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Entertainment & Media

The Nightmare Before Christmas - A Reaction

Rachel Ezeadichie

Volume 4 Issue 1

November 6, 2023

The Nightmare Before Christmas - A Reaction

Image provided by Tim Burton and Rick Heinrichs

As the spooky season rears its ugly head and Halloween draws closer and closer, people are starting to rewatch older Halloween movies to get into the spooky mood. The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of the most well-known Halloween movies to date and is still very popular. The Nightmare Before Christmas is a 1993 stop-motion film not directed by Tim Burton contrary to popular belief but by Henry Selick who also directed Coraline. Although he didn’t direct the movie, Tim Burton produced and wrote its story. Production of the movie started in 1991 and was finally completed in October 1993. That Halloween season marked the first of many years of merchandise, costumes, and the movie’s popularity. 


The Nightmare Before Christmas takes place in Halloween Town. A dark, scary place where its residents prepare for Halloween each day. Our protagonist, Jack Skellington, is the representative of this town. He is respected and revered, but something is missing. We follow Jack as he travels outside Halloween Town for the first time and discovers Christmas. He feels as if he has discovered a part of him that was missing.  We watch as he tries to introduce Christmas to Halloween Town and even attempts to replace Santa Claus himself. He kidnaps Santa Claus and takes over Christmas, trying to deliver presents all over the world. While Jack tries to prepare for Christmas, Santa is taken by Oogie Boogie, an evildoer in Halloween Town, and is held captive. Despite his efforts, Jack’s attempts to replace Santa fail and he is unable to deliver all the presents. Through his failure, Jack realizes that he doesn’t need to take over Christmas when he can fully appreciate Halloween Town and what it has to offer him. He returns to Halloween Town to free Santa Claus from Oogie Boogie so Santa can save Christmas. 


Overall, the movie is an enjoyable watch and great for a comfortable Saturday in autumn. The stop-motion animation creates a cozy feeling that, despite the movie’s Halloween theme, makes it feel a lot more Christmas-y. Stop motion is a difficult animation style that requires each scene of the film to be shot photo by photo, with someone moving each figure after every picture. Knowing this, I have such a large amount of respect for the people who were a part of the production of this film. This animation style fits the movie perfectly and helps create the nostalgic feeling the movie has today. Not only is the animation impeccable but the compositions are just as great. The Nightmare Before Christmas is a musical and each musical number was masterfully crafted by Danny Elfman. Each song is so catchy; I found myself humming them for weeks after I rewatched the movie.  Even the background music makes every scene so impactful. Each song fit the scene it was in and made me enjoy the movie even more.  


The Nightmare Before Christmas is an amazing movie that I would highly recommend to anybody who hasn’t seen it. Valley Stream North recently hosted a movie night showing the movie with snacks and a dark spooky atmosphere for you to enjoy. Even if you missed the showing, watching this movie is definitely worth your time. Whether you see it as a Christmas or Halloween movie, one thing is clear. The Nightmare Before Christmas is a movie that will invoke nostalgia and Halloween joy for years to come. 


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