Is The Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween
movie or a Christmas movie? Sure, viewers of all ages can indulge in the
stylish animated film for months on end and still be in season, but no matter when you
watch, there are probably some things you notice in the holiday classic as an adult. It’s no secret that Nightmare Before Christmas
writer and producer Tim Burton is a huge fan of classic monster films. Early in his career, he directed the animated
short Vincent, in which a young boy dreams of becoming like his idol, the beloved classic
horror master Vincent Price. “He doesn’t mind living with his sister, dog,
and cats. Though he’d rather share a home with spiders,
roots, and bats.” Shortly after, Burton directed the short Frankenweenie,
which would be expanded to a full-length animated feature in 2012. In both versions, a boy named Victor Frankenstein
resurrects his beloved pet dog. This love of monsters of movies past comes
through loud and clear in Halloween Town, where The Nightmare Before Christmas takes
place. The entire populace is monstrous in appearance,
and adults will notice that they’re frequently references to specific literary and film monsters. Dr. Finkelstein, the mad scientist who created
Sally and helps Jack conjure up a skeleton sled team, very obviously draws on Burton’s
love Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Just about every monster in town is a reference
to a classic: Igor, the Wolfman, Mr. Hyde, the Undersea Gal, Mummy Boy, the Vampires. You name a classic, and you’ll find them living
in Halloween Town. There aren’t a whole lot of kids movies about
having a midlife crisis, but The Nightmare Before Christmas is an exception. Jack’s been the Pumpkin King for far too long
and sees himself stuck in a rut. He feels bored with his life, so he haphazardly
throws himself into a new obsession. He assumes responsibilities that no one has
asked him to take on and makes a mess that basically spans the entire world. For the most part, kids aren’t at risk of
reaching a point where they feel completely stagnant in their lives. The theme of facing an existential void and
dealing with it in destructive ways probably isn’t too accessible to kids, though they
can probably appreciate that Jack is seeking adventure in some way. For adults, it’s far easier to notice the
real-life emotions at the heart of Jack’s misguided actions. Throughout The Nightmare Before Christmas,
viewers witness a mostly one-sided romance in which Sally, in an endless effort to prove
herself to Jack, is continually subjected to his oblivious nature and one-track mind. Obviously, children recognize a romance budding
here, but it takes an experienced heart to notice that Sally’s giving way more than she
should for a guy who’s so wrapped up in his own existential problems. Sally’s sweet nature and desire to do good
are admirable traits to have, but for most of the movie, they’re wasted on a pretty selfish
guy. Sally struggles with feeling acceptance and
joy in her life in Halloween Town in much the same way Jack does, but her solution is
to try to make connections and help people instead of wandering off and leaving her responsibilities
behind. “I’m restless! I can’t help it!” “It’s a phase, my dear. It’ll pass.” Because this is a children’s movie, Jack and
Sally get together in the end, and it appears as though Jack has begun to understand how
his actions have consequences. We hope. Until he discovers Thanksgiving town or something. Granted, Sally’s obsession with someone she
barely seems to know leads to her creeping around tombstones to get a look at him, poisoning
her boss, falling asleep outside his house, and throwing herself out of windows…but
that’s another problem entirely. One of the most adult-oriented gags in The
Nightmare Before Christmas is the character of the Mayor, a squat, two-faced humanoid
who’s entirely uncertain of how to proceed with just about anything in Halloween Town
without assurance from his constituents. Most kids won’t pay close enough attention
to politics to understand what makes the idea of an incompetent mayor quite so funny, and
a little bit scary. The Mayor’s smiling public face contrasts
with the horror-stricken one on the other side of his head, a conceit that tells the
viewer he’s performing for the public when he really has a host of fears about how the
town is run and his responsibility to keep it running in an efficient manner. When the Mayor approaches Jack’s home with
plans for the following year’s Halloween celebration and Jack doesn’t answer, the Mayor loses his
cool. “Jack, please! I’m only an elected official here, I can’t
make decisions by myself!” Politics and hideous monsters have never gone
together so well. Except in real life. Much like politics, most child viewers probably
don’t have much first-hand experience with casinos. This is, of course, Oogie Boogie’s entire
focus, surrounding himself with slot machines, roulette wheels, and killer cards. When Oogie rolls the dice and announces “Snake
eyes!” it’s probably safe to say that the kids watching only really get value out of
the snake that actually emerges from the dice, and not what that roll means from a gambling
perspective. Nor would they gain much insight when Oogie
bangs on the table to reset the dice to read eleven, a much more desirable roll in this
context. But why a miniature gambling world in the
middle of a place that’s focused entirely on monsters and Halloween mayhem? What’s the connection? The scenes in Oogie Boogie’s lair are some
of the most fun, but it’s interesting to notice that in this town where the dreams of childhood
Halloween reign supreme, the most feared monster lives in a grown-up world with high stakes
that serve only himself. When Jack falls into Christmas Town and leaves
overwhelmed by his excitement in this new place, he gets the wild idea that he should
try to make Christmas his own. Without understanding the first thing about
this strange new land, he attempts to engage in research, but without ever asking any inhabitants
of Christmas Town for their own input or advice. He just takes an entire holiday, no questions
asked. “This year, Christmas will be ours!” Of course, this arrogant need to just appropriate
whatever he wants ends up in disaster, with Jack being shot at as he attempts to spread
Christmas cheer throughout the land. It’s only then, after he’s almost blown apart,
that he finally realizes he’s in way over his head, and he actually decides to ask Santa,
who he kidnapped earlier, what the heck Christmas is even about. Santa, the person who’s actually immersed
in the traditions of Christmas Town, decides to share those traditions with Jack. It’s a much more genuine interaction that
Jack’s attempts to straight-up steal the holiday, and it introduces the good practice of seeking
out the advice of those with firsthand knowledge on a subject, rather than blundering your
way through something blindly. Kids might not see that message outright,
but adults will notice, and hopefully the nuance sticks with younger viewers as they
grow older. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
movies are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

