Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween classic


Jaycee M. Wood, Staff Writer

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a Tim Burton film that tells the story of the origin of holidays. The story takes place in an eerie town full of spooky fantasy characters.

The movie is recognized by its upbeat introduction song, “This is Halloween.” Jack Skellington is known as the Pumpkin King, and he helps the mayor of Halloween Town prepare for the season. Jack makes a scary atmosphere for the citizens each year, but he is getting tired of hearing people scream and pulling the same schemes every year. A woman named Sally, who seems to be stitched together like a doll, spies on Jack, whom she seems to love. She also longs for something more, for her creator, a mad scientist, does not let her wander from his sight.

The plot begins when Jack is sucked into a tree’s door that is shaped as a Christmas tree. Through the door is Christmas Town, which is jolly and covered in snow. Jack learns all about Santa and other Christmas stereotypes. He becomes so obsessed that he decides to return to Halloween Town and hold Christmas there. Whenever Jack gives Sally a small Christmas tree decorated with ornaments and garland, it catches on fire. However, the people of Halloween town create scary gifts and Jack has the real Santa kidnapped so that he can impersonate him. Jack goes back to Halloween Town where he gives all the children terrifying toys that attack them. The police get involved and they shoot down Jack’s sleigh, leaving him laying in a cemetery. When this happens, Jack realizes that maybe he isn’t exactly fit to hold Christmas, and he takes pride in rightfully being the Pumpkin King. The movie ends with a romantic scene where Sally meets Jack at a spiraling hill and the two characters kiss.

During this movie, I noticed the fact that Sally became worried about Jack’s idea to take over Christmas because of the burning Christmas tree she saw. This contributes to the idea of superstition. Superstition is very prominent during Halloween time, examples include black cats and unlucky incantation and symbols. Sally saw the burning tree as an unlucky sign that Jack’s plan was going to be disastrous. In the end, her concerns were true because Jack ruined Christmas.

Additionally, I took Jack Skellington’s unfortunate crash into the cemetery as a sign that he belongs with death. Jack’s nature is to thrive off of his incredible ability to scare people during Halloween. He is best at being the Pumpkin King, for whenever he tried to become Santa, he let his own talent for terrifying others get in the way. He and the other citizens of Halloween Town cannot create Christmas without adding all that they know, which is how to be chillingly frightening.

Overall, Tim Burton’s film, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” accurately depicts the beginnings of Halloween, and how exciting all of the monsters and gross mannerisms of Halloween can be. The main character, Jack Skellington, learns the lesson that trying to go outside of your shell and try something new can be tempting, but that you have to accept the consequences of your actions. Jack is very conflicted with knowing his true purpose, and in the end, he realizes his purpose is to be the Pumpkin King. I would rate this movie a ten out of ten because the animations are unique, and the storyline is heartfelt and inspiring.