times a year.


Ooh, that’s what I was going to say. That stretch between Christmas and Halloween. Thanksgiving.

They are re-releasing it tommorow in theatres as a 3-D version so I guess that would qualify it as a Halloween movie.
Oh, and in case you don’t already own the DVD don’t bother to look for it. It’s been discontinued and pulled from the shelves. Who know’s when it’s going to be re-released on DVD?

Just what I was going to say. Watch it for Halloween and then watch it two months later for Christmas.


The movie starts on Halloween and ends on Christmas. Most of the scenery and art direction is all about Halloween Town, but the plot revolves around Christmas being taken over.

FTR, Disneyland decks out the Haunted Mansion in Nightmare garb for the Christmas season, not for Halloween.

It’s a holiday movie. It’s OK to watch it anytime between late October and New Years.

Which is the genius (at least in the sense of making Disney money) of the film. There are some Thanksgiving/Christmas movies, but Christmas and Halloween are sort of at polar opposites of the holiday spectrum. NBC is one of the few (only?) Christmas/Halloween movies, and so can be shown anytime during the Holidays without raising accusations of trying to “rush” Christmas to urge people to start holiday shopping early.

Actually, they do it for both.

Huh. OK. The last time I looked at a schedule for that it ran for the same dates as the rest of the Christmas decorations.

It’s a Floor Wax AND a Dessert Topping!

I consider it a Halloween movie because it’s all about Jack learning the true spirit of Halloween rather than the true spirit of Christmas. He learns nothing about Christmas (or at least a lot of really distorted things about Christmas)…

What? Did you watch the same movie I did?

He does learn the true meaning of (secular) Christmas. Giving, loving thoughtful presents, like Sally does through the whole movie. Santa comes and brings CHRISTMAS to Halloweentown at the end. They get to have sno-ball fights and play hockey. (very Christmass-y) and one presumes that Santa brings thems gifts although I think Santa may have a difficult time with the naughty/nice list. No word on if the Elves get to have Halloween next year or what precisely happens to the Easter Bunny.

Jack, becomes re-energized about Halloween. He was suffering job burnout but he always knew the true meaning of Halloween.

You got Halloween on my Christmas!

You got Christmas on my Halloween!

Gotta ask. What’s the true meaning of Halloween? Is there one besides The Day Before All Saints Day?

I’ve got no clue, but the story structure is built around Jack being disillusioned with a holiday, doing things poorly, and then things becoming dramatically better when he embraces it. 99.99% of movies that follow that arc are about the character learning the “true meaning of Christmas” so obviously Jack learned the true meaning of Halloween.