Movie review: A Halloween (?) classic

By Thomas Stodghill, IV

When holiday movies get brought up in conversation, one popular debate comes to mind. Is “The Nightmare Before Christmas” a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? Personally, I watch it at both times of the year.

While this is a short movie, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is not only one of my favorite holiday movies but also one of my favorite movies ever made. I adore this movie and I have some sentimental value towards it.

The movie tells the story of Jack Skellington, who becomes bored celebrating Halloween every year. After discovering Christmas Town, he wants to celebrate that holiday instead. However, he must be careful what he wished for.

This is the first of the few stop-motion films that Disney has put out, and the animation is incredible. The animators brought Tim Burton’s ideas to life seamlessly, and the characters of Halloween Town are all kooky and wonderful to look at.

The other part of this movie I enjoy is the songs. The song that introduces the movie, “This is Halloween,” is a spooky delight. Another favorite song of mine from the soundtrack is “What’s This?”, which is when Jack gets excited about Christmas.

My favorite part of the songs is how they reprise them. The reprises add a fresh twist to the familiar songs, and they do not get stale.

The characters of Halloween Town are a terrifying bunch, which I mean in the best way possible. However, I think Oogie Boogie, the antagonist of the movie, could use more screentime. He is a great singer, his design is amazing, but we never know his true motive for wanting to ruin the party.

The last reason why I love this movie is for personal reasons. In elementary and middle school, my art teacher, Mr. Norton, would put this movie on around the holiday season. Norton, or Norty as we called him, is one of my favorite teachers I had during my time in school. 

Unfortunately, he passed away after a battle with cancer in 2014. I always think of him when I watch this movie, and I will never forget him.

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a movie that holds a special place in my heart. This is worth a watch in both October and December. 


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