It's a question as old as time itself (assuming time began in 1993): Is Tim Burton's stop-motion animated classic "The Nightmare Before Christmas" a Christmas movie or a Halloween movie? It has one foot in both worlds, straddling Halloween Town, the home base of Jack Skellington, and Christmas Land, Santa Claus' domain.
In the interest of distracting ourselves from just how many pieces of "Nightmare" memorabilia we own (Lock, Stock and Barrel stuffed animals? Check. Jack bone-printed hoodie? Check. The list goes on.) and to avoid the harsh reality that there are no Jack and Sally Halloween costumes that actually look good (humans just don't look like skeletons when you get right down to it), we decided to settle the debate once and for all.
Christmas? Or Halloween? Let's review the evidence.
Christmas: It's part of ABC Family's Christmas lineup!
The same holy force that somehow turned the "Harry Potter" franchise into holiday films has dubbed "TNBC" a Christmas marathon-worthy movie, which holds weight with us. But then...
Halloween: It's about Jack embracing his identity as a civic leader in Halloween Town.
If you read into where Jack ends up, as a very serious Halloween lover (and Sally-lover), this really seems to come down firmly on the side of Halloween.
Christmas: It shares all the classic Christmas movie themes.
Sacrifice, togetherness, love? Check, check, check. Jack is melancholy and struggles with the sameness of his everyday life, until he discovers the magic of Christmas. What better endorsement is there for a little Saint Nick-sponsored magic?
Halloween: It's spooky and scary.
When Disney released the movie, they decided to do so under their Touchstone Pictures banner, saying that it was "too dark, and scary for kids." Uh, doesn't sound too Christmas-like, does it? Severed heads will do that.
Christmas: The whole thing is about how great Christmas is!
Why would Jack be trying to recreate Christmas in Halloween Town if it wasn't a Christmas movie? The whole thing is stockings and presents and reindeer -- tell us that's a Halloween movie. Just try.
Halloween: It's all about Halloween.
How can you argue with the fact that the opening track is called "This Is Halloween?" "TNBC" is Halloween.
THE VERDICT: It's both!
Watch it whenever you want, guys! Watch it at Easter! (There's a bunny, it's fair game.) Split the difference and watch it on Thanksgiving! Watch it on your birthday! Watch it on a Tuesday. Do you.