I love this.
At the Telluride Horror Show in Colorado, they hosted a screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas with the director of the film, Henry Sellick, sticking around for a Q&A. A little girl in the audience asked point blank the number one most common (and really, most pointless) debate-sparking question about the movie: Is it a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie?
Straight from the horse’s mouth: “It’s a Halloween movie.”
The Nightmare Before Christmas has always been a September 1st viewing tradition for me – at least since it was re-released on DVD and Blu-Ray a few years ago. I’ve seen the theatrical re-release in 3D – during October. And at a coffee shop I used to work at the movie played on a loop around Halloween time to set the mood. “Christmas” may be in the title, and serves as the crucial plot point, but I’ve personally never bought into the whole “you can watch it for Halloween AND Christmas!” logic. Apart from the single musical sequence set in Christmas Town, this feels like a Halloween movie. It revolves around Jack Skellington – the Pumpkin King – and his Halloween Town cronies making a mockery of Christmas. I simply can’t emotionally associate this movie with Christmas.
So, not that it really matters, but the director of the movie agrees.