Danny Elfman Settles Debate on Whether The Nightmare Before Christmas Is a Halloween or Christmas Movie

Audiences have long debated whether or not Die Hard, the iconic '80s action thriller starring Bruce Willis, is actually a Christmas movie. It takes place entirely on Christmas, at an office Christmas party, but really has nothing to do with the holiday. The argument could easily go both ways. That said, there's another Christmas movie debate that is even trickier to figure out, mainly because it's about multiple holidays. Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. Is it a Christmas movie, or a Halloween movie?

The movie is about Jack Skellington, the King of Halloween Town, who discovers the magic of Christmas Town and tries to bring it to his people. The Nightmare Before Christmas could definitely be a Christmas or Halloween movie, but star and composer Danny Elfman is now definitively taking a side. According to him, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween movie through and through.

“It’s obviously about Christmas, but for me, it’s a Halloween movie,” Elfman told USA Today. “Growing up, Halloween was my favorite night of the year and Christmas was a troublesome time. Into my adult years, it was a time where a bit of a dark cloud would follow me around -- probably carrying over from my childhood until I had my own kids -- and then I developed a new, brighter view of Christmas.”

“I also felt very close to Jack Skellington’s plight because I knew what it was like to be the king of my own little world and to want out of that world and want something else,” he continued. “So I felt very close to the holiday of Halloween, but also very close to Jack and what he was going through.”


When you really break it down, the movie is both about Halloween and Christmas. It takes place in Halloween Town, featuring mostly Halloween-themed characters, and it's about the joy of the spookiest holiday of the year. Then again, Christmas is in the title and Jack tries his hardest to make Christmas a popular holiday with his town.

Do you think The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Christmas or Halloween movie? Let us know in the comments!