Friday, October 31, 2014

Garfield's Halloween Adventure

There aren't a lot of Halloween TV specials I remember as being distinctively "Halloween-only."  The Halloween episodes of Real Ghostbusters were regularly aired like any other episode.  The Halloween episodes of Gargoyles, Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Rugrats, Eek! The Cat, and even that episode of Batman: The Animated Series that felt the need to have Poison Ivy dress in a (somehow) even skimpier outfit to make up exploding pumpkins.

But my all-time favorite Halloween special from my childhood?  That would be Garfield's Halloween Adventure.

There are so many things I pulled from this cartoon.  From Garfield's slithering around under a blanket (leading to my doing it pretending to be an amoeba) to his taking Odie along for extra candy (my sister never liked candy, making Halloween all the sweeter for me).  It also taught me the phrase "flibber the gibbets!"

For those of you who don't remember, this is the cartoon where Garfield and Odie go out to collect candy.  On the way they meet monsters, goblins, ghosts, and pirate ghosts, as is likely to happen to anybody on Halloween.

Of course, the real adventure begins when Odie and Garfield decide to hijack a rowboat to take them across the river so they can get candy from more houses.  Since cats and dogs don't know how to row a rowboat, they wind up caught up in the current and deposited upon a small island with a creepy mansion on it.

With this guy in it:

He recaps the story of the pirates that, 100 years ago, buried treasure in the mansion.  They swore to return even if it meant from beyond the grave.  The old guy then steals their boat (and candy) and leaves them behind.

And then ghost pirates show up.

Garfield and Odie flee, having to jump into the river again.  Garfield, of course, can't swim, so Odie has to fish him out of the river.  The two make their way back up the river, Garfield lamenting how the night has turned out.  But since this is a kid's cartoon, they find the rowboat and their candy and head back home.

There's a few things, looking back at this show now (you can watch it on Hulu for free!) that make me scratch my head as an adult.  Why do all of Jon's tables and counters come up to chest high?  How is it everybody knows to be quiet when Garfield is "talking" but nobody can actually hear him?  How do you shove your entire leg and foot inside a peg leg without breaking something?

The show's still fun, in a nostalgic sense.  There aren't really too many scares, which makes sense since it's for children.  The pirate ghosts look like someone drew them out of chalk, which is a neat effect, but hardly scary.  The voice of the old man is creepy, but in a rather generic "deep voiced announcer" way.  Still, I'm rather surprised it's not on the air any more.  The animation still holds up, the songs Garfield sings are fun (I'll always love "Scaredy Cat"), and anybody who thinks those daily strips in the paper are dull might be amazed to know that crazy stuff like this used to happen all the time on Garfield's cartoon show.

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