In Octobers past, I would journey through the swirling leaves to my local movie shops in search of a copy of The Nightmare Before Christmas. The perfect choice for Halloween movie viewing. Or so I believed. I searched the aisles and walls of DVD's in Blockbuster, in Video Difference, in HMV, in Music World, even in Wal-Mart, only to be greeted with the same resounding: "No". "No, we don't stock that movie until a little closer to Christmas. It's actually a Christmas movie. Sorry." Christmas movie? But it's The Nightmare Before Christmas, I reasoned. Unsuccessfully. Bewildered, I would return home empty-handed to console myself with the Treehouse of Horror and the Great Pumpkin.
Until this year . . .
Yes, this year a new DVD version of said movie was released. And released, no less, in October, putting a merciful end to my futile quests and, once and for all, answering that age-old question: is it a Halloween movie or is it a Christmas Movie? Happily the answer is: Yes! Yes, the classic tale of Jack and his identity crisis is a Halloween movie. Of course it is. But, if, like some of us, your Halloween movie-viewing was dominated by classic Universal monster movies and you simply weren't able to fit it in before October 31st, no problem. It doesn't have to remain on the DVD shelf until next autumn. No. Because this tale of goodwill is also a Christmas movie. Equally enjoyable with a glass of eggnog as with miniature chocolate bars. Halloween or Christmas. Halloween and Christmas. You simply can't watch it too many times. And you'll want to save some eggnog for (arguably) the best scene in the movie in which one of Jack's well-intentioned but miguided Christmas presents, a giant snake, devours a silver aluminum Christmas tree. Classic.