Box art for The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas

  • Rated PG
  • HD and SD formats available

children & family

Enter an extraordinary world filled with magic and wonder -- where every holiday has its own special land ... and imaginative, one-of-a-kind characters!

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 7
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
4 out of 5
Sexy Stuff
0 out of 5
Violence & scariness
3 out of 5

Tim Burton magic with just a touch of scariness.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this offbeat, stop motion-animated movie is one of the great family films for all ages. That said, it does have scary Halloween creatures in it -- characters take off their own heads and limbs, and there are skeletons, nasty toys, and a creepy villain named Oogie Boogie. A Christmas tree even burns up. Some little kids who aren't old enough to distinguish this fantasy from the goings on at Halloween (or those prone to nightmares) might steer clear, although you can always pause the TV and talk about what's scaring them. The special 3D version is identical in content and storyline to the original, but the enhanced visuals may add marginal spookiness and could further blur the line between fantasy and reality for some younger kids.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about why we celebrate the holidays we do. What does your favorite holiday mean to you? Has anyone ever tried to ruin one of your holiday experiences, and how did you overcome that? When you get tired of something, what are some creative ways to bring excitement back into it?
  • Why did Jack's experiment fail? Is it fair to expect people who have done something the same way for a long time to change quickly? Could Jack have tried his ideas a different way?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: inspiring, wacky, and infused with Burton's unique romanticism suffused with, but not subsumed by, a gothic sensibility

- Andrea Chase, Killer Movie Reviews, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: This full-length animated movie was shot in stop motion, with all the febrile, twittery fascination that the medium exerts; it has a magic-toy shop feeling, with unexpected objects stuttering into life.

- Anthony Lane, New Yorker, Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fresh: The script's non-stop momentum suits the roller-coaster photography -- and the punchy running time brings things to a close before eye-strain sets in.

- Ben Walters, Time Out, Thursday, January 26, 2006

Audience Reviews

3 stars

I remember seeing this in the theater as a kid. The main thing I remember is it's the first movie I saw with my mom where she fell asleep. I didn't think it was all that great at the time. However, time has been good to this movie. It's pretty much a cult classic now(hell my brother Matt has all kinds of merchandise). When I got a 3D TV, I knew I would wanna get this on 3D Blu Ray. In 3D, this is a whole new experience. The animation bursts off the screen, especially the Boogie Mans song scene. If you haven't seen it, the story is about Jack the Skeleton, the pumpkin king of Halloweentown. One day in the woods he stumbles through a door into Christmas town. He falls in love with Christmas and wants to have Christmas apart of Halloweentown, and things get crazy from there. By far, one of the weirdest, oddest animated movies ever. But, it is highly creative, imaginative, and a true one of a kind film. May not be a real Christmas classic, but it does hold up well, and the songs are catchy as hell. Re-watching this after all these years was like revisiting an old friend.

- fb100000145236770, Saturday, December 24, 2011

3 stars

The problem with this is that it's both a Christmas film and a Halloween film and that doesn't really work. At Halloween it's too early to be thinking about Christmas but at Christmas it's too late to be thinking about Halloween and you just want pure Christmas. It is a good film with a good story and morals but it just didn't work for me.

- StarCrossedVoyager, Monday, December 26, 2011