Parents' Guide to

The Nightmare Before Christmas

By Liz Perle, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Tim Burton holiday magic, with a touch of scariness.

Movie PG 1993 76 minutes
The Nightmare Before Christmas Movie Poster: Jack Skellington stands atop a curly cliff in front of a full moon, with jack o' lanterns below

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 105 parent reviews

age 2+

Great movie ! Even it’s full of “monsters” and the main character is a skeleton it’s not spookey at all.
age 11+

Very dark, unpleasant to watch

My daughter insisted on watching this movie for months. I told her she can watch it when she is 8, and when she turned 8 she reminded me about this, so I let her watch it. I read some of the reviews saying that it was scary and had some questionable scenes, but I honestly thought they were exaggerating since I found few other movies that weren't rated so highly on this site quite pleasant to watch with my child. But this time the reviewers weren't exaggerating. Even my daughter said after watching it that it was scary and some scenes she really didn't like. Particularly, the scene where Boogie Man turns into a sack full of disgusting warms crawling everywhere was very disturbing to her (and to me). The first 5 minutes of the movie are pretty disturbing, and my daughter covered her eyes (without me prompting) when she was watching it. This movie uses very dark humor and has pretty dark, disturbing characters in it. As an adult, I think that the idea is very original, and there is some art to the movie and it's very unique. That being said, I would never, ever recommend it for children who are only 7 years old. I think this movie is more appropriate for kids over 10.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (105 ):
Kids say (195 ):

This is a funny, dark tale that pokes fun at two big holidays, Halloween and Christmas. The result is a magical marvel. With nods to Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas and twisted in the way of Roald Dahl or Maurice Sendak, The Nightmare Before Christmas is just as off-kilter as those classics. By changing the perspective on holiday icons, from Christmas trees to elves and flying reindeer, Selick makes us see these special traditions anew. And, of course, he does provide a happy ending. But the movie's personality comes from its producer, Burton -- utterly weird and totally enchanting.

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