Thursday, October 30, 2014

Garfield's Halloween Adventure (aka Garfield In Disguise)

Premiered October 30, 1985

"Halloween is my kind of a holiday. Not like those other stupid holidays. I don't get pine needles in my paws. There's no dumb bunnies, no fireworks, no relatives, just candy. Boom, you go out, you get candy. It's as simple as that."

Garfield (Lorenzo Music) wakes up and is excited to learn that it's Halloween.  He informs Odie (Gregg Berger) that this is the night when dogs help cats get candy.  If Odie helps, he'll get one piece of candy.  They go hunting in the attic for costumes.

After trying on many outfits, they settle on pirate costumes.

Orange Beard the Pirate and Odie the Stupid 
Their owner, Jon Arbuckle (Thom Huge) sends them off to trick or treat.

They have a productive evening of trick or treating, and score bags full of candy.  (Plus a couple of unusual trick or treaters.)

Garfield then notices lots of houses on the other side of the river and wants to go across to pillage more candy.  He and Odie find a boat and commandeer it "in the name of Orange Beard, the pirate!"

However, Garfield's plan doesn't work out as intended.  Odie quickly loses the oars and they drift downstream for a while, unable to steer.  They are dejected and Garfield says he's done being a pirate. Just when all seems lost, Odie spots a dilapidated, old house on an island.  Garfield thinks maybe  they should go inside.

What the house contains will make this a Halloween they will never forget!

RigbyMel says:

I remember watching this special when it first aired.  I was a big fan of Garfield back in his 1980s heyday and watched many (but not all) of the assorted tv specials and series featuring the character.   This one really sticks in my memory because the whole pirate ghost plot scared the bejeezus out of me when I was a wee, sensitive little girl.

That being said, Halloween is supposed to be spooky and this special delivers horror and hilarity with just the right amount of gusto for kids (and the young at heart).

The scenes of Garfield and Odie trying on Halloween costumes found in a trunk in Jon's attic are quite amusing as is Garfield's mantra of "Candycandycandycandycandy!" and also stuck in my memory.  Recent re-watchings made me realize how many inoffensive, but forgettable songs were included in this special,   (The best ones are the cod pirate song Garfield sings on several occasions and the presence of Lou Rawls's singing voice.)

 We also get plenty of fun interaction between Garfield, Jon and Odie, as one would expect. There is also a nice little moment where Garfield doesn't let his greed get the better of him and decides Odie deserves his ACTUAL fair share of the candy after all they've been through together on this particular Halloween. This is not an unexpected plot point, but it is well deployed.

It's also interesting to note that Garfield's Halloween Adventure was the first Garfield animated special to feature a completely original story, as opposed to one that was adapted from the comic strips.

Garfield's Halloween Adventure is definitely worth seeking out during the Spooky Season!

RigbyMel's rating:

3 and a half jack o'lanterns

"My boat's gone, my candy's gone, the dead pirates are coming any minute, it's past my bedtime, and I wanna go home!"

J.A. Morris says:

While I was also a huge fan of the lasagna-obsessed feline back in the 80s, I didn't watch this special until recently.  But it's become a Halloween tradition in our house.  It has just enough spookiness to keep viewers (especially younger ones) on their toes.  The last act is especially chilling compared to other holiday specials of its era.

While the songs aren't classics, two of them are sung by Lou Rawls.  The opening theme is a fun up-tempo number.  Rawls also delivers another song called 'Scaredy Cat', sung from the perspective of Garfield.

Garfield & Odie get a scare from a creepy old man.
The voice actors here are the same ones who later worked on the series Garfield And Friends.  For me, Garfield will always "speak" with the voice of Lorenzo Music, and Music is great as always.  C. Lindsay Workman is also memorable as the voice of the old man who lives in the (possibly) haunted house.     

A note about the title:It originally aired as Garfield In Disguise, I'm not exactly sure when or why the name was changed.  The special currently streams on Hulu and Amazon.  It's being reissued on a dvd titled Garfield Holiday Collection on November 4. 

I didn't see this as a kid, so I'm giving it slightly lower rating than RigbyMel, since it doesn't hold any nostalgic value for me. But Garfield's Halloween Adventure is an entertaining special and a reminder of why Jim Davis' characters were so beloved in their time.
J.A. Morris' rating:

3 jack o'lanterns

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