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Halloween on the Screen

on October 18, 2012 - 12:33pm

There hasn't been much time for anything, lately. I've tried to put the brakes on a little and remind myself to enjoy the season (don't want to be all Sally Brown, lamenting "Halloween is over and I MISSED it!"). 

A huge part of that - as a child and as an adult - is media. Be it film or television, the one constant in my celebration regime is animation of some sort. 

Is it me, or does there seem to be a lack of Halloween cartoons in the last 10 years? The Nickelodeon collection of cartoon series are good to deliver a special episode, but where are the stand alone features? And I don't count newer Disney specials which star people (hey Disney, remember when you made cartoons? I think it made you famous). 

Dreamworks has stepped up and tried to fill the Halloween gap with Shrek and Monsters vs Aliens specials, but where is everyone else?

And so I am left to be nostalgic, reaching back to my childhood (which is why I posted the picture of Grover by Jack Davis I came across last night as I was trying to catch up on all the Halloween Countdown blogs).

If you were a child in the 70s and 80s, or you love older cartoon Halloween specials, come sit by me. I'm going to share a couple of blogs that might make you feel better.

First is Cartoon Holidays filled with links to specials (mainly on YouTube) from my childhood. It's a site I plan to revisit at Christmas, because they have a number of specials that I only have on VHS (some just taped from tv), and others I haven't seen in years (like Ziggy's Gift!). And if you follow the blog at all, you know I lost one of my VCRs this year *sniffle*. I wouldn't be so upset if you could find a lot of my collection on DVD.

Next is Halloween Shows because if I am going to watch live people acting in Halloween specials, it might as well be retro. I was VERY surprised to see You Can't Do That on Television and Today's Special Halloween episodes.

I still have to watch the clip below. Can you recognize it  right away?

A number of people have been posting links to Halloween is Grinch Night (which I've posted again because it seems like the cool thing to do). 

I know I must've seen it at some point, but (without having watched it this year, which I will remedy soon) I cannot for the life of me recall the special from memory. 

Perhaps the Christmas special overshadows it so much, my mind can only show me clips of the classic Boris Karloff Grinch. 

Regardless, now you and I both have some options for Halloween-Special-viewing.

Speaking of which, after work yesterday (my early day), I snuck away to a downtown cinema for a matinee. Plunked down a gift card, splurged for the IMAX experience (if I have to watch 3D, I want to watch the best version of 3D available to me), and - with only two other people in the whole theatre (my version of heaven) - finally treated myself to a screening of Frankenweenie.

I had gone in with medium expectations. While I've enjoyed a lot of the stop motion Halloweenish or creepy movies over the past few years, I haven't loved them. 

I must say, I had a great time. If, like me, you've not rushed out to see it, I suggest you catch it on the big screen. It's quite lovely to look at, and the story is solid. 

I was lucky enough to see some of the models and sets in an exhibit this year, which made seeing them on film even more fun.

If you're as late to the game as I am (hey, some of us have been busy!), go play on the Disney site and check out all the Frankenweenie goodness. 

And Disney, this movie does not get you off the hook. I want classic Halloween cartoons. And none of this weird computer generated crap you seem to be using for your tv shows starring Donald and Mickey and the gang. A ghoul can have nightmares about their large, perfectly round orbs for heads. They're so oversized , I don't know how the characters keep from falling over.



halloween spirit's picture

. . . to see Frankenweenie this weekend. I hope my theatre is as empty as yours. But I doubt it :/

Geoff's picture

Simpson's Tree House of Horror. But I agree there is a lack of Cartoons these days. Disney's clip special "Disney's Halloween Treat" was always one of my favorite videos to watch as a kid (I wrote about it several years ago on my old blog

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