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Movie Review: The Nightmare Before Christmas

By Emma Dorval


As October comes to an end, many students may be left feeling unsatisfied with the month’s blandness. Whether that be because of a lack of a good costume idea or because you think  you are “too old” to go trick-or-treating, as we grow older, holidays such as Halloween start to lose their magic. However, there is a very simple method that can be used to revive that special feeling from our childhood: Halloween movies. I don’t just mean the run-of-the-mill horror movies, but something that’s sweet, PG, and won’t keep you up at night for the next 2 weeks. I mean, “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” 



This year, I had the pleasure of watching the classic Halloween and Christmas fusion for the first time. There isn’t a more appropriate film as we transition out of spooky season and into the winter holidays. For those who have yet to watch the film, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” began as a poem by Tim Burton written in 1982. It’s centralized around the tale of The Pumpkin King, also known as Jack, who is the most successful skeleton in all of  Halloween Town when it comes to scaring people. While the plot is certainly light-hearted (Jack attempts to take over Christmas), it addresses some key issues in the lives of most people. Firstly, the fact that it is okay to be yourself, that you are able to appreciate the beauty in others without changing yourself to reflect who they are, and, through Sally’s support of Jack during the entire film, the fact that there will always be someone there to encourage you as you continue on the journey to finding yourself no matter the mistakes you may make along the way. The movie also features a handful of Halloween bops, including (but definitely not limited to) “This is Halloween”, “What This?” and “Oogie Boogie's Song”. In addition, it is a brilliantly executed stop motion animation that has inspired several other classic films, such as Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls. The style of the movie elicits a strong feeling of nostalgia that simply cannot be replicated with movies today. To make matters even better, the motion picture is relatively short - so short that you could watch the entire movie in one period (screen time is 1 hour and 16 minutes). This makes it the ideal movie to watch during the Halloween season, since those with busy schedules can also squeeze this timeless production into their lunch or spare. Moreover, the humour in the movie is timeless, as you will come to realize if you take 75 minutes to experience the joy of this classic Halloween movie. 



As I mentioned previously, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is the most relevant movie to watch as this season comes to a close and we begin to prepare for Christmas. While this movie is definitely Halloween-oriented, there is a nice sprinkling of Santa Claus and Christmas time that puts you in the perfect mood for November 1st. Overall, this film most definitely deserves a rating of 9 pumpkin patches out of 10. 


Sincerely, 

Emma Dorval, an ameteur movie critic

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