Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Top Five Halloween Specials, 2013 Edition

One of my most searched-for posts came from 2008, and it detailed my top five Halloween Specials, and included links to the videos on YouTube. Of course, the craggy landscape of YouTube is ever changing and each and every one of those top-five videos have been eroded by the rivers of copyright. So, here we are, five years later, I will post a new and updated list of my top five with--as close as I can come--video accompaniment.

A Golden Age

I think it's safe to say at that the age of 35, I can look back at the world we used to live in and judge it as "better" than the one in which our kids live. This, of course, refers only to a popular culture form of better--it does not include advancements in social equality and technology. What I'm saying is that, as consumers, we used to be given "better" products by the media, as they were aimed at entertaining us and not at synergy; most of what is produced today is made not just to sell itself, but to sell a whole bevy of other products and/or a related lifestyle. The Halloween Specials of old were wonderful--they captured what Halloween was like for a kid. Now, even the industry that fuels the commercial side of Halloween is bent on using costumes and candy to reinforce our other corporate culture allegiances. So, let's take a look back at the specials that I grew up with that sold us on the magic of Halloween.

1. Witches Night Out
This film, produced the year I was born, is my all-time favorite Halloween special. It just can't be beaten (it failed to make it into my initial post because of the rarity of being able to find it). It's campy, cheesy, and predictable, but ultimately satisfying.

2. Garfield's Halloween Adventure
Now, you can't find this whole special on YouTube. Because people suck and it keeps being taken down. It's not for sale, so far as I know, so why not let people enjoy it? Unlike the disappointing world of The Great Pumpkin, Garfield's Halloween is full of exciting trick-or-treating and REAL PIRATE GHOSTS!

3. The Halloween Tree
Another irritating situation, where you can't find this on YouTube anymore. At least they let you buy it, I suppose. Master of Sci-Fi and speculative fiction, Ray Bradbury, wrote and narrates this Halloween special. The voice talents of Leonard Nimoy don't hurt!

4. Halloween is Grinch Night
Yay! Full video! While vastly inferior to it's merry companion, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, there is a lot to love about this Grinch outing. Yes, a lot of it is made up as it goes along--so it feels--but it's all focused on the "Grinching" that our young protagonist gets toward the end. His journey through the land of spooks is psychedelic and terrifying.

5. The Legend of Sleepy Hallow
Part of a larger film, "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad," the tale of the Headless Horseman really comes to life in this short film.

Bonus: Donald Duck's Trick or Treat
I dare you to get the song out of your head!

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