“The perfect movie to watch at Halloween doesn’t exist” – let us stop you right there. While it may have the name of a completely different holiday in the title, The Nightmare Before Christmas is the absolute perfect movie to watch in October. And you have a great excuse to watch it again in December! The stunning stop-motion animated movie was released in the US 30 years ago – on October 13, 1993.
Commonly referred to as Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, the film was actually directed by Henry Selick. The complicated story behind the scenes is that Burton conceived of the story (initially as a poem) and characters, and was a producer on the movie. But it’s really the combination of Selick, Burton, and composer/singer Danny Elfman which makes The Nightmare Before Christmas one of the best movies – period – of all time.
The Nightmare Before Christmas utilizes what must be the most painstaking type of animation – stop-motion. It required 120 workers across 20 sound stages to produce over 100,000 still images which were then stitched together to make the family movie.
With The Nightmare Before Christmas now being 30 years old, it means that people who watched it as kids are now growing up and sharing it with their children – it appeals to very young children, but that doesn’t stop it from being a scary movie for kids. A healthy dose of ‘safe’ fear is good for kids – we swear! But we might be saying that because some of use grew up watching the likes of Return to Oz – shudder.
The Nightmare Before Christmas is now a pop culture behemoth that has controversially taken over the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland, and you can’t move for toys, clothes, lunchboxes and other Jack Skellington merch. But that can’t take away from the fact that the movie itself is quite possibly the best Halloween movie.
Be sure to also check out our guides to the best Disney Halloween movies and to the best horror movies. We’re also very much looking forward to Wednesday season 2, as Tim Burton did such a good job of directing the first season. Find out what we know so far about Beetlejuice 2.