The Nightmare Before Christmas delves into what a lot of young children remember growing up – discovering the magic and wonder of Christmas.
The claymation-classic film is not usually seen on lists of top Christmas must-sees but I have fond memories of loving every moment of it and learning the fantastic Danny Elfman songs off by heart. I always keep an eye out for it on the seasonal TV listings and make sure to catch it.
The film has been subject to a long-winding debate on whether it is a Christmas film or a Halloween film. There are many arguments for both sides, but I stand with those who see it as a Christmas film – after all, the message behind the film is about celebrating Christmas and learning about it for the first time.
Tim Burton tells the tale of Jack Skellington, Pumpkin King and all-around hero of Halloween town wanting more from life than the usual routine of spiders, ghouls, ghosts, scaring and fright.
It is only upon wandering through the forest and stumbling into another world, Christmas town, when he discovers the snowflakes, sleighs, pies, roasting chestnuts, hanging stockings, bright lights, presents and Santa Claus himself that there is more out there than just being scary.
He returns home and announces he and his fellow citizens of Halloween Town will run Christmas themselves. Sadly, his friends, who have grown so used to being experts in scaring people, and they do not truly understand the meaning of Christmas and sabotage the event for an un-aware Jack.
It is then up to Santa Claus to save Christmas, with the help of Jack. After bringing toys to children across the world, Santa returns to Halloween Town to deliver one last gift – snow in Halloween Town. Bewildered at first by seeing snow for the first time, the residents of the town begin to understand the magic of the festive season.
The Nightmare Before Christmas remains one of my favourite films – Christmas or otherwise.