The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton has always been a debate among the community, that debate being whether the film is a Christmas or Halloween movie. A poll was taken at Bonneville High School, which collected over a hundred responses, to investigate what the student body believes to be true; the winner was Halloween.
While Halloween won the poll by approximately 20%, a new option, Thanksgiving, stood out with 5% of the 160 replies the form received; Halloween was 46%, Christmas was 17%, and various answers were given. Multiple reasons were given such as it includes Christmas and Halloween in the movie, Thanksgiving is the common connector between the two, since it is advertised a lot between the two holidays, and more. But over all, the most repeated answer was the spooky season and its undead protagonist.
However, the classic by Burton has an interesting story behind it, especially behind the character Jack Skellington and the words sung by him. The music for The Nightmare Before Christmas was composed and sung by Danny Elfman, a music composer for many movies such as the 1989 Batman, the 2010 Alice in Wonderland, and even the 2022 Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. The movie had a personal tie to the composer and also another personal tie to the director. Burton confirmed that The Nightmare Before Christmas is indeed a Halloween movie, explaining his side to the story as he wanted to create a movie that was not all that spooky like his other movies such as Corpse Bride, Beetlejuice, and Edward Scissorhands, but had that tie into the fall and winter seasons for others to enjoy which then created the film the community all knows.
This movie has brought the seasonal debate to a large number of people, including one of the teachers at Bonneville, Ashley Yorgason. Yorgason stated, “[The movie] starts off as Halloween, and it’s him trying to bring Halloween into Christmas.” A multitude of reasons helped influence this, including the advertisement of the movie around the spooky season of October and the influence of friends and family around others. She also mentioned that, “Subconsciously, I feel like it’s a Halloween movie because it’s always advertised first to Halloween—but then again, Halloween comes first in the Holiday Season list before Christmas.”
Other students' opinions from the poll voiced pretty close to Yorgason’s statements, the most popular being the main character is that of a “Halloween” creature and just being a good movie year-round to watch, especially during the fall and winter season. Thus, it brings back the question: The Nightmare Before Christmas: Halloween or Christmas?
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