Podzilla 1985

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This is Halloween....but I Don't Want to Scream...

I love this time of year. The weather is cooling off, the trees are all brightly colored, and there's an excuse to walk around in public in costume. Not to mention candy is everywhere. 

While most people take October to indulge in all their favorite horror movies I look forward to my favorite Halloween specials. I've never been a big fan of being scared. I rarely ever watched horror movies on my own growing up. Though now they seem to be played all the time since it's my sweetie's favorite movie genre. I've gotten better about being able to watch them. I just don't handle gore and slasher/torture stuff very well. 

I would like to share with you some of my all time favorite non-scary Halloween movies and specials, along with a few spooky themed animated shorts.

One of the earliest specials I remember watching as a kid was "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown." It covers all the basic traditions of the holiday from carving jack o' lanterns to trick or treating. It also brings forth a new idea, of The Great Pumpkin. In Linus van Pelt's mind The Great Pumpkin is his version of Santa Clause. A spirit that will grant you wishes and make good things happen. The other kids all think he's crazy though. While the other kids all go Trick or Treating and enjoy a party, Linus sits in a pumpkin field waiting to see The Great Pumpkin. 

This is a classic and I try and watch it every year. I finally added the dvd to my collection so now I know I won't miss it. I still can't help by giggle a bit when the kids are Trick or Treating and are all showing off what they got. They name off various traditional treats and Charlie brown says. "I got a rock."

Garfield's Halloween Adventure was always played right after the Charlie Brown special when I was growing up. Naturally everyone's favorite fat cat loves Halloween. He loves any day that involves getting free goodies from people. Garfield dresses up with Odie to go trick or treating, but some how they wind up in an old haunted house, who's spooks are of the pirate variety. 
I love the costume montage at the beginning when the two are trying to figure out what to dress up as.

 One of my favorite animated specials is often over looked. It's The Halloween Tree, a story based on a story by Ray Bradbury. Five friends were supposed to go trick or treating together, but when Pip, a true Halloween lover, doesn't show up the other four start to worry. They go to his house only to find no decorations and an their friend being loaded into an ambulance. They find a note on the door, saying it's appendicitis and he's sorry he'll miss out on the fun, but he might die if he's not operated on. So at his wishes they start Halloween without him.

Their antics bring them to a creepy old house  and after knocking on they door they meet a strange old man, Mr. Moundshroud. It's then revealed that Moundshround is after the Pip's ghost. To save their friend the kids must learn about they creatures their costumes represent. If they fail to do so Pip's soul will become Moundshround's property. 

Yes it's a bit educational, but it's still amusing. Well worth a watch at least once.

 The Simpson's Tree-house of Horror episodes were always enjoyable....well most of them.

My favorite of them will always be "The Raven" where Lisa reads "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe. Bart as the raven was funny but still kinda creeped me out as a kid. I appreciate more of the parodies now, since I've actually seen the source material over time. 

Sorry I couldn't find the clip I wanted for this one.

Moving away from animated goodies for a moment, Hocus Pocus is my favorite Halloween film. Three witches are revived from 17th century Salem when a virgin lights a cursed candle as a joke. Now their out to regain their youth, but they have three kids and a talking cat trying to stop them.

I finally broke down and bought this movie, even though it has no bonus features at all, because I'm tired of not being able to watch it when I want to.I love all the witches' misunderstandings of the world of the 1990's. Favorite quote: "Sisters look, it's a chocolate covered finger of a man named Clark."

OK back to what I know best. I know you're probably expecting me to put The Nightmare Before Christmas  here, and I did think about it. Truth is though I lump it more on the Christmas side of Holiday specials. So instead I'm going to go with Tim Burton's directing debut, Vincent. I love this short, I could probbaly still quote it if I tried. It's pretty much everything you think of when it comes to Burton's films. It's a 6 min. short about a boy who wants to be Vincent Price.

Lastly I'll leave you with a Disney Silly Symphony. The Skeleton Dance. This 1929 short served as a bit of inspiration in part of "The Corps Bride", which I also enjoy but chose not to talk about today. Though I will leave you with video of both for comparison.

Have a Happy Halloween!

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