October 31, 2017
Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” explores the inner turmoil we all face in the disorienting holiday season.
Are we followers of the Pumpkin King? Or may we relinquish our obsession with costumes, ghost stories and gore for a world of wondrous jolly and joy?
The movie’s multiplicity in meaning holds a mirror up to its viewers through its relatable, exposed characters, who attempt to answer these difficult questions.
Much like Sally, we are all the Frankenstein-esque monster brought forth by our creator. In Sally’s case, her creator is a wheelchair-bound scientist named Dr. Finkelstein. In ours, the larger dynamic of society has crafted each one of us according to its own diabolical will.
Our isolation from others is what drives those oppressed by their creators to look toward a figure of hope. In our case, we had Harambe; in Sally’s case, she has Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown.
Jack, the fleshless hero of the film, shows us the skeleton of society. One of our truest desires whether we admit it or not has always been, for example, to confront and dismantle the entity that is Santa Clause. Some of us want to kidnap him and prove his existence out of a desperation for truth.
But others of us want to dismantle the societal adoption of a made-up figure and stride toward a world of honesty and openness – a world where we can be honest about why we really love Halloween, whether that reason be related to alcohol use or our minimally-clothed friends.