Friday, October 28, 2011

Creepy, Kooky, Spooky, Ooky

I don't watch much television these days. I find 95% of it is pure crud, and that we have 95% more channels now than when I was a kid boggles the mind. I still remember the days when we grew up with three channels, five if the weather cooperated, and cartoon specials came with the changing of the seasons. My daughter likes to watch Cartoon Network. So far we have seen Halloween episodes of her favorites, Johnny Test and Regular Show, several times in the space of a week. The constant airings really dilute the excitement of the holiday.

I'm sure It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was on this week, but I missed it. CBS doesn't run Snoopy and the gang anymore, and you don't see the commercials for the Dolley Madison Zingers (can you still buy those - everything here is TastyKakes). If you do see one-shot animated specials, the major networks rarely make room for them on their schedules. You have to wade through thousands of their supplemental channels to find what you want.

When I was younger, animated Halloween specials pre-empted regular programming and kept us glued to the set after trick or treating. I'd sit on the floor in my vinyl Wonder Woman jumpsuit from Ben Cooper (with the plastic mask that made your face sweat) and sort the chocolates from the tarts from the lollipops while watching the following:

The Devil and Daniel Mouse scared the absolute piss out of me the first time I saw it. I don't recall a darker cartoon for the time period. This is naturally a take on The Devil and Daniel Webster, only here an aspiring mouse singer named Jan signs on with Scratch for fame and fortune. If you know the story, you know the ending, but I'll tell you that even now the animation in this piece gives me the creeps.

I only recently learned that Gilda Radner voiced the witch in Witch's Night Out. This is one trippy Halloween show - probably not one to watch if you're high. The animation reminds me a bit of this 70s children show called Vegetable Soup, which is best described as Sesame Street on acid.

This year, we may just leave the set off and enjoy each other's company. Little one has spent the week drawing pictures of Powerpuff Girls as zombies...perhaps we'll see them on the screen one day.

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