Halloween is slowly approaching which means people are getting ready for pumpkin tasting everything and scary movies. I can’t stand all the pumpkin spice garbage. I happen to have three children and they all love this time of the year. One thing it brings is Halloween specials on television. One Halloween special I always loved and have passed on to my children is 1985’s Garfield’s Halloween Adventure. Many of my fellow 80’s friends have fond memories of this thirty minute special that aired October 30th of 1985 on CBS. It was just one night a year where kids could tune into their crappy televisions with the wood paneling and watch both Garfield’s Halloween Adventure and It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Yea, those were the days. Remember when CBS would do the Christmas specials for that one night a year? If you missed out then “to hell with you kid! Wait til’ next year.” Now a days everything is ruined. There is no magic in television specials because it is on television every single day. I can’t even count how many times Hocus Pocus and A Nightmare Before Christmas is on.
But you don’t really see a great deal of Garfield’s Halloween Adventure anymore. My kids are only aware of it because of me. I’ve actually noticed that some of my daughters friends have no clue that it ever existed! They have terrible parents. Anyways, for anyone that hasn’t seen Garfield’s Halloween then you can actually watch it on YouTube right now.
I think this episode was a favorite of mine as a child. As opposed to other specials like Charlie Brown or Showtimes The Crown of Bogg. It’s a fun little cartoon that captivates the essence of a child’s Halloween night. Going out on the town dressed up in something. Most of the time our costumes were cheap or handmade. But what makes Garfield’s Halloween so much more special as an adult is the connection it has with John Carpenters The Fog!
I think many horror freaks are fans or if not familiar with 1980’s The Fog. In my opinion it is as true a ghost story as ever. Something you don’t quite get today because the ghosts happen to be spirits of a damned pirate crew. Being pirates in general is kind of a lost theme in many ghost films. Most of the time you either get pissed off Asian kids, screaming women or some stupid ass doll like Annabelle. But when I think of pirate ghosts… or is it ghost pirates? I guess “ghost pirates” insinuates that they were ghosts that turned into pirates after death while “pirate ghosts” is the opposite! Anyone that watches South Park knows where I am going with this. Any who, pirates are a good camp fire theme. Every time I associate pirate ghosts with a detailed image, I think of an old man sitting around a campfire talking about some evil Captain and his crew. Which is Garfield’s Halloween Adventure is so awesome and a perfect homage to the film.
In the cartoon Garfield and Odie (Garfield’s loyal dog) set out on Halloween night to get as much candy as they can. They’re dressed as pirates and set out across a river only to drift upon a remote island with a small cabin. They enter the cabin and meet an old man that proceeds to tell them of this tale about pirates that return every year to this location for their hidden treasure.
He’s a creepy old guy that tells the tale perfectly. It’s an odd moment because for a child everything shifts from goofy fun and song to this creepy fireside ghost story. Of course the old man leaves Garfield and Odie there and the ghosts end up making an appearance. Giving this Halloween special something that most lack. A little sense of horror.
Sure it’s not pinhead ripping someone into pieces with hooks or soul devouring demons from a basement but it’s great for a small child. Yours kids will love this entire thing and the true horror fans will completely love this little nod to The Fog. I don’t think it was necessarily on purpose this was done. After all the idea of pirate ghosts itself wasn’t all to creative. But it’s an interesting thing that this Garfield cartoon would channel this theme from such a great underrated film. I love The Fog and this cartoon serves as a reminder that a classic spooky ghost story is a great thing.