Witch's Night Out: An Interview with "Small" (Tony Molesworth)

No Halloween cartoon seems to be remembered quite as fondly as Witch's Night Out, the 1970s cartoon that was aired for years on the Disney Channel around Halloween. As I stated in our previous article, the adventures of Small, Tender, Bazooie, and the Witch tend to live in people's collective childhood memories like that one McDonald's we were in one time in Cedar Rapids, or maybe Minneapolis, that served pizza. People everywhere are sure it existed, and remember loving it, but can't quite remember enough about it to find it again. Often, they end up on this site, where the WNO post is the most popular page by a wide margin. John Leach, the producer, is currently working on getting it back into print. Update: remastered DVD is now on Amazon!

"Small" in action.
Today, as a special treat, we've tracked down Tony Molesworth, who provided the voice of Small (while his girlfriend, Naomi, played Tender). He's still performing as a vaudevillian and comedian in Canada, and graciously agreed to answer a few questions for halloweenspecials.net! 

HalloweenSpecials.net: What do you remember about working on the cartoon? How did you get involved?
   In high school I was dating the Naomi the daughter of the Animators, John Leach and Jean Rankin (and who played Tender -ed). I was a performer, unicycle, comic, juggler, magician and all around clown who was performing for parties and events so they thought i was a natural. I was good at voices; I had built some ventriloquist puppets and that was also part of my act. 

Tony Molesworth, the voice of "Small"
  So they were on a home budget to make the film and John asked me if i wanted to do a voice in the film, i had done a bit of voice work for a few commercials so i jumped at the chance. 

Any "behind the scenes" stories you'd like to share? 
   I thought it was amazing how John's wife, Jean, painted all the backgrounds and then dried them in her kitchen stove there were a few layers of backdrops piled up with the stove open, then they ended up in the film. A very DIY grass roots kinda film. And it was great to meet and work with Gilda Radner; she was already a big celebrity then. 

What was the recording process like? Any anecdotes you'd like to share?
  We, like most recording studios, did each voice part separately; thats how i did Small, it was in a little recording studio in an old brick building downtown Toronto. I believe some of the other actors doubled up for some scenes. I remember everyone was in a very positive mood and all were joking around and 
having fun. I guess that what you would expect with a buncha clowns like that group. And John liked crazy people - as far as i could tell, he encouraged it, No feeling of work, just play. When God retires.. we need someone like him to take over this world.  

Tony as he appeared in the late 70s.

What did you think of the show when it came out? Were you aware that it had a cult following today?
 No cult following that I knew about, i thought the film was great, i liked the clown-cartoon feel of it and its universal characters. And i liked John a lot. He had a great sense of humor
and it was a laid back cool sorta hippy house, I had lots of dinners with them and let stay over there all the time.  

Just for fun - if a "fairy godmother" offered to change you into some sort of monster for one night, what would you pick? 
Small..... lol.....  I'm into saints not monsters, saints don't sleep at night, the halos keep them awake.. monsters don't look good in halos.... lol  

How long has it been since you watched the show? 
I have not seen it since it was made

What are you up to these days? I see that you're still doing a lot of performing! 
 I have been full time in the comedy biz, cruise ships, corporates, headlining comedy club, fringe and music festivals, opening acts for bands, and opening acts with celeb comics like  Howie Mandel. I created an art deck of yoga cards on computer; they are very popular. I never stop writing comedy, songs, shows, bits,  I have an kids animation movie i am working on, and  a few new one man shows I'll be touring the next summer, and almost finished my first book. One of my new projects i will releasing a music CD, I play melodic and bluegrass styles of banjo and have written some magical and mystical songs, with a universal spiritual flavor.  My new music site will be up in Feb 2014 www.anantta.com . ... you asked!

Thank Peace Infinity 
Tony Molesworth.

Thanks for talking with us, Tony! And readers, stay tuned for our upcoming interview with John Leach himself!

1995: The Ketchup Vampires

Long about 1985, my friend and I used to sit on top of a set of monkey bars. We'd pretend that it was a space ship or a WW-1 style plane, and that we were under attack by some group called The Ketchup Vampires. "Fire mustard!" we'd shout. When that failed to blow them out of the sky, we'd shout "Fire horse relish!"  (we were about confused about the actual names of condiments).

