Halloween 13: Garfield’s Halloween Adventure (1985)
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Seeing as how this Halloween falls in the year 2013 the crew at SKC decided to invite 13 of our blogging brethren for a monster-sized countdown, weekdays now until Halloween day, celebrating each person's favorite Halloween movie or animated special.]
I still remember my first memory of Halloween. I was a 10 year old boy who loved two things in the whole wide world: one being animals, either from mythos or reality; other being Garfield. Yes, that lazy orange cat with an attitude was the world to me. I read all his books and watched all his episodes and even had cakes themed with that cat! It was a golden age for me. But I still had yet to discover one thing about that cat: the TV specials. It was Garfield who introduced to a celebration that would rock my world: HALLOWEEN.
It had been half a year since I moved and discovered so many wonderful things such as American Candy and Cable TV. I remember it being the first days of October and Cartoon Network began to announce a series of TV specials around the theme of the eerie and the spooky, the supernatural and the occult, all of which would be aired gradually until a grand special during October 31st. I didn’t understand anything at the time, just that it looked like fun and that there was “A Garfield Special.” I glued myself to the TV and watched everything I could in anticipation to THAT SHOW, and it was worth it! That day I learned what Halloween was all about for a kid thanks to Garfield and I loved it.
The Garfield Halloween Special is as simple as it can get: It’s Halloween night and Garfield dresses up to get the most candy he can with the aide of Odie. Sure the story is simple, but that’s where its charm lies and there are a lot of musicals in the special that are well placed and fluidly animated, working really well to encourage kids to dress up and enjoy a night of family safe fun. But wait? Isn’t Halloween supposed to be scary? Lucky for us Garfield introduces us to that too. As the third act of the special begins Garfield and Odie ride a boat to an island in the middle of the river to claim more candy, there they will get lost in the fog only to arrive to an rundown house where one of the creepiest old men I have ever seen narrates a bone chilling story that turns out to be true at the stroke of midnight.
I still remember that man’s deep, strong voice narrating that pirate story with a style reminiscent of those forgotten nights around the campfire, then as lighting stroke he vanished! Garfield and Odie were left to hide from the ghosts of the pirates who would chase them off the island to keep their treasure safe. I still think that’s probably one of the best scenes I have seen in an old style Halloween story as the old man and the pirates were animated with such detail and care that they stole the special. But Garfield worry not, Garfield and Odie return home with a lesson learned and a bag full of candy, a sappy end to nice special.
All and all although it may not be the perfect Halloween Special, after all these years I still think that the Garfield Halloween Special is a great story to enjoy for Halloween with your kids around. I believe this story is a way to introduce little kids to the night of Halloween in its full extent. It shows them the fun and charm of dressing up and go around asking for candy, the dangers of being greedy or diverting from a safe road, the beauty of a great friendship and that Halloween is supposed to be scary and that is in there where all the fun lies. The Garfield Halloween Special is in my opinion not only a great special, but a great way to encourage future generations to celebrate Halloween with all its charms and eeriness. Is a great heart warmer for a wonderful holiday.
This article is part of the Countdown to Halloween blogathon, a month-long blogging marathon dedicated to honoring the Halloween season. For more information and a full list of participating sites, please visit www.countdowntohalloween.com.