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How to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas online: stream the classic on Disney Plus

watch the nightmare before christmas online
(Image credit: Disney)

Like most of visionary filmmaker Tim Burton's efforts, The Nightmare Before Christmas defies singular definition. It's a Halloween movie that's also about Christmas. It's a kids' film that adults enjoy in equal measure. And it's an animated movie that few would ever dare call a cartoon. With Halloween just around the corner and the holiday season now firmly upon us, here's how to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas online.

The Nightmare Before Christmas follows the story of Jack Skellington, aka the Pumpkin King, who oversees Halloween celebrations in the fantasy world of, wait for it...Halloween Town.

Watch The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas is available to watch online courtesy of Disney Plus, which is available in a number of countries around the world. A subscription is dirt cheap too - Disney Plus costs from just $6.99/£7.99/AU$11.99 a month, so not a lot more than the price of one movie rental online from other services.

After discovering a portal to neighboring Christmas Town, Jack joins forces with Santa Claus in an attempt to bring Christmas cheer to Halloween Town for the first time.

Needless to say, some of Halloween Town's citizens, specifically its resident bogeyman Oogie Boogie, are slightly joy-averse, and so Santa - along with Jack's secret love, the beautiful rag doll Sally (voiced by Catherine O'Hara), end up held hostage. We'll leave it at that, because with a run time of just 76 minutes, it's too good to risk spoiling. 

The film was a critical success upon its release, winning an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. This marked a first for an animated film and was major achievement, not only for Burton but also for the film's director, Henry Selick - the movie's use of stop-motion animation now widely recognized as a landmark for the technique. 

All in all, not bad going for an idea Burton originally conceived as a poem and thought might make a half-decent 30-minute short! Read on for full details of how to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas online and stream the Tim Burton holiday classic. OK, we will let loose one spoiler: all you need to do is sign-up for DIsney Plus!

How to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas online with Disney Plus

As Disney Plus has now rolled out in North America, Europe and parts of Asia - with a Latin American launch scheduled for November - watching Hocus Pocus using the service is easier than ever. If you’re located in a country that does have access to Disney Plus, you just need to head to the Disney Plus website and sign up for the service to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas online.

In addition to being the exclusive streaming home of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, the service also gives you access to Disney’s huge back catalogue - and Fox’s as well. This means you can watch more spooky flicks like Hocus Pocus, classic Disney fodder like Cinderella, The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, every episode of The Simpsons ever made and much more. Pixar movies, Marvel flicks, the entire Star Wars's all on Disney Plus for just $6.99/£7.99/AU$11.99 a month.

Plus, the addition of Star on Disney Plus more than doubles the amount of grown-up content on the service for just a marginal price increase. Some of the best Star on Disney Plus shows at launch include Big Sky, Solar Opposites, and Love, Victor. Parents can sleep easy, too, as the rollout of the channel includes a slew of new parental control features to ensure the service stays as family-friendly as ever.
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How to save money on Disney+

Disney Plus is already cheaper than competing streaming services like Netflix but you can save even more when you sign up for an annual subscription which gives you 15% off the monthly price. Obviously you have to splash the cash at the start, but with so much content to get stuck in to we very much doubt you'll run out of things to watch before the 12 months are up. You're looking at $69.99/£79.90/AU$119.99 for the year.

Or if your interests are farther reaching (and you're in the US), then we'd seriously suggest looking at the fantastic value bundle package. It adds Hulu and ESPN+ to your subscription price. The Hulu element opens up a world of Hulu Originals such as The Great, Upload, Helstrom and Normal People. While ESPN+ brings tonnes of exclusive live sport, highlights and documentaries. The combined bundle costs just $12.99 a month.

The Nightmare Before Christmas rating: is it suitable for children?

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas is rated PG in the US and UK, with the slightly spooky fairytale generally regarded as a family friendly flick.

Common Sense Media's review deeming it suitable for ages 7+, though parents should obviously do what they feel is appropriate for their children - a good rule of thumb is to watch the film yourself if at all in doubt.

What else should I know about Disney+?

Disney Plus is showing no signs of slowing down since the service first launched last November and in addition to being the exclusive release platform of new Pixar movies like Soul, subscribers can look forward to Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian, Mulan, Hamilton, WandaVision and much more. 

The streaming service has apps for iOS and Android (of course), and is available to watch online via the likes of Amazon Fire TV Stick, PS4, Xbox One and Roku streaming devices.

Now that Disney has set the precedent of releasing its live-action Mulan remake on the service instead of in theaters through its Premier Access program, expect the company to keep bring more blockbuster films that were originally intended to be shown on the big screen to Disney Plus in 2021.

And finally, there's the new Star on Disney Plus payload that most global markets get to enjoy and sees the amount of content available through Disney Plus more than double, with a particular eye to shows grown-ups are going to enjoy. It costs a tiny bit more, but is worth it based on our initial impressions - and you can still save big by going with an annual subscription.

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