A decade later or so, in the late 1990s, I happened upon a VHS tape called The Ketchup Vampires 2 at Blockbuster and figured that that must have been where we got the idea. But the tape was dated a few years too late for us to have seen it, so it was sort of a mystery. Naturally, I rented the video out to see what it was was, even though they only had part 2, not part 1.

What it was, was awful. It was apparently a foreign cartoon that had been badly dubbed into English and was pretty much impossible to watch, despite some decent animation (or decent backgrounds, anyway). I seem to recall that you could still hear the German audio track in the background. Information on this thing is scarce even now, but it seems that The Ketchup Vampires was a short-lived series in Germany that spawned a couple of 90 minute specials that were then released in the States with narration by Elvira. Sources differ as to whether the videos are the specials or a whole season of cartoons edited into individual movies. The latter explanation would explain a lot.

The movies were released in 1995 and 96, a full decade after our monkey bars game, so this wasn't where we got the idea for it. It couldn't have been. Even if it EXISTED (and enough people seem to think of it as an "80s movie" that I'm willing to concede that it might be older than the VHS release implies, though I found no evidence), we probably wouldn't have sat through it. And man, we sat through a lot of crap in those days.

The plot, such as it is, concerns a group of vampires who, according to the theme song, would "rather kiss you than kill you." I don't want them to do either of those things to me. As the name implies, they eat ketchup - and various "ketchup products" - rather than drinking blood. This sort of conceit has worked well enough for others; Bruce Coville did a book in which Dracula drinks V8 juice, and a couple of my own books with vampires had them drinking a vegetable compound that was developed during the Civil War and found to be more satisfying than blood (I needed some plausible reason that they could be let into high schools after "coming out of the coffin.") And, no, contrary to some popular youtube comments, I can't imagine that this cartoon was the inspiration for Stephanie Meyer's "vegetarian" vampires, who still drink blood, just not human blood. It's an easy joke for when you want to have vampires, but need them not to be too violent.

Having seen this cartoon years before writing those books of my own, I do wonder if maybe it was lurking somewhere deep in my subconscious when I wrote out I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It, but I somehow doubt it, because only now, 15 years after I came up with the initial version of this page, after years of scouring the world for new specials to write about, have I even remembered that this thing existed.

I'm usually willing to forgive the real stinkers on the grounds that nostalgia is nostalgia, and quality doesn't always figure into these things. But I doubt that many people could watch this and feel particularly nostalgic. For one thing, I don't think very many people ever saw it to start with, and I think that even fewer people saw more than a few minutes of it before getting bored and going to do something else. Even at age 5.

I can picture the scenario in which this would get watched. The lady down the street whose house you go to after school is having some of "The Girls" over, and needs you and the other kids she watches to be quiet. So she rented this cartoon, and unless it's an emergency, you're all to sit quietly and watch the cartoon until it's over. But even then, and even if said Lady Down the Street was one of those mean ones who wasn't ABOUT to let you do anything else besides watch the movie, your mind would wander. You would focus on picking your nose, scratching out shapes in your arm with your fingernail...pretty much anything. Or stare at the window, maybe, where the trees swaying in the branches were putting on a better show than what was on the screen.

Then again, googling around shows that there ARE people who don't hate this, so I suppose it takes all kinds of kinds. Many maintain that Ketchup Vampires 2 is a LOT better than the first installment, which is sort of terrifying.

All that said, The Ketchup Vampires 2 has some good visuals, and the songs WILL stick in your head. It may be that they could have edited this down into a really fun 20 minute cartoon. Information about it scant enough that I'm not totally sure that it didn't exist, at least in Germany, when my friend and I were playing on the monkey bars, but how we would have heard of it is completely beyond me. Here's the intro to part 1, if you're so inclined, with a catchy theme song:

And part 2, the one I saw:

1982: Bunnicula

James Howe's 1979 novel Bunnicula belongs in the pantheon of cozy mysteries in which the story is narrated by a great detective's roommate, ala Watson narrating the Sherlock Holmes stories, or Archie telling the stories of Nero Wolfe. Sure, in this instance the narrator is a talking dog named Harold, the detective skills of Chester the Cat are probably questionable, but the venerable children's book maintains a certain coziness and charm, as the two household pets investigate the theory that the new pet rabbit, Bunnicula, is a vampire. After all, the vegetables in the house are being drained of color. There's not much harm in this, but, as Chester says, "Today, vegetables...tomorrow, the world!"

