Tag Archives: Cartoons

Fantastic Adventures Halloween Edition: Garfield’s Halloween Special

Today’s Halloween adventure is a blast out of the past. Garfield’s Halloween Adventure came out in 1985 as a television special and was titled Garfield in Disguise. This story focuses on Garfield and Odie’s strange trip around town while on the hunt for candy. Naturally, Garfield wants all of the candy in the neighborhood for himself, and will do anything to get it. He begrudgingly takes Odie with him in order to collect more candy. Just when Garfield thinks he is done trick or treating, he spies an island off the coast and decides to try his luck over there. On the island, Garfield and Odie enter a creepy and creaky old house inhabited by a small, wrinkled old man who tells them the story of the cursed pirates who buried a treasure on the island and return every Halloween to claim it. Horror and hilarity ensue!

The ghost pirates!

Why it is a fantastic adventure: In the beginning of the cartoon, Garfield begrudged Halloween and would rather sleep. It isn’t until he watches a cartoon clown on TV that he realizes that he is missing out on all the candy. What kid can’t relate to that? Candy is definitely the universal language of kids everywhere. If you watch this on Halloween, this opening sequence will get your kids excited for trick or treating later in the night!
Garfield runs to the attic to concoct a costume. He goes through many different ideas: A rat, bat, old man, nerd, ghost, and eventually settles on a pirate. This sequence is a great kick starter to get your kids brainstorming about different costumes. After the excitement of trick or treating is over, Garfield and Odie head off on a boat to an island where they enter the haunted house. This is where the fun really begins on this spooky Halloween adventure. While the old man is telling the story of the ghost pirates, there is a great little animation of pirate ghosts creeping from under the floorboards and into the house. It is a frightening scene for young kids, but this being Halloween and all, it is entirely appropriate. It is a great way to get your kids spooked for a night of tricks, treats and just plain old fun.
In the end, Garfield lets the ghost pirates keep their treasure that is hidden in the haunted house. This is a good lesson about possessions and what is right and wrong to take. People hand out candy to you, and that is okay, but taking something from someone else is not okay.
The program ends on a high note with Garfield sharing his candy with Odie (another great lesson) and collapsing off to sleep after a grand adventure.

Garfield’s Halloween Adventure is available to stream for free if you have Amazon Prime, or rent if you do not have Prime: http://www.amazon.com/Garfields-Halloween-Adventure/dp/B0083GPSYQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351548026&sr=8-1&keywords=garfield+halloween

Fantastic Adventures Halloween Edition: Scooby Doo and the Witch’s Ghost

The next stop on our Halloween tour: Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost! This animated movie came out straight to DVD in 2001. Like most Scooby-Doo movies, this one revolves around a mystery. In this case, there is a witch’s ghost tormenting the citizens of Oak Haven, a sleepy little town where famed Horror writer Ben Ravencroft goes to write his books. Ben Ravencroft runs into Scooby and the gang after they solve a mystery at a local history museum.
once Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and Fred arrive in Oak Haven, they immediately begin to investigate the suspicious behavior of the mayor. The gang is skeptical about the Witch’s ghost being real , but once they see it for themselves will they believe in ghosts? Join the spooky adventurers as they try to solve the mystery of the Witch’s ghost!

Fred, Daphne and Velma with Ben Ravencroft

Why it is a fantastic Adventure: This movie is one that I view every October to get me into the Halloween and Fall spirit. The town of Oak Haven has a picturesque New England Fall setting: brown leaves, barren trees, a small Main Street where everyone knows everyone, and even a re-creation of a Puritan village. If you live in parts of the world where the weather doesn’t change much and Fall doesn’t really happen, this is a great way to get yourself and the kids in the proper Fall mindset.
Along the way, the gang meet a group of gothic witches who are in the rock band, The Hex Girls. This trio provides a few songs in the movie (which are actually pretty good) and help keep the kids entertained through the somewhat plodding mystery story.
Scooby-Doo provides the majority of the movie’s laughs, whether he is scarfing down a gigantic sandwich, begging for Scooby Snacks, or trying to churn butter in the Puritan village. He also provides crucial entertainment value in a story that is somewhat dark for a kids’ Halloween adventure.
On that point, the ghost in this movie is real. She is not someone dressed up in a costume to be de-masked at the end. She has a real thirst for revenge and will do anything to get her way. She brings pumpkins to life and turns them into evil jack-o’-lanterns that try to eat Scoobyand the gang. This is also a great way to get your kids’ imaginations soaring and get them creating and

Imagination running wild!

thinking out of the box.
The plot deals with witches, Wiccans and warlocks, and provides a safe introduction to the topic of real life witches- Wiccans -that you can elaborate on later if you so desire.
The mystery plot is a lot of fun and will keep your kids guessing until the end, especially since the witch turns out to be real (but who was behind the other part of the mystery, and why was the mayor being so suspicious?). There are plenty of eerie locations to keep up the Halloween vibe: abandoned mills, forests full of dead trees, a cabin shrouded in an eerie fog.