Things In The Nightmare Before Christmas Only Adults Noticed

38 thoughts on “Things In The Nightmare Before Christmas Only Adults Noticed

  • October 20, 2019 at 10:00 pm
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    It's a Thanksgiving movie

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  • October 20, 2019 at 10:02 pm
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    Hi shout me out I love your vidioes I watch them every day

    Reply
  • October 20, 2019 at 10:03 pm
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    this movie is the reason why i love both halloween and christmas i love this movie the dark humor is perfect

    Reply
  • October 20, 2019 at 10:03 pm
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    Shout me out kkkkknnnnnnooooooowwwwwww

    Reply
  • October 20, 2019 at 10:06 pm
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    It’s a st Patrick’s day movie

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  • October 20, 2019 at 10:08 pm
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    I like the new music in the background

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  • October 20, 2019 at 10:10 pm
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    It’s for Halloween AND Christmas

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  • October 20, 2019 at 10:10 pm
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    So am I still a child since I never understood those deep hiden meanings until now?

    Reply
  • October 20, 2019 at 10:13 pm
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    I remember when this film was released under the touchstone pictures banner originally

    Reply
  • October 20, 2019 at 10:19 pm
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    Hey Looper, what's the name of the music you use to back these videos? I love it and want to hear it by itself.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2019 at 10:25 pm
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    Appropriating something without any understanding and making a mess of it..
    In it's own twisted way; The Nightmare before Christmas,
    has done what Disney is doing with Marvel comics and Star Wars…
    Then they don't seek the advice of ones with knowledge on the subject;
    but only listen to the rantings of self centered fools!!

    Reply
  • October 20, 2019 at 10:58 pm
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    It’s a Halloween and xmas movie…..well it is to me anyway

    Reply
  • October 20, 2019 at 11:13 pm
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    It was released in October 1993 so was intended for halloween. Also jaidenanimations agrees

    Reply
  • October 20, 2019 at 11:25 pm
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    What's your favorite movie from your childhood?

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  • October 20, 2019 at 11:32 pm
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    It is both holidays' movie.

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  • October 20, 2019 at 11:34 pm
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    This video is a HUGE reach. 👎

    Reply
  • October 20, 2019 at 11:38 pm
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    Honestly. I found the mayor a perfect politician, as he listens to his constituents

    Reply
  • October 20, 2019 at 11:38 pm
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    I just finished watching "Simpsons jokes I didn't get as a kid" now this lol

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  • October 20, 2019 at 11:50 pm
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    Sally only gave a damn about Jack because he was popular.

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  • October 21, 2019 at 12:02 am
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    Well you heard it here … If you having feelings for someone and they don't feel that way about you, that makes them selfish

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  • October 21, 2019 at 12:14 am
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    I never considered this a 'kids' movie necessarily

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  • October 21, 2019 at 12:35 am
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    I love this movie.

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  • October 21, 2019 at 12:35 am
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    Funny thing is when I went to GameStop they had pop figure of Jack skeleton as a vampire.

    Reply
  • October 21, 2019 at 12:41 am
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    One of my faves of all time

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  • October 21, 2019 at 12:55 am
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    Favorite movie as a kid right up there with Saving Private Ryan

    Reply
  • October 21, 2019 at 1:08 am
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    1. Night before Christmas
    2.bugs life
    3.toy story 1-4
    4.lion king original
    My best kid movies 😍😍😍😎😎

    Reply
  • October 21, 2019 at 1:15 am
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    The mayor is a two face politician

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  • October 21, 2019 at 1:25 am
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    *Mid-Death crisis.

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  • October 21, 2019 at 1:40 am
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    I never thought this was a movie for kids, it is a movie for young adults to help brainwash them into early Christmas purchasing. Spend earlier, spend longer spend more!

    Reply
  • October 21, 2019 at 4:33 am
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    What is that music in the background?

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  • October 21, 2019 at 5:28 am
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    It's both.

    Reply
  • October 21, 2019 at 6:49 am
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    Leftist View

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  • October 21, 2019 at 6:50 am
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    It's not culture appropriation it culture appreciation

    Reply
  • October 21, 2019 at 8:07 am
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    I still don't know why Mr. Oogy Boogy wanted Santa. Friggin weird, and Oogy Boogy is just a sack full of bugs. 🙄😤

    Reply
  • October 21, 2019 at 8:23 am
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    well, people blunder and believe in religion blindly sooooo

    Reply
  • October 21, 2019 at 8:39 am
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    Looper, babe, did you ever think that if Jack is culture appropriating, maybe then Hollywood and The Nightmare before Christmas is culture appropriating Christmas and all Hollows Eve & All Hallows Day?
    Joe Pesci; "DID YOU EVA' THINK THAT HUH?!!!"
    😁

    Reply
  • October 21, 2019 at 9:19 am
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    Dr. Finklestein isn't merely a take on Dr. Frankenstein – he's also referencing a character from a far more mature film: Dr. Strangelove. I think it's obvious, a wheelchair-bound genius wearing opaque black-lensed glasses…

    Reply
  • October 21, 2019 at 12:56 pm
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    What is the music in background plz?

    Reply

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