Trick-or-Tree: Movie provides transition from buckets of candy to milk, cookies

Lucy Raleigh

It is Halloween, or is it Christmas? Many people (much like myself) are still bummed out about Halloween being over. Now that it’s almost pointless, and kind of pathetic, to still be watching Halloween movies, it’s time for the inevitable switch to the insurmountable pile of Christmas movies that has been idly waiting in the back of the closet along with all the dusty tree ornaments and stockings.

For people still missing Halloween but ready for what’s next, there is a perfect movie to fit just such criteria. Creative genius Tim Burton has produced and directed tons of movies in past years, but out of all these films, one shines unlike the others. The Nightmare Before Christmas, a beautifully made stop-motion musical about a mopey skeleton looking for something new, is the perfect Halloween-to-Christmas transition movie.

The Nightmare Before Christmas features Jack Skellington, the bored Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who is sick and tired of the same-ole routine of scaring humans out in the real world. The film kicks off with one of my favorite movie introductions, an intriguing introduction read by Christopher Lee, pulling viewers into the story with the sight of the mysterious holiday trees, each with their own door shaped like a symbol from their holidays – an egg for Easter, a pumpkin for Halloween, a Christmas tree for Christmas, and so on.

As the Halloween door opens with a creak, audiences are pulled into the life of Halloween Town on their best night, Halloween. The ever famous song “This is Halloween” can make anyone excited to watch the rest of the movie. There are plenty of other great tracks in this film, that add fun sing-alongs for all ages like “Jack’s Lament”, “What’s This?”, and “Oogie Boogie’s Song”. This adds charm to an already fantastic movie.

The film is filled with dynamic and devious characters, like protagonist Jack Skellington, the caring and charismatic rag doll-like creation named Sally, the fascinating two-faced (an allegory to most politicians being two-faced) Mayor of Halloween Town, and the spooky and devilish boogey man named Oogie Boogie. These characters not only make the film what it is, but since the film’s release in October of 1993, have also built a huge franchise of action figures, Halloween costumes, household items, apparel, and tons of other commodities are still produced and thrive today.

Of course, creating a film with a booming line of merchandise is no oddity for Disney, the multimillion-dollar film company that lives off of the aftermath of popular films. Box office revenues are never enough for Disney, and the more popular a film is, the longer it will live on in stores and our hearts. It’s just nice that this film exists as a contrast to all the princess movies, providing once again that Disney has something for everyone.

Apart from the beautiful stop-motion, perfectly imperfect characters, and fun soundtrack, there is a lot of dark and crude comedy sprinkled throughout the film, some things I didn’t even catch until a year or two ago. Even though this is a Disney movie, that didn’t stop Burton from letting his imagination run free in the making of this movie. The film contains jokes that are bound to make you giggle and chuckle, even after countless rewatches.

So before people delve into the Christmas season and begin the constant Christmas movie feed, take the time to transition smoothly with a cup of hot cocoa and some leftover Halloween candy and watch the timeless flick, The Nightmare Before Christmas.