The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my all time favorite movies. The music is great. The images are striking. The story is creative and unlike anything that's ever come before it, or since. That said, HOLY SHIT DOES IT HAVE SOME PROBLEMS. Have a look at the 10 things that still bother me about the Nightmare Before Christmas:
1. Where the F*CK is Hanukkah Town?
I'm sure I'm not the first person to point this out but when we see the doors to all the holiday worlds, there's a LOT missing. We get a look at the entrances and, besides Halloween, all of the celebrations are based in Christian traditions (Christmas, Easter, St. Patricks Day, (St.) Valentines Day) OR they're American celebrations (Thanksgiving, July Fourth). Literally, the vast majority of holidays celebrated by the vast majority of the human population go unrepresented, which feels just the teensiest bit fucked.
2. What is the point of Halloween Town?
The movie seems to imply that the purpose behind each of the individual holiday worlds is to facilitate the celebrations in the normal world, but unlike Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, nobody in Halloween Town really does anything. You'd think that on All Hallow's Eve, all the ghost and goblin residents of Halloween would be off roaming the Earth, scaring children or some shit, but that's not the case. The film opens on the holiday, and everyone is just sitting around town, far, far away from any humans. Actually, while we're on the subject...
3. For a city entirely devoted to the holiday, Halloween Town doesn't really seem to know how to celebrate it.
Their entire Halloween seems to consist of them setting Jack on fire, riding him down town square on some strange wooden horse, and watching as he jumps into a fountain. I don't know about you guys, but I usually just trick-or-treating.
4. How is Jack the Pumpkin King?
Much of the movie deals with the fact that Jack has been given this vague title of Pumpkin King that he's grown tired of. "I'd give it all up, if I only could," he croons in the song "Jack's Lament." So, what's stopping him from leaving it all behind and retiring to some spiral laden pumpkin patch somewhere? Well, the song implies that Pumpkin King is a title that goes to the scariest resident, of Halloween Town, and as Jack say "There are few who deny, at what I do I am the best..."
Well I guess I'm gonna have to be one of the few because, straight up, homeboy is not the scariest one. He's a skeleton in a suit. He doesn't even crack the top 10. I mean, The Thing Hiding Under Your Bed anyone?
Even if you argue that just because he's not the most innately scary resident of Halloween Town doesn't mean he's not the best at scaring, I still call bullshit, because he describes what makes him so terrifying and it basically boils down to the fact that he's pretty good Shakespearean actor....I've seen Shakespeare plays and, though unpleasant, I didn't find them particularly frightening.
5. How is Sally Psychic?
There's a lot of supernatural stuff going on in Halloween Town, so to be upset that one of the characters has unexplained magical powers might seem just a tad bit nitpicky. That said though, what the fuck? I'm all for magical powers, but they have to make sense in context. When the witches fly at the beginning, I'm totally okay with that because there's a longstanding tradition of witches flying. That's not the case with Sally who is some sort of Frankenstein looking ragdoll creature which, as far as I know, does not imply precognitive abilities in any way. I have no problem with mystical premonitions, but they have to be explained in some way.