When: Fri., Dec. 21, 6 p.m. 2018
With its whimsically macabre characters, painstaking stop-motion animation and playful reminders that “Everyday Is Halloween” if you dress the part, Tim Burton’s 1993 classic The Nightmare Before Christmas holds a special place in the heart of Gothic-leaning San Antonio — thanks in part at least to the McNay, which holds some of the film’s intricate puppets and props in its Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts. Brought to life by ghoulish characters Burton sketched as a brooding teen in Burbank, California, and directed by Henry Selik (James and the Giant Peach, Coraline), the Oscar nominee concocts a holiday mashup as lanky, disillusioned “Pumpkin King” Jack Skellington ventures outside the boundaries of his Halloween Town to encounter a brighter, cheerier parallel universe in Christmas Town. Scene stealers like the trick-or-treating trio of Lock, Shock and Barrel, and Danny Elfman’s fantastical score only add to the magic that’s cemented The Nightmare Before Christmas as a yuletide favorite that’s always worth revisiting. Slab Cinema pops up in Travis Park for an outdoor screening of the modern classic to be followed by John Hughes’ madcap holiday hit Home Alone. Arrive early to pitch a picnic blanket and partake in complimentary hot chocolate (while supplies last) and photo ops with Santa.