Re-reading Bunnicula this week was a pleasure - it's a very smart book; smarter, in many ways, than we can get away with in a 90 page middle grade book today. Like a great many middle grade books from that era, the father of the house is an English professor (fathers seem as though they're almost always writers or professors in smart kids' books of the '60s-'80s). In the end, Chester in therapy, reading books with titles like Finding Yourself by Screaming a Lot.

The book spawned several sequels, incluing The Celery Stalks at Midnight, my own pick for the best comic horror title of all time, and an animated one-off special that was aired as an ABC Weekend Special in fall, 1982.

The cartoon varies quite a bit from the plot of the book. Here, the father works at a factory, and the factory is being shut down due to strange vampire-like activity. Harold and Chester, the dog and cat, are a bit more, well, cartoonish than their cozy counterparts in the book. It all ends in a big chase scene inside of the factory, during which Bunnicula exhibits explicit vampire powers (which also never happens in the book).

Compared to the book, the cartoon seems like a real disaster. But taking the cartoon on its own, it's really not bad at all; visually, and in terms of the plot and the humor, it comes off like a second-string Scooby Doo episode (which is a darn sight better than a third-string one). It has the visual look of an early Scooby, and even some voices that sounds Scooby-like, and the same general premise of a big chase scene as we find out that the real culprit in the factory was a bunch of wolves or coyotes or something, not an actual vampire.

Judged on its own merits, Bunnicula is a pretty enjoyable 22 minute cartoon. If you enjoyed it as a kid, it will be fun to revisit now. And you can, thanks to youtube:

1988: The Canterville Ghost (animated)

Very little information exists about this 1988 half hour special, which was aired Sept 26, 1988, apparently (based on the data in the circulating video file) on the USA network. It does look like something they would have shown on USA back then. Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson) provides one of the voices. Some remember it playing on USA in the 1990s in a double feature, perhaps with Double Double Toil and Trouble (an Olson Twins affair) and Trick or Treason, an Alvin and the Chipmunks flop from 1994 that was nowhere near as good as their Wolf Man movie.

With stylized animation that makes it look like a 16 bit version of the style of Witch's Night Out, or perhaps WNO cross-bred with one of those picture books they'd animate a little on Reading Rainbow, this is probably fairly gorgeous in good quality (though the circulating video, which was made available by halloweenshows dot net , is a bit rough).

About as rare as these specials get, this edition of The Canterville Ghost actually seems to generate more interest (certainly more emails from fans) than the 1986 live action movie that featured Alyssa Milano, with many people in particular remembering the sequence in which Sir Simon talks about the death of his wife.

 Plenty of people have made movie and cartoon versions of Oscar Wilde's short story, and it seems to be made for the format: the story of a ghost having trouble scaring the people who move into his house is an easy generator for Home Alone-style pranks and laughs - and this version plays up the humor much more effectively than most of them do, as poor Sir Simon is tormented by the young twins and offered some lubricant for his chains by the father.  However, it's only like this for the first two thirds. After that, it abruptly turns into a much sadder story, as Sir Simon tells Virginia how he let his wife go riding one day, and the carraige went off a bridge. They found her drowned body the next day, and he himself wound up buried in an unmarked grave, unmourned. You don't see a lot of cartoons talking about unmarked graves. Virginia has to mourn over Simon's grave, then help him learn to forgive himself so he can go from haunting the attic to the "beautiful garden" in the next world. It's a night and day switch from the tone of the first two-thirds.

It's this portion that keeps the story from simply being a Looney Tunes romp, but it's tends to make for an uneven story that turns too quickly from pure comedy to pure tragedy (with a lot of Victorian-style sentiment in most cases).

