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Tim Burton & the Holidays



I’m sure what his obsession is with overlapping Christmas and Halloween, but I’ve always noticed many of Tim Burton’s films embrace this concept. The three prime examples are Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman Returns, and Edward Scissorhands. For me, the two holidays are so drastically different that the only reason to place them together is for the striking juxtaposition, but let me take a closer look.


I also can’t help myself but try to attempt to classify them as movies I would rather watch leading up to one holiday or the other. Even though Nightmare Before Christmas is the most middle of the ground of his films, I enjoy it more during Halloween. After all, Jack Skellington the Pumpkin King (iconic!) is our loveable protagonist, not the big man himself.


Batman Returns is an interesting one as the plot-oriented scenes are more Christmas themed while the fight scenes are dark and gothic. It’s almost as if you could edit it into two movies, one gothic action, and one intriguing Christmas mystery.

Out of the three, Edward Scissorhands is perhaps the most ‘confused’ of the three. I say this because it’s a dark comedy set during a seemingly never-ending suburban summer where a steampunk creation turns the town into a Christmas-like wonderland. There’s a lot going on, right? Despite the majority of the setting looking more like summer than Christmas, the very end of the film clearly breaks into the magic of the season when Edward carves an angel from ice and makes it ‘snow’. The stark contrast between scenes of haunted houses and horrific suburbia makes this a truly unique and delightfully surprising film. Other than satire, I don’t think I would dare box it into a holiday movie.


By and large, I tend to enjoy most of Burton’s memorable films during Halloween rather than the Holidays. The darkness behind even the brightest characters seems more fitting during that time of year. That being said, Halloween is every day of the year in my book! What do you think - do you prefer his films more during Halloween or Christmas or both?


Your friendly neighborhood Horror Enthusiast and Game Director,

- Matthew 😈

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