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The Nightmare Before Christmas Director Finally Reveals Which Holiday It’s Meant For

Once again, it’s that time of year when repeated viewings of Hocus Pocus, Casper and Halloweentown are all the rage. And in just a few weeks, we’ll have Home Alone, Elf and The Santa Clause all queue’d up for our hot chocolate and gingerbread-fueled movie marathons.

But there’s one family-favourite flick that always manages to creep its way into both holidays’ movie lineup. You know the one: the 1993 animated classic dreamed up by Tim Burton, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

A mainstay for horror-loving hearts, this one’s been at the center of a long-standing cinematic debate (one which we’ve thoroughly and scientifically analyzed before). On the one hand, you have Jack Skellington, Pumpkin King, and all his ghoulish friends in a Halloween world, kicking things off with a song that repeats “This is Halloween” over and over again. But on the other hand, it’s a movie about saving Christmas, starring a skeleton who becomes Santa Claus, and, you know, has the word “Christmas” in the title.

So, it’s clearly a holiday classic. But for which holiday?

Well, after 22 long years, we finally have a definitive answer to settle this debate conclusively—and it’s all thanks to one precocious little girl at Telluride Horror Show film festival this past weekend. At a Q&A with director Henry Selick following a screening of the film, a girl in the audience just straight-up asked him, “Is this a Christmas movie or a Halloween movie?”

“It’s a Halloween movie,” Selick responded, enlightening the masses.

So there we have it. According to Birth Movies Death, Selick did elaborate, explaining that it’s “a movie about Halloween, and the people of Halloween, and how they react to something like Christmas.” (Sandy Claws would totally approve).

Of course, as nice as it is to know what the filmmaker’s intention behind the movie is, there’s no rule that says you must watch it in October and NOT in December. And with a killer soundtrack that stands the test of time, why WOULD you only want to watch it once a year?!

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