In this version, though, it seems to be the dark sequence towards the end that lives in peoples' memories. The scene (illustrated with a few non-moving painted backgrounds) in which Sir Simon's wife rides off, and the scene of the edge of the carraige poking from the water, are said to have inspired a few nightmares.

 But the whole piece is really as good an adaptation of the story as I've seen, and the animation is really quite unique, like a really cool picture book come to life.

On Sleepy Hollow (2013 TV series)

On the show Community, they occasionally show clips of of a Doctor Who parody called Inspector Spacetime. The Inspector and his companion will crash-land somewhere, and the companion will say "Where are we, Inspector?" to which the Inspector replies, "The question isn't where, but....when?"

This line appears, almost verbatim, in the first episode of the new Sleepy Hollow TV show, which I've taken to describing as "If Inspector Spacetime crash-landed in Twin Peaks." I can't do much better to describe than my fellow Firebrand Literary survivor Scott Neumyer did in his Rolling Stone review, which was entitled "Sleepy Hollow Is Batshit Crazy." But I mean all this as a compliment. Sure, the show may make very little sense, really, but it has foggy graveyards, catacombs full of the bones of dead witches, dusty old books full of ancient secrets, and some pretty slick coffins. And, now and then, a headless horseman. I'll give pretty much anything with a headless horseman in it a shot.

Now, this show and its premise have almost nothing to do with the original Legend of Sleepy Hollow. To refresh, the story there is that in the early 1800s, a lanky New Englander named Ichabod Crane comes to Sleepy Hollow, New York, to teach school. While there, he becomes enamored with a coquette named Katrina Van Tassel, whose father owns a heck of a farm. After being strung along by her for a while, he's chased out of town by the Headless Horseman, the chief among all the local ghosts. It's said to be the ghost of a Hessian soldier from the Revolution that had taken place in living memory, but Washington Irving's story, the one that chases Ichabod is strongly implied to have been Brom Bones, Ichabod's romantic rival, in disguise, just trying to scare him.

Here on the show, Ichabod Crane is a British official who switched sides to fight under George Washington in the 1770s, and died in battle just after decapitating a horseman. His wife, Katrina, put him under some sort of spell that kept him asleep for more than two centuries until he wakes up in New York, where he finds that Katrina was burned as a witch in the 1790s and now inhabits some sort of world-between-worlds, like the Black Lodge only with more shrubbery, and that the horseman is actually one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Teaming up with the police officer who found him, Ichabod and Katrina now fight various demons and witches every week as they try to keep the horseman from finding his head and bringing about the end of days.

Now, there are plenty of things wrong with this. As a historian, I don't even know where to begin saying what's wrong with Katrina being burned as a witch in the 1790s. I'm hesitant to call it a "modern day take" on the old legend, since it has basically nothing to do with it (I don't think the story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman exists in the world of the show). Take out the names Ichabod and Katrina, and there's basically no connection at all.

And I'm pretty sure that one day soon, perhaps as soon as next week (we're three episodes in as I write this), I'll turn the show on and realize that I no longer have any idea what the hell is going on. It happened about midway through season 2 of Twin Peaks, and about halfway through the run of The X-Files, and I doubt I'll last the whole season on this one. For now it's mostly just a "monster of the week" sort of show, but sooner or later it'll bogged down on the underlying plot and I'll lose track of things.

But for now, I'm really enjoying it. Though Ichabod's jokes about seeing a Starbucks everywhere now were a bit cheap, I enjoyed watching Ichabod adapt to the 20th century. And though I have some issues with its awful grasp on history, problematic uses of religious themes, etc, it is nice to see such a diverse cast. And it's kind of fun to watch a headless horseman with an assault rifle. He's a pretty bad shot, but, hey, how's he supposed to aim the thing without any eyes? Most Sleepy Hollow variants seem to take it for granted that the horseman can see pretty well.

