The Nightmare Before Christmas Director Addresses Whether It Is a Halloween or Christmas Movie (Exclusive)

While there are a number of movies that are considered a staple of the Halloween season, there are also plenty that fans dive into as we head closer to the winter holidays, though part of what makes The Nightmare Before Christmas such a beloved experience is that it can be enjoyed in honor of either event. Social media being what it is, however, means that fans feel they need to take sides on whether the film is more of a Halloween movie or more of a Christmas movie, with director Henry Selick confirming how he feels it's equally appropriate for either holiday. Selick's latest film, Wendell & Wild, hits Netflix on October 28th.

"At the very beginning, when Tim Burton came up with this original idea in the '80s at Disney, when it was intended to be a half-hour TV special in stop-motion, at the very beginning, I saw it as a mashup, that it's both," Selick confirmed with "Then subsequently, when we actually made the film as a feature, I might have tended to answer one way, but I've arrived at the original feeling. It is a mashup. It is a perfect collision between those two holidays. So there's no better answer than both. It is both, and it's its own thing. It's a great celebration of Halloween that can last all the way into Christmas."

In regards to the passionate following the film continues to develop each year, Selick noted, "It seems to work. People are still watching it."

The premise of the film sees Jack Skellington feeling obligated to be a mascot for Halloween, even if he doesn't particularly feel that excitement in his heart, instead exploring the ways in which he could become a representative of Christmas and the traditions of that celebration. With the film's narrative opening on Halloween and continuing through December 25th, it feels like an appropriate watch for this entire timeframe.

The voice of Skellington, Chris Sarandon, offered a similar response to the debate back in 2019.

"Why can't it be both?" Sarandon shared with "I know that there are a lot of fans who come up to me saying, 'We watch it every Halloween,' and I have fans that come up and say, 'We watch it every Christmas,' I have fans who come up and say, 'We watch it at both Christmas and Halloween.' What's the debate? It's what pleases the people who watch it most, the audience, that's what's important. It's the fans. It's the people who it had a profound effect on over these years."  

Back in 2015, however, Selick took a more firm stance when he told a crowd that it was a Halloween movie.

Wendell & Wild is described, "From the delightfully wicked minds of Henry Selick and producer Jordan Peele, comes Wendell & Wild, an animated tale about scheming demon brothers Wendell (Keegan-Michael Key) and Wild (Peele) -- who enlist the aid of Kat Elliot -- a tough teen with a load of guilt -- to summon them to the Land of the Living. But what Kat demands in return leads to a brilliantly bizarre and comedic adventure like no other, an animated fantasy that defies the law of life and death, all told through the handmade artistry of stop motion."

Wendell & Wild hits Netflix on October 28th.

When do you watch the film? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!