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