Christmas is a great time for movies, at least those who create movies believe that Christmas is a great time for movies. The custom is that Christmas and the time before Christmas is when a flurry of new screen presentations debuts. From this creative presentation of popular artistic interpretation of what is appropriate for viewing during the Christmas season comes a developing tradition of movies to be seen for Christmas in succeeding years. Miracle on 34th Street is a tradition in many homes, as is It's a Wonderful Life, as is A Christmas Story.
A few years ago, one of Hollywood's yearly Christmas gifts was a bit different. This project, as the movie industry calls its products, was a stop action animated feature that combined aspects of our culture that we do not usually consider compatible or easy to place in the same sentence. The move is called The Nightmare before Christmas, and it does have a following that proclaims this to be a classic, of some sort. I said that there is a following that declares this movie to be a classic, but there is confusion as to how to categorize this film. Is a Christmas movie? It is and it isn't. Where does it fit?
I have to admit that I first saw this movie with some trepidation because I was not sure about a plot in which Halloween takes over Christmas would have much value. I did hear that it was fairly good, and it did have a message. I saw it and it does.
The story is interesting. In the land of Halloween where all the figures of Halloween live, the acknowledged great figure is Jack Skeleton who is bored with the sameness of Halloween. Jack accidentally falls into the land of Christmas where he is bedazzled and inspired by what he sees and experiences there.
The Nightmare before Christmas is not
considered a religious movie, but it is true that all literature is a
reflection of the author's religious and spiritual depth, even if negative,
even if incidental, even if accidental. The Nightmare before Christmas is
about the issues of darkness and light, good and evil, hope and joy. . . .
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