A Spooky Season Classic

Image Source: movies.disney.com

Spooky season is upon us! This is the time of pumpkins, trick-or-treating, and all the candy your heart desires. It’s also the time of aesthetically accurate books and movies to fill up your days until Thanksgiving. Halloween movies have a special charm that make the mood feel right, even if you’ve already seen them a million times. There’s a comfort in re-watching a scary movie, knowing how it ends but just simply immersing yourself in the dark world of the story. Nightmare Before Christmas is one movie that I watched this month which comes with a difference of opinion over whether it should be considered for Halloween or Christmas. The title would imply a Christmas movie but the overabundance of skeletons, jump scares, and overall creepy tone of the movie makes it perfect for October. Personally, I feel that, regardless of which month you want to reserve it for, the wholesome spooky vibes are simply immaculate with this film. 

Being that the movie came out in 1993 and is considered a classic of the genre, I’m sure most people are aware of the plot. Jack Skellington (the Pumpkin King!) goes on a journey of discovering the Christmas season and learning valuable lessons about himself and others. It’s a great feel-good story. But I want to talk about the elements of the movie that turn it from a heartwarming tale to an iconic film. The animation, character design, and worldbuilding all work in tandem to appeal to people of any age. It’s delightfully whimsical and visually stunning to watch. The side characters, such as Jack’s ghost dog Zero, Sally’s “father” Doctor Finkelstein, and, of course, Oogie Boogie, as well as the other residents of the town, create an atmosphere within the film that’s well-rounded and bring the world to life. Paired with musical numbers, the movie becomes enchanting to witness. 

Now, I’d like to take a moment to talk about my favorite part of this film: Sally! While the story builds up Jack and Sally’s relationship, ending with them falling in love, they take extra care to flesh out Sally as her own character. She really embodies an aspect of humanity that many of the other Halloween Town characters lack, which is her goodness. She was created by an evil scientist who wanted to keep her locked in her tower, a la Rapunzel, but she managed to grow into an empathetic and caring person regardless. Throughout the whole movie, before we’re even properly introduced to the characters, we see how Sally uses her intelligence to escape her circumstances and fight to be her own person. She’s constantly trying to help the people around her, especially Jack, despite the fact that he doesn’t pay her much attention due to his own worries. Jack may be the protagonist but Sally feels like the heart of the story.