It’s almost that time for one of the coolest holidays of the year for kids and for adults, its almost time for Halloween. The time of the year where kids can dress up as anything they want to be from scary, to funny, hero, to villain the choices are unlimited! The same can be said for the adults who dress up for various Halloween parties through out the world, you are never to old to celebrate Halloween no matter what people say.
One of the added bonuses about the holidays, especially this time of year and the Christmas season is the television specials (if you like holiday specials) as a kid I loved all the specials that 90s YTV, ABC and others channels catering to kids would air during the holidays. So for this blog I have decided to write about some of the best specials to watch for kids (and adults) for this Halloween season.
First off lets start with “Garfield’s Halloween Adventure” also known as “Garfield in Disguise” this Halloween special first aired in 1985 (I have to point out a few of these specials started in the 80’s) the main idea for the story was a simple one at the beginning. Garfield recruits Odie to go trick-or-treating, Garfield who usually doesn’t want Odie around, brings him along for Halloween so he can double his candy surplus. They manage to get a large amount of candy, but Garfield gets greedy and wants to keep going. The two of them wind up in an old house, which turns out to be haunted. I always liked this one as a kid, but I thought the haunted house part was creepy and it was for its time, spoiler alert in the end Garfield shares his candy with Odie, this special is an oldie, but a goodie.
Next on the list is “The Real Ghostbusters” the cartoon based on the movie “Ghostbusters” the series ran from 1986-1991 and later on would be aired during the month of October for Halloween. The series was just like the movie with the four Ghostbusters running around the city of New York capturing ghosts and putting them away for good. In the cartoon they still had Janine as their secretary, their accountant Louis and Slimer who is the mascot of the company. Fun fact the late actor Lorenzo Music voiced Garfield and Peter Venkman of Ghostbusters. The show was a comedy horror and was pretty funny one at that, the art back then was creepy sometimes and really silly other times, all in all it was a perfect monthly special.
Speaking of monthly specials another oldie, but goodie was “The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo” Another show from the 80’s 13 Ghosts was about Scooby Doo, Shaggy, Scrappy Doo, Daphane, a really annoying kid named Flim Flam and Vincent Van Ghoul, who was based on Vincent Price and was actually voiced by Price himself. The premise of the show was Scooby and Shaggy were tricked into opening a chest that had 13 of the most evil ghost and ghouls around. After opening the chest the new gang is forced to captured all the 13 ghosts to make everything right again. The show conveniently has 13 episodes, but was meant to have more, the show was cancelled before it could finish and only 11 of the 13 ghosts were captured. Another show leaving on a cliffhanger, it sucks, but the show in general was popular enough to come back every year around Halloween enjoyed by many.
This next cartoon special is considered to be one of the original Halloween specials and sometimes the originals are always the best. You know what I’m talking about “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” originally aired in 1966, since then it airs at least once every year close to Halloween. The story focuses on Charlie Brown who goes trick-or-treating with his friends and then to a Halloween party, unfortunately for Charlie Brown all he gets is rocks while the kids trick-or-treat, Linus misses out on all the festivities because he is waiting for the great pumpkin to bring toys and candy for everyone he and Sally (Charlie Browns Sister) miss everything. The show also makes some references to World War 1, through songs played by Schroeder and Snoopy a World War 1 flying Ace fictionally fights the Red Baron. Many people to this day still hate the fact that Charlie Brown is given rocks instead of Candy. Fun fact apparently after the episode was first aired; thousands of people had sent boxes and bags of Candy to the studio meant only for Charlie Brown. Aside some of the weird things special does like giving out rocks, the show is a popular classic that will always be watched by millions.
My final Halloween special is “The Simpsons, Tree House of Horror” series. The Simpsons are now into their 25th season and have now aired 24 Tree House of Horrors. The first Tree House was aired October 25, 1990 (hey something that actually started in the 90s), which was part of the second season of The Simpsons. The Halloween special contains 3 segments that parody science fiction, fantasy and of course horror. Most of the parodies are based off of films, novels, TV shows, plays and anything else that was intended to be scary. Every Tree House has contained “scary” names in the credits, a special opening and always a moment with their two favorite aliens Kang and Kodos. You can argue that this isn’t a kid’s show, but I have watched this show since I was a kid from the beginning and these were always some of my favorite specials to watch as a kid.
There are tones of other Halloween specials and movies out their unfortunately that would be a humongous article that no one could get through, that’s why I chose some of the specials I loved as a kid and still love to this day. I invite you to share some of your favorite specials in the comment special below or on twitter, that way I can add the shows to an honorable mention below.
You can follow me on twitter @NVincelli for updates on future articles, you can also tell me your favorite Halloween Special on twitter as well!