Most people would probably pick It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown as their go-to animated Halloween special, but for my money Garfield’s Halloween Adventure is where it’s at. That’s not to say I don’t love The Great Pumpkin–it will undoubtedly make an appearance on this Countdown at some point–but Garfield’s Halloween special is my favorite. It’s the one I think of first above all other Halloween specials. Besides–being a lazy wise-ass, Garfield has always been the cartoon character I identify the most with. And also like me, Garfield’s #1 priority when it comes to Halloween is CANDY CANDY CANDY.
Garfield’s Halloween Adventure (aka Garfield in Disguise) was originally released back in 1985 and is available on DVD as part of this three-episode “Garfield Holiday Celebrations” collection (which also includes Garfield’s Thanksgiving and A Garfield Christmas). I was four when I saw this on TV for the first time, and I’ve watched it almost every Halloween since. It’s from a time back when Halloween specials were simple affairs–putting familiar characters in costumes to go trick-or-treating or adding light spooky elements to a well-established formula was all it took. Garfield’s Halloween Adventures does both of these AND it has pirates. And pirates rule.
Believe it or not, this Halloween special used to scare me when I was little–particularly the part where the old man in the haunted house tells the ghostly pirate story. For some reason he always scared me more than the actual ghosts. In my earliest memories of watching this special, I can recall feeling utter despair when Garfield begins to sink into the river. Like whoa, dude, I really thought he was going to drown! (Shut up, I was four.) And then good ‘ol Odie saves the day and all is right with the world again (oh, sorry, did I spoil it?).
I’m not ashamed to admit I still know all of the words to each of the songs in this special and I sing along whenever I watch it. I have also been known, on occasion, to wear a lampshade on my head while using the bare light bulb as my microphone. (From what I understand, this is totally acceptable behavior when you live alone.)
But the one thing I’m not is a scaredy cat.
What is 31 DVDs of Halloween?
As a special feature for the Halloween Countdown, I’m showcasing 31 Halloween DVDs from my personal collection. I have a lot of Halloween-related and horror DVDs in general, but for this year’s countdown I’m only going to focus on my absolute favorites–the ones I consider 100% essential for my enjoyment of the holiday.