Jack and Sally together kissing in Nightmare Before Christmas

30 Years Later, Jack and Sally Is Still the Ultimate Millennial Love Story

There are few love stories that are tied to the millennial generation the way that Jack and Sally are. Jack Skellington is the Pumpkin King, but he is also a millennial icon. The Nightmare Before Christmas was released in 1993, meaning the film turned 30 years old this year, and with it came the realization that our love for Jack and his love for Sally the Rag Doll has been going strong for three decades now. What is even more fascinating is to see how this relationship in media has influenced an entire generation of millennials, including me.

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As a child, I knew what love was because of how Sally felt about Jack. From the start of The Nightmare Before Christmas, she wants to believe in Jack but she doesn’t quite know what he’s up to. Everything he’s doing is rooted in his new obsession with Christmas, but Sally just wants to keep him safe. She’s too afraid to open up to him, and it takes her devotion to him for Jack to see that everything he could have ever wanted is in Halloweentown. It’s just there with Sally.

Hidden in Sally’s stolen glances while Jack is engrossed in his journey through Christmas, the film’s love story comes out in the third act when we hear “Sally’s Song” and finally see the two coming together on the hill after everything is said and done. This has, in its own way, cemented Jack and Sally as a love story that defines many millennials. Twisted, dark, and weird, yet iconic for how perfect the two are for each other, Jack and Sally are ours.

We can live like Jack and Sally if we want.

One thing in particular that really connects The Nightmare Before Christmas to millennials, outside of just being both a movie released in 1993 and being something many of us grew up with, is the fact that the film is highlighted heavily in the song “I Miss You” by Blink-182. With lyrics like “We can live like Jack and Sally if we want / where you can always find me / and we’ll have Halloween on Christmas / and in the night we’ll wish this never ends,” the song set in stone the importance of Jack and Sally as a couple and why that last shot of Jack and Sally together really works. Just as much as Jack and Sally’s lyrics themselves do.

After Christmas falls apart and Santa is back on track to fixing Jack’s mess, Sally is sitting on Spiral Hill all alone. Jack comes to join her, asking if she doesn’t mind if he can join her at her side because it is “plain as anyone can see we’re simply meant to be.” It is a sweet and short love story because the movie itself is not long, but still, the power that Jack and Sally hold over us is undeniable. Do I want a spooky man to come into my life so I can live my Jack and Sally dreams? Always.

(featured image: Walt Disney Motion Picture Studios)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.