Overall, Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghostis a great atmosphere setting movie with a fun mystery and a few teachable moments and imagination igniting ideas for your kids. Watch and get ready for Halloween!

Available to purchase on DVD from your favorite retailer!

The Hex Girls introduce your kids to great music and modern witches!

Fantastic Adventures Halloween Edition: Disney’s Halloween Treat

The next stop on our Halloween adventures: Disney’s Halloween Treat. This 45 minute video was released in 1982 and was a mainstay on the Disney Channel through the 1980s and part of the 1990s. Unfortunately, it no longer airs on broadcast television. But, you can find it on YouTube in seven parts. Link will be at the end of the post. This Halloween special centers around Disney villains, creepy stories with your favorite characters (Mickey, Huey, Dewy and Louie, etc.), and there are clips from some obscure Disney cartoons not seen since the 1970s.
They all feature creepy settings, vivid characters and perfect family Halloween thrills. A talking jack-o’-lantern introduces each story which include such creepy scenes as dancing skeletons, Donald Duck hiding from a rampaging gorilla, the “Night on Bald Mountain” segment from Fantasia, the wizard’s duel from Sword in the Stone,  and even a clip of the Headless Horseman chasing down poor Ichabod.  These are just a few of the great segments you will find in this video.

Why it is a fantastic adventure: Halloween is always a special time when you are a kid (and it should be when you’re an adult, too). This is one of those rare videos that can both frighten children while also making them howl for more when it is all over. It has just the right amount of “scare” and creepy imagery mixed with the pleasantness of Disney.
The truth is, we all love being scared. Your kids will be on the edge of their seats as they await whatever creepy creature is awaiting them in the next segment. It offers the thrill of being scared with the safety of the Disney brand.
If your kids love Halloween and all the creatures that go along with it, then they will definitely enjoy this video. there are creatures of all kinds.
This is also a great moment for your little kids to teach them what Halloween is all about. There may be scary and evil creatures, dark settings and spooky stories, but in the end it is all about having fun while being scared, getting and eating candy, and dressing up as your favorite creature or character. Of course, there is also a greater reason for Halloween, which you may share with your youngsters (but most of them won’t be ready to understand it), the remembrance and celebration of lost souls: relatives, ancestors, and all loved ones.
In the end, Disney’s Halloween Treat is a fun adventure for the entire family with some great scary moments, classic Disney characters and a great representation of all that is good about Halloween.

You can watch Disney’s Halloween treat in seven parts on YouTube. Start here: http://youtu.be/ASuuZejf8VE

Fantastic Adventure #5: Batman: The Brave and the Bold

So, you took my advice and showed your kids Batman & Robin, and now they have a hankering for more? With Batman being so popular lately, it really does a disservice to kids when toy companies make The Dark Knight Rises action figures

and other toys, as that film is extremely graphic and nowhere near safe for child viewing.  But, of course, your kids will see the toys and then want to see Batman. If you took the first step and showed them Batman & Robin, great! If not, you can read about it on my blog and come back to this post, if you so desire. To continue with family friendly entertainment, my pick for today is Batman: The Brave and the Bold, a TV series on Cartoon Network.
Think of this cartoon series as an animated version of Adam West’s 1960’s Batman. It has all the corny humor, gags and overacting fight scenes that we all remember from the Adam West show. Each episode Batman teams up with a different hero from DC Comics and together they take out the different villains and stop their dastardly schemes.

Heroes

Why it is a fantastic adventure: Having Batman team up with a different hero each week is a good way to introduce your kids to comic books and all of the different heroes that are out there. Beyond that, it is a good way to show your kids the power of teamwork.
The entire series has a very fantastical feel to it. The heroes are big, strong, wise cracking purveyors of justice and the villains are over the top failures of massive schemes. The schemes are so ridiculous and out there that it really encourages kids to think outside the box and cerate lavish ideas of their own. Imagination is downplayed in our society. there is a time to play and a time to be “serious’. We teach our children that being imaginative is not serious. They have to study hard, do homework, learn Math and Science so they can get a job that makes good money. Don’t worry – you are not a bad parent. You are only passing on what your parents taught you. However, that may be another topic for another post.
Back to the show. With the over the top schemes (stealing a giant piano or trying to ruin Christmas), you won’t have to explain elaborate schemes to your kids.
The villains are always doing something simple and are defeated in mostly simple ways. They are brought to justice and all is well with the world. These are great base values for your

Villains

children to learn, and you can use them as talking points about right versus wrong.
Teamwork, right versus wrong, imagination and justice are the main themes of the show and a great way to not only introduce your kids to comic book characters, but a great family friendly Batman cartoon.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold is on reruns on Cartoon Network. Also available to own or rent on DVD. Rated TV Y7.