The Nightmare Before Christmas - 1993

The Nightmare Before Christmas - 1993
Movie Info

Rating: PG


Age-appropriateness: includes ghosts, witches, and vampires; cartoonish violence, some scary images


Overview: Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.


Themes: Halloween, Christmas, holidays, taking risks, identity, faith, imagination, community, neighbors

The Quick 3

Ask these quick questions to hit the major themes of the film.

1. Taking Risks. How often do you try new things? Do you ever avoid trying new things because it might not go perfectly?

  • Jack Skellington took a risk and tried something new. He left Halloween Town and ventured into Christmas Town. Even though things didn’t go perfect, Jack took a risk and attempted to grow his skill set through new experiences.


2. Holidays. Do you prefer Halloween or Christmas? Why is one better than the other?


3. Faith. What are some things you have faith in, even if you cannot see them? What makes you believe in certain things that you cannot see?

  • Jack Skellington sings, “Just because I cannot see it, doesn’t mean I can’t believe it.” He’s talking about having faith. Faith is defined in Hebrews 11:1, as it says, "Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see."

After The Movie Discussion Guide

Follow this 5-10 minute discussion guide to drive an in-depth conversation.

1. Do you prefer Halloween or Christmas? Why is one better than the other?


2. Jack Skellington took a risk and tried something new. He left Halloween Town and ventured into Christmas Town. Even though things didn’t go perfect, Jack took a risk and attempted to grow his skill set through new experiences. How often do you try new things? Do you ever avoid trying new things because it might not go perfectly?


3. The entire town prepared for Christmas. There’s so much anticipation leading up to Christmas. We all get really excited to celebration the birthday of baby Jesus. What are some of the things you’re most looking forward to this Christmas? What’s your favorite part of the holiday?


4. Jack tried to celebrate Christmas for the first time, but the results didn’t go so well. It’s important to take risks and try new things in life, even if the results don’t go well the first time. When we learn new skills or grow as people, we have to try and try and try, sometimes failing an awful lot. If you stick to it, you can progress in your new ability. Are you ever tempted to give up if you don’t do something perfect the first time? How can you shift your mindset to see failure as a good thing?


5. Halloween Town was a tight-knit community that decorated the town and participated in celebrations together. How much do you like the community that you live in? Are you able to share experiences with your neighbors throughout the year?

Minute By Minute Guide

Use this break down of the entire movie in addition to the “After the Movie” discussion guide. Great for repeat viewings.

:07 Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween Town, dreamed of something bigger. He wanted to discover and to achieve big things. Jack didn’t want to do the same thing over and over...he wanted more. What are some big things that you’d like to discover or do during your lifetime?


:14 “What’s this?”. Jack discovers Christmas Town. He’s amazed by the new world he’s exposed to. When was the last time you were delighted surprised by a new experience?


:25 Jack was trying to find a way to explain Christmas to his friends. They weren’t quite understanding the meaning of Christmas. How would you explain Christmas to someone who’s never heard of it?


:33 Jack Skellington sings, “Just because I cannot see it, doesn’t mean I can’t believe it.” He’s talking about having faith. Faith is defined in Hebrews 11:1, as it says, "Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see." What are some things you have faith in, even if you cannot see them? What makes you believe in certain things that you cannot see?


:45 The people of Halloween Town kidnap Sandy Claws. Do you think this is a good plan? What do you think Santa is feeling during this experience?


:54 Sally sings about her feelings for Jack. She really likes Jack and wonders if he feels a similar way about her. Do you ever have strong feelings about someone, but aren’t sure how they feel about you? How can you express your emotions to that person?


:59 When Jack played the role of Santa Claus, he ended up giving more scares to families on Christmas morning than he gave laughter. He unintentionally spread more fear than joy. He was trying to help, but it ended up bad. Have you ever tried to help someone, only to realize you weren’t all that helpful?


1:03 Jack tried his best to give people something that was great. How can you try your best to create an awesome experience for someone else? Who do you think could use some joy and love this time of year?


1:11 After Jack failed to spread Christmas cheer to the neighborhood, Sally was there to connect with him and support him. Who are the people in your life that are there to support you after you have a setback?