‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ director reveals if it’s a festive or Halloween favorite

Jack Skellington Tim Burton
Image via Touchstone Pictures

With Halloween now less than a week away, spooky season is reaching fever-pitch as people put the finishing touches to their trick-or-treating costumes. But alongside the mountains of Jack O’Lanterns and plastic spiders, Christmas decorations are also beginning to appear on store shelves. That combination is igniting a familiar yet thought-provoking discussion: is Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas a Christmas extravaganza or a Halloween staple?

The debate has been a hot topic for many years, but director Henry Selick is here to finally put the debate to rest and reveal exactly which category the ever-popular fantasy film falls under. While chatting with Comicbook.com, Selick outlined the significance of the movie for both holidays, saying it’s “both” and can be enjoyed during each season.

“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. 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. It seems to work. People are still watching it.”

The Nightmare Before Christmas
Image via Disney

In hindsight, it’s unlikely that Selick’s comments will completely end the debates, but it’s certainly a boost of encouragement for folks to know that Tim Burton’s 1993 classic can be enjoyed by horror fanatics and yuletidephiles alike.

Who knows, maybe the dark fantasy holiday feature will even obtain a long-awaited sequel someday? Any future story could incorporate more elements of both Halloween and Christmas to bring a touch of nostalgia for lifelong fans of the movie.

For now, The Nightmare Before Christmas is available to stream on Disney Plus.