December 15, 2010

Garfield's Halloween Adventure (1985)

I've always loved Garfield's Halloween Adventure. Since I was a child, I would watch it each year and even then I had it recorded off of the tele onto a blank VHS so I could watch it whenever I wanted. Story of my life I guess. I still long for the day when I can see "The Little Troll Prince" or "The Nutcracker Fantasy" again, remastered and actually released in the US. One's a semi-controversial (whomever you may ask) Christmas tale and the other, a f'n whacked out Japanese stop-motion work that must be seen, yet not so much believed. I grew up on all three of these, amongst many many others. Perhaps I'll speak of those someday, but for now, let's talk about Garfield's Candy day. First off, I love the introduction to the whole thing.

It's so perfect. It starts off soft with birds chirping outside and slowly pans then zooms through the window to where Garfield is sleeping in his box in front of the television (of course). The broadcast is off the air and he's snug as a bug, when suddenly there's transmission and Binky The Clown screams like a fuckin' madman and startles Garfield into awakeness. It's happened to the best of us. Way back when, I fell asleep on my chair when the station I was previously watching tuned off at 3AM, only instead of a clown screaming it was loud, dream shattering static! What I like about this beginning scene is the pause that's given before Garfield jumps up and yells. It's really weird but totally works. Not only is his yelp funny, but also the look on his face as he's doing those jumping jacks. It's all funny as hell, and even though that's regular Garfield, a weirder tone is being set. After some pre-Halloween morning fun with Jon and Odie, Cat and Dog head to the dark recesses of the house to search for their night's clothing.

This is probably the most memorable scene for all the aging kids out there. I have never in my life forgotten this song... and trust me when I say that I've forgotten a lot of things from my youth. In fact, I took some time a while back to analyse my youth and came to a conclusion that I wasn't as innocent as I had previously thought. I was a little fucker! It was pretty sweet. Exciting for a twelve year old kid sneaking out at three in the morning doing whatever. When I was young I would always be asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?" And I was like, "A junkie!" Nobody ever says they want to be a junkie when they grow up. Unfortunately, that never came true. My real answer was "I don't know." Everyone else knew, or supposedly did, or thought that they did. Some people may. I'm sure a few people on this planet have followed their dreams and quote unquote "walked on the moon." But I never could figure it out. Maybe because there's so many things to be, or maybe because I've always been so empty inside. I still don't know what I want to be, and I don't even know what I am now. My ambition has dropped drastically each year from the time I could remember being alive. I had potential, still do. I'm a magnificent motherfucker who rocks out with my catbox out. So what should I be? Is it worth it to be anything? Why bother. I'd rather just sleep all day and eat lasagna when I get up. Here's the song:

"Eureka! The motherload. Look at all this great stuff Odie. With these costumes we can be... anything we want!

What should I be? There's so many sides to me.
I could be Handsome or Brave. A King or a Slave.
It's all up to me. So what should I be?
What could I be? What should I be?

I could be a Scary Vampire...
And turn myself into a Bat. (FLAP! FLAP!)
Or I could put on some black pajamas.
And go as a big fat Halloween Cat.

What should I be?
There's so many sides to me.
I could be an Astronaut,
A Robot, A Hobo, A Clown
Or an Alien Creature going out on the town!
What should I be? It's all up to me.
What should I be... Let's go!"

So eventually Garfield and Odie go Trick-R-Treating and they sing a few more songs along the way. It's all good viewing and great fun. There's the usual abundance of dry wit and it is all very funny. They take a stroll around town through the safer part of the neighborhood (or so it seems), but Garfield is fiending for more of that CandyCandyCandyCandyCandy so he decides that the two should rowboat over the lake to a strange looking house. Perhaps it's filled with candy? My initial guess would be no. Doesn't really seem like the smartest idea, and Garfield soon discovers this and laments. Fortunately for us though, they make it across and enter what doesn't seem like the spookiest house one you take a look inside. Of course, you can't see who's sitting in that big chair from the back and when the two take some time to warm up by the fireplace, Garfield can't help but take a look back. And cue: Shit just got real! Holy Fuck look at that creepy lookin' dude! I'd shit a brick too, fuck, I'd shit two bricks.

So Uncle Goddamn there lays a story on them so intense that before he gets out his second sentence Garfield is saying adios.  To his credit though, the first thing that guy said was something along the lines of "Tonight will be the most horrific and gruesome night you will ever experience." If I were Garfield I'd split too... or at least hope that this sick bastard likes raping dogs instead of cats. Seriously, look at that guy. I bet he does nothing in his cartoon life but eat fluffernutter sandwiches, beat off and brutally violate small wandering animals. Oh, so he tells them this story about 100 year old pirate ghosts that will be arriving in exactly one minute at midnight for their buried treasure. It's a good thing those weren't them gold foil covered chocolate coins, he'd probably woulda eaten em all. While beating off. So he freaks G and O so bad that he distracts them and then fuckin' steals their rowboat! This guy is slicker than jizz, let me tell you. But seriously, he freaked me the hell out when I was younger. Yeah, and he still does too.

Sadly the pirate ghosts don't really stay too long, which sucks because they're totally badass! All chalky and shit. But it was all really well done, and the tone of the whole episode was maintained in its spookiness. I would have liked to see more of the ghosts since they look so damn cool, but it was only remotely built up and the middle of the episode wandered into song territory so whatever. I'm not saying it got slow, since it's all entertaining, but I guess when you've got something great it's better not to exploit it until you don't care anymore. The pirate ghosts are rare here and that makes them even more special. The music for their scene is great too. Really tweaked out and trippy.

If you're strapped for cash from buying all the dope and beer, watch it free right here:

"I've had nightmares that look like birthday parties compared to tonight." Well Garfield, I'll 1-UP ya. I've had birthday parties that were absolute nightmares. And that was before I even started drinking Absolut. Somebody stop me here, I'm gonna explode. If you even care (people who read this), sorry about the lack of posts this month, I've been uhh... lazy, hitting the pub, unfocused, eating lasagna, sleeping. You name some unproductive shit, I've been doing it. But I really wanted to post this even though it took me about nine days to do so. Because I feel that it's important to revisit those films and specials and cartoons that made you happy when you didn't have something in your life that destroyed it all. Like work and chicks for instance, the endless cycle, earn money burn money. Garfield knows what I'm talkin' about right? No, he's sleeping.  Odie knows. He's the dumbass of the group. Always blowing his load of cash on all the bitches.


1 comment:

Anthony1138 said...

I love me some Garfield holiday specials. I was recently rummaging through the $5 bin at The Big K and came a cross the Garfield holiday collection, including Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Looking forward to revisiting these childhood favorites.

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