“What’s this? They’re hanging mistletoe, they kiss? Why that looks so unique, inspired!”
At the midway point between Halloween and Christmas you can grantee that Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is on every children’s television channel and family channels.
For those of you who have never heard of this classic children’s movie, it’s an animated children’s story set to music by Tim Burton who has also done blockbuster hits such as “Beetlejuice” (1988), “Edward Scissorhands” (1990), and “Sleepy Hollow” (1999). His style is dark in appearance but light in content.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” takes place in Halloweentown where the Pumpkin King, Jack Skellington, realizes he is disgruntled and tired of the routine in his life. After wandering in the forest all night he comes across multiple doors that lead to portals representing each American holiday. He falls into Christmasland and quickly is fascinated with the tradition. He comes home to Halloweentown and convinces the town to participate in their own Christmas but the situation quickly turns dangerous when Oogie Boogie rears his ugly head into the story.
Tim Burton’s characters represent typical Halloween creatures such as skeletons, mad scientists, scarecrows, witches, vampires, and even naughty trick or treaters but the music and the sense of community in Halloweentown and Christmasland gives the story a cozy feeling, All in all, it’s a wonderful story full of curiosity, conflict, and even a small love story.
But of course, high school goths and punks have fled to their headquarters of Hot Topic to buy the endless merchandise “The Nightmare Before Christmas” has provided. This includes everything you could ever think of; hoodies, shirts, key chains, backpacks, underwear. Let me say that again. Underwear.
Normally I’m fine with merchandise that depicts cartoon characters, but not when it comes to Jack Skellington. Every single depiction I’ve seen of him on appeal shows him looking evil with furrowed eyebrows and a stringy smile. This just doesn’t look right, but more importantly, it doesn’t represent what the movie is about. I have similar issues with Disney Princesses.
Jack almost ruins Christmas by making his own Christmas, mostly because he kidnaps Santa Claus, but not because he’s evil and wanted to destroy Christmas. He wanted to experience the joy Christmas brought to the people in Christmasland and bring it home to the people he loves. He wanted his Christmas to be absolutely perfect, but the fact of the matter is that the people of Halloweentown experience joy from finding a foot “rotted and covered with gook” while other people don’t.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is about a journey and discovery of limitations. Jack isn’t evil, he simply sees and experiences joy in scary events. His ideal Christmas involves wreaths that eat people and ducks with bullet holes chasing children. He expects other people, such as those being chased, to experience the same joy.
So when goths and punks alike go around wearing clothes with an evil Jack Skellington on their clothes I feel a slight tug on my heart strings. I grew up with Jack and he means so much more to me then “I’m going to destroy Christmas”. I won’t start screaming and ripping people clothes off, but I refuse to wear anything that depicts Jack as such. That’s my commitment to Jack Skellington.
Category: TV and Movies