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Nightmare Before Christmas Director Addresses Holiday Movie Debate

As the creepiest season draws to a close, The nightmare Before Christmas director Henry Selick focuses on the holiday movie debate. Every year, about mid-September, the country prepares for the upcoming holidays, with the two largest taking over the last quarter of the year: Christmas and Halloween. It is during this time that movies and specials for the occasion are prepared. As time goes by, it’s a wonder how anyone can find the time to watch their favorite Halloween movie or Christmas special in time for the year to come to an end. Fortunately, Henry Selick and Tim Burton’s classic, The nightmare Before Christmas exists to fulfill two holidays at once.


Premiered in October 1993, The nightmare Before Christmas became an instant classic for its animation and subversive plot about the residents of a Halloween-loving town who decided to take over the joyous Christmas holidays. Despite Disney giving the film a limited release, it has become one of their most recognizable and memorable films in their long history. The nightmare Before Christmas managed to squeeze out an entire franchise with a comic book adaptation, toys, video games, song covers and plenty of inspired works from fans and professional entertainers. While the film continues to enjoy success years later, the question remains whether the film should be considered a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie, and now the man at the helm of the Burton-produced stop-motion film is sharing his thoughts on the subject. .

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While speaking with ComicBook.comHenry Selick explained his take on the holiday movie debate surrounding The nightmare Before Christmas. After directing the film, he found that the film worked for both holidays regardless of when it was the right time to watch it, while also stating that most people seem to have their own ideas about when to watch the film. and that they managed to make a film that fits both holidays. See Selick’s explanation below:

At the very beginning, when Tim Burton came up with this original idea at Disney in the ’80s, when it was supposed to be a half-hour TV special in stop motion, at the beginning I thought of it as a mashup, that it’s both… Then when we actually made the film as a feature, I may have tended to answer one way, but I got to the original feeling. It’s a mash up. It’s a perfect clash between those two vacations. So there is no better answer than both. It’s both, and it’s its own thing. It’s a big party of Halloween that can last until Christmas.

How The Nightmare Before Christmas Represents Christmas And Halloween

The nightmare Before Christmas was conceived by Tim Burton after witnessing store employees removing Halloween decorations and replacing them with Christmas decorations. The two clashing decorations inspired him to write a poem he pitched for Disney. He planned to make it into a short film or TV special that would feature Vincent Price, but the idea fizzled out and Burton was fired. After finding success outside of Disney, he returned and this time was allowed to turn his idea into a feature film with Selick appointed as director. The film became a holiday classic shared on both Halloween and Christmas.

While Burton and Selick are known for their stark tastes, they’ve succeeded with The nightmare Before Christmas because it perfectly captures the essence of the dark surreality of Halloween, but also the bright and joyfulness of Christmas. The fact that the film is enjoyed on both holidays is testament to the time and attention the filmmakers had to portray both times of the year. Both Burton and Selick have since moved beyond working with Disney, but their contribution to the most twisted holiday movie will continue to intrigue new and old viewers as it’s available to stream on Disney+.


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