With February quickly approaching, some may be grappling with the sad fact that the holiday season is officially behind us. Luckily, there's one last chance to relive the holiday cheer and it's all thanks to Netflix. With tons of movies and shows coming to and leaving Netflix in February 2018, there's definitely one you should catch before it's off the streaming service at the end of the month: The Nightmare Before Christmas. Get your popcorn and candy ready, because it's about to be Halloween in January.
This 1993 stop-motion classic tells the tale of Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, who wants a more fulfilling life and thus tries to take on the duties of Santa Claus. It's nostalgic, spooky, whimsical, uplifting, and just plain fun to watch. Although the movie highlights Halloween and Christmas, this really is the perfect time to watch it (along with Tim Burton's other Halloween-themed flick Corpse Bride, which is also leaving Netflix in February).
Now that New Year's Eve has come and gone, it's really time to say farewell to the holiday spirit, at least for a little while. For Halloween lovers, the beloved holiday isn't for another eight months, and Christmas lovers have to wait a whopping 10 months for the most wonderful time of the year. This movie is, of course, enjoyable all year long, but watching between autumn and winter really enhances the experience, another reason to catch it now before the hot summer months arrive.
Nightmare Before Christmas also has an inspirational message that's perfect to watch at the start of a new year. Jack Skellington (played by Chris Sarandon and Danny Elfman) and Sally (Catherine O'Hara) are both dreamers. They aspire to be more than the lives set out for them by trying new ventures and exceeding expectations. Even though Jack fails at bringing Christmas joy (killer jack-in-the-box toys aren't fun), he at least gave it his all and wholeheartedly explored it. And Sally, who has an overbearing owner and creator, escapes him to live the life she wants.
There's also interesting history attached to the film that fans of it might not even know. Although stop-motion technology dates back to the '60s, Nightmare Before Christmas was revolutionary in that it was one of the more widely released films of its kind (at the time), and earned $50 million domestically on its first run. It gave way to other fan-favorite stop motion films like James and the Giant Peach (1996), Coraline (2009), and Corpse Bride (2005).
Re-watching the movie also calls for finding some unearthed fun facts and trivia about Nightmare Before Christmas. Did you know Jack made cameos in director Henry Selick's later films? Or that the plot was rumored to be inspired by the mixup of holiday decorations in stores?
Plus, it's never too late to get in on a good Twitter debate, and this movie has certainly caused some of those. Last Halloween, Twitter users were in an uproar debating whether Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween or Christmas movie. The debate was prompted when the director spoke about the film at a Q&A, saying it's really a film about Halloween that has Christmas in it. "I'm drawing a line in the sand," one Twitter user wrote. "The Nightmare Before Christmas is a CHRISTMAS MOVIE and there is no debate." Others argued it's a Thanksgiving film, smack dab in the middle of Halloween and Christmas.
Regardless, the film has become a cult-classic for a reason. Nightmare Before Christmas empowers viewers to embrace their uniqueness, weirdness, and lust for life. And that is something that can certainly be enjoyed in January and really all year long.