Batman Returns, Tim Burton‘s dark, brooding thriller packed with anguish and terror, childhood wounds and festering adult resentments, is being lauded as one of the best Christmas movies ever created, and here’s why-

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The movie begins with a malformed infant being placed in his cradle and dumped into the river by his parents on a chilly, snowy Christmas Eve.  The movie is as close as we can come to a live-action Christmas special set in Gotham City, even setting aside Tim Burton’s fascination with the holiday season.

The director loves to use the chilly winter months as a backdrop to the point that it gets lost on us, which may be one of the reasons why people forget it’s set during Christmas. Tim Burton’s colour palette and Danny Elfman’s score may also contribute to this. But most people probably fail to see the movie’s Christmas-themed location because of the heartbreaking opening sequence that follows the abandoned newborn Oswald Cobblepot (AKA the Penguin) through Gotham’s sewers.

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There are, however, a plethora of other examples, such as Alfred buying presents for Christmas, Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne sharing a kiss beneath a mistletoe, a swarm of bats emerging from their nest under a large Christmas tree, and a teenage Christopher Walken portraying a deadly Ebenezer Scrooge.

In Gotham (Batman’s hometown), the mayor (Michael Murphy) preside over the municipal Christmas tree lighting in front of a frigid throng under gloomy skies. He is joined by the evil tycoon Max Shreck (Christopher Walken), who has a plan to build a power plant that will deplete the city’s energy supply. His browbeaten secretary (Michelle Pfeiffer), who is murdered after discovering the conspiracy, is brought back to life by alley cats and vows vengeance, sewing a skintight, fetishistic costume and venturing out into the night as Catwoman.

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And the internet is in agreement, Twitter is flooded with people urging others to see the “Best Christmas movie ever.”

One user went so far as to declare that “Batman Returns is a Christmas movie, and The Batman is a Halloween movie.”