Is 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' a Christmas Movie or a Halloween Movie?

Usually, it’s pretty easy to tell which holiday a movie is celebrating. First of all, it generally takes place during said holiday and the characters usually celebrate or at least mention said holiday during the movie. Sure, there are exceptions to this rule, but usually the debate is whether or not the movie in question qualifies as a holiday movie at all.

Take Die Hard, for example. The 1988 action classic takes place on Christmas Eve, at a company holiday party, and characters certain celebrate and otherwise make note of the special day during which the film’s action is set, but there are many who don’t consider the movie to truly count as a Christmas movie, mostly because there are significantly more explosions and violent deaths than outright acts of holiday spirit.

When it comes to debatable holiday movies, however, there is one film that’s in a category all its own: The Nightmare Before Christmas. Why? Well, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who’s seen it and doesn’t believe that the stop-motion classic isn’t a holiday movie. But there remains a great deal of debate among fans about which holiday it celebrates: Christmas or Halloween. This is due to the film’s plot, which revolves around Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town and patron spirit of Halloween, who decides that he’s fed up with that year-round All Hallow’s Eve life and hatches a scheme to kidnap Santa Claus and take over Christmas (with the help of the rest of the residents of Halloween Town, of course).

It’s a debate that’s divided people IRL and on Twitter for years now:

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