30 Feminist Christmas Movies, Ranked

29 of 31

The Nightmare Before Christmas, Touchstone Pictures

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Jack Skellington is a gangly, creepy skeleton who has been named the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town. As much as he has loved the job in the past, he is finding himself unfulfilled by organizing and indulging in the holiday year after year. While wandering dejectedly around the woods, he discovers portals to different holiday worlds and accidentally stumbles into Christmas Town. The more he sees of it, the more excited he is. The general sense of joy and merriment are such a change from the norm for him, and Jack decides to bring the Christmas spirit to Halloween Town. But his attempts to impersonate “Sandy Claws” go awry, and when he accidentally puts the real Santa in danger, Jack has to find a way to save him before it’s too late.

The Good

  • Sally is very headstrong and self-aware. She consistently takes the initiative to get herself out of negative situations. She also seems to be the only person in the town who understands what’s going on and what needs to be done.
  • Relatedly, Sally is portrayed as very self-sufficient. The image of her sewing herself up when she was ripped does a lot to establish this characteristic.

The Bad

  • In this world of monsters, there’s only one woman that really matters – Sally. Shock, one of the little Halloween children, also appears to be a girl, but she’s put with two boys.
  • Sally is literally enslaved by the doctor. It’s portrayed as a bad thing, so that’s positive, but it’s still really uncomfortable to see.

The Ugly

  • Sally is not portrayed as escaping imprisonment in order to become a fully-realized being. More than anything, Sally’s storyline is marked by devotion to Jack, and by service to him and his goals.