The Nightmare Before Christmas turns 25

This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Tim Burton’s Halloween-Christmas crossover, The Nightmare Before Christmas. The film, which premiered on October 29, 1993, has become a staple for the fall season over the last two decades.

The stop-motion animated film is actually based on a poem by Tim Burton that retells the classic poem “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” with an evil twist. The film tells the dark tale of Jack Skellington, King of “Halloweentown.” After a successful Halloween, the bored skeleton stumbles upon a portal to the intriguing “Christmas Town” and kidnaps Santa Claus. The result is a collision of Halloween and Christmas that is yet to be rivaled in the film industry.

According to Billboard, The Nightmare Before Christmas “helped define a new era of ‘monster kids,’ serving as a respite to the saccharine animated children’s films of the time,” but its glory wasn’t recognized until more recently.

In the first few years after its initial release, The Nightmare Before Christmas received less than the desired recognition from its intended audience—despite winning both the first Academy Award for Animated Visual Effects and a Golden Globe. When it was reissued under Disney’s label in 2006, the film flourished and resurfaced as a film deemed fit for children. Since then, the movie’s total box office gross has skyrocketed to $75 million, and it has been featured on television networks almost every year for the past decade. Songs from the movie, such as “What’s This?” and “This is Halloween” have been covered by Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, and Marilyn Manson alike.

Happy 25th birthday, Nightmare!