In yesterday’s post, I discussed Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, specifically noting that the fact that she is a rag doll and that being treated like a rag doll drove her to attempt to become something more.
For Jack Skellington, the appointed Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, the opposite feeling made him yearn for more.
You see, Halloween Town suffered from hero worship. While he is called a king, he’s treated more like a demigod of sorts. He is known throughout most of the Western world, including earning the wonderful name Mr. Unlucky from some guy in Kentucky. Yet, he wants more. The song Jack’s Lament shows that he wants more than fear and horror in his life.
As we find out later, what Jack really wants is to have the ability to give joy to someone. The entire focus of taking Christmas over is to bring happiness to people, not fear. That’s all he wants. He wants someone to look at him and not think about horror, but think about joy and happiness.
Enter Sally. For anyone who wants a one-on-one relationship, your goal is usually to find someone who sees past your job title, your money, and your face to see who you really are. Jack is a loving being. He wants to love and be loved in return. Fear is one thing when done in moderation, but when it encompasses your life, it will make you sad and depressed.
I don’t want this to read that if you are sad, you need to get laid or something. Far from it. To be honest, Jack and Sally both needed to learn how to love who they are before they could admit they cared about each other. Sally used her rag doll moves to save “Sandy Claws,” while Jack, through the epic failure that was his Christmas, accepted that being the Pumpkin King isn’t all that bad.
But once Sally and Jack found that they liked who they were, they also found that they could love each other for who the other was, not who they’re supposed to be.
Why does this movie fall into the realm of Christmas movies? It shares that same message of love and acceptance that Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, and A Christmas Carol share. And that’s why I can talk about this movie whenever I feel like it.