Some films are obviously Christmas movies, like
How much of the movie takes place at Christmastime?
The last third of the film. It centers around Peg’s annual Christmas party. Though after Edward was arrested for burglary and Joyce lied about him forcing himself on her, no one wants to attend the gala. It’s a festive time in the neighborhood, with lights strung up throughout. Peg’s white tree has turned her house into a Christmas wonderland worthy of
The single most Christmas-y moment comes when Winona Ryder’s Kim goes out into the backyard to find Edward making an angel ice sculpture. It creates a beautiful sprinkling of “snow.” This same effect is seen at the beginning and end of the film when a very old Kim tells her granddaughter the story of the man with scissors for hands. While those scenes don’t take place at Christmas, they have the same ethos.
Would the movie be fundamentally different if it were set at any other time of the year?
Yes, because the first two-thirds of the film takes place in a seemingly idyllic, totally average, sneaky awful Anytown, USA. Where the sun always shines and everyone’s lawns are always green, all during a season of never-ending good weather. (Trivia note: the movie was filmed just outside of Tampa.)
This is the time when Edward is treated with kindness and admiration. It’s not until the magical season of goodwill towards men that he is persecuted and maligned. The dichotomy of the two main settings, and Edward’s experiences in town, directly contributes to the film’s plot and themes. The story wouldn’t be as effective if either time period were changed.
Are any of the major themes classic Christmas ones?
Family and love are two biggies you will find in any traditional Christmas movie. The biggest Christmas-related theme, though, is that of kindness. Treating others, especially outsiders and those less fortunate, with grace, understanding, and patience. In fact, it reminds us a lot of the most important Christmas story ever, but we’ll get to that.
Does watching it at Christmas time enhance the experience?
Yes, but not just because the movie partially takes place at Christmas.
Here, the ghost is replaced by the monster in the haunted house. Christmas is the best time of the year to watch it.
Has it been accepted as a Christmas movie tradition?
Despite being beloved, original, and made by Tim Burton at his peak,
In addition to its setting, themes, and tone, there’s a real argument that
Both were miracle births, both were kind and loving, both gave of themselves freely, both are believed to have eternal life, and both were persecuted by people who feared them.
The Boggs family home was Edward’s manger.
When you combine that with the fact the film would be different if you changed its setting, it captures the magical feeling of the season while conveying classic Christmas themes, and it’s more fun to watch in December, yes, anyway you slice it,