The Nightmare Before Christmas Pitch Meeting: A Pilgrimage of Privilege

Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton’s beloved dysfunctional stop-motion holiday animated classic The Nightmare Before Christmas gets the Pitch Meeting treatment from Screen Rant’s Ryan George, with a radically different perspective on its privileged main character. Jack Skellington may indeed be the Pumpkin King, but this Pitch Meeting brings to light the plight of a frustrated artisan who only works a single day out of the year.

The Nightmare Before Christmas first released in 1993, and though it has always been synonymous with filmmaker and artist Tim Burton (and was based on a poem he wrote in the '80s), it was actually directed by Henry Selick. An industry veteran whose other works include the adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Coralineas well as the stop-motion animated sequences in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Selick would later work with Burton again on the adaptation of Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach.

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Since its release, The Nightmare Before Christmas has amassed a devoted cult-following, but Ryan George’s newest Pitch Meeting episode on Screen Rant's YouTube channel doesn't bother treading carefully for sensitivity's sake. With deconstructions of Jack’s casual cruelty to his romantic interest Sally, his privileged pilgrimage to Christmas Town, and his peculiar confusion about the existence of snow, this Pitch Meeting has plenty to work with.

Jack Skellington’s grinning visage might grace countless t-shirts, messenger bags, and Hot Topic accessories, but it’s hard to deny that the character is perplexingly morose, affluent, and lazy. His amazement with Christmas Town  seems entirely reasonable, yet his immediate desire to gather it up for himself can easily be construed as a kind of bumbling, yet destructive example of cultural appropriation. As for Sally, while she’s resourceful and loyal, Jack treats her horribly throughout the film, blindly obsessed with his task, while ignoring her clairvoyant insights.

Some casual fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas may have trouble forgiving Jack once they see him cast in this light. In fact, without Jack having to face any real consequences for his destructive actions, it might seem significantly clearer that the underlying message in this movie pivots around surprisingly irresponsible moral lessons. That said, this new perspective will likely do little in the way of swaying The Nightmare Before Christmas' long list of passionate fans.

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