Unfortunately, The Nightmare Before Christmas is today the subject of over half Hot Topic’s dreadful merchandise (not scientifically proven). I don’t like the film because “nobody understands me,” I like it because its a mysterious, out of the ordinary, classic Christmas movie, one that adds not only to Christmas mythology, but all holiday canon.
Jack Skellington is the Pumpkin King in Halloween Town, and thus is highly respected by its residents. He loves Halloween, but is tired of the monotony all an all-Halloween lifestyle. Reflecting on his life, he walks all night through the woods, eventually ending up on the edge of his Halloween-themed world. He finds the magical doors to other worlds he’d not known about before. Upon opening the Christmas door, Jack is drawn into it through a magical flurry of snowflakes and transported to the snowy, colorful Christmas Town. His pleas for something new are met and from his new found inspiration, he decides Christmas needs a touch of Halloween this year.
Whether you watch it at Halloween time or during the Christmas season, The Nightmare Before Christmas is first and foremost a Christmas film. As a child, I didn’t understand the art style Tim Burton employed for his creatures. The monsters of Halloween Town were created for a child-audience, but the choppy way they moved and the grotesqueness of their mannerisms was unnerving to me. Years later, I greatly appreciate stop-motion films, The Night Nightmare Before Christmas being the very best. This story could not have been told in any other art style. The way they move about and the texture in every detail of their world give the film a palpable pleasure.