And, as mentioned, it's got foggy graveyards and catacombs full of the bones of dead witches that you can apparently find just by poking around in suburban New York basements (hey, they find dead bodies all over the place; they found a whole underground chamber full of skeletons in Union Square back in the 60s).  If the show is over-the-top with its corniness and insanity, at least it knows it. It's the kind of show where if someone seems like they'd look good in a cape, they'll probably go ahead and have them wear a cape. Where a villain probably wouldn't be afraid to say "It's mine! All mine!" Where no production assistant would ever dare to utter "Hey, do you think people will wonder how come there's a fog machine going?" It's nice to see a show that seems to have no real interest in taking itself too seriously.

1987: Ghost Stories from The Pickwick Papers

How in the HELL did I never hear of this? I'm a big Dickens fan - I have a whole blog called Drink Like the Dickens in which I make drinks out of Dickens books (smoking bishop, wassail, negus, etc). And yet, somehow it escaped me that there was actually a made-for-video cartoon that functions as a Charles Dickens Halloween Special.

Dickens's first novel, The Pickwick Papers, made him a star. Something like 80% of all people who could read bought a copy, and its hardcore fans rivaled Harry Potter fans for obsessiveness (I would have loved to see what they did on Tumblr). The book, a rambling narrative in which Mr. Pickwick and his friends wander around from adventure to adventure, presented a sort of "Englishness" that everyone recognized, but which had never been captured before. I like to compare it to Clerks, which presented a sort of suburban lifestyle that much of my generation recognized at once, but had never really seen on film before.

The book hasn't held up particularly well. For a good century, it was the go-to book to mention when people were talking about the funniest book of all time, but today it's funny in an "I guess you had to be there" way. Most of the adventures seem like Laurel and Hardy shorts. But that isn't to say it's bad, by any means.

At various points in the book, presumably whenever Dickens was short on ideas, some character or another will tell a totally unrelated short story, the best known of which is probably The Goblins Who Stole a Sexton, which was sort of an early version of A Christmas Carol.  Many of the stories had ghostly themes, and, in Ghost Stories From The Pickwick Papers, we get animated versions of four of the stories, strung together by a framing device in which the Pickwick Club is telling ghost stories to kill time.

Emerald City animation was making a lot of Dickens movies in those days, as well as adaptations of classics like The Phantom of the Opera. From what I can see from the previews, they all look similar to this one: gorgeously painted, but still obviously low budget work by skeleton crews.

The animation is of that Filmation style, and a lot of corners are clearly being cut. The script could stand to be a bit punchier, as it drags in places. But the visuals are so fantastic that none of this really matters. The characters themselves look a bit simple, but the backgrounds have some of the best foggy Victorian streets, tumble-down mansions, moldy graveyards, and gnarled branches in the business. The producers were not afraid to be scary, and the result is a great "Halloweenish" vibe throughout.  If only the budget had been bigger, you get the impression that this could have made a really dynamite feature film.

All quibbles aside, though, there are some really good parts here. My favorite story, both in the book and the cartoon, concerns a guy who meets a ghost in an old inn (there are a LOT of inns in this book), and asks the ghosts why ghosts are always haunting gloomy places. Why not go someplace nice? The ghost is astounded. "I never thought of that!" he says. And off he goes.

Here's it is; thanks to John Bolles for the tip.

Fruity Yummy Mummy and Frute Brute Rise Again!

This is a bit off-topic, but I can't help wanting to talk about this stuff. It's not exactly TV related, unless you count commercials, but it's Halloween nostalgia, all right.

We had a weird custom on Halloween in Des Moines - before saying "trick or treat," (which you actually did on Beggar's Night, Oct 30th), you had to tell a joke. Something along the lines of "Why did the man put his car in the oven? Because he wanted a hot rod!" We had to work for our treats, and we didn't complain, because we had values in those days. I was surprised to move South and find kids just saying "trick or treat" and expecting candy, like a bunch of mooching commies.

I remember one year I was trick-or-treating behind a kid whose joke was one he got off a box of Yummy Mummy, the newly-released monster cereal to go along with Count Chocula and Frankenberry (Boo Berry was already sort of hard to find by then). I don't remember the question part of the joke, but the answer was "Fruity Yummy Mummy." The kid carefully recited the joke at every house, and the people at the door, who probably didn't get it if they didn't follow the cereal world closely, smiled politely and gave the kid some candy.

I'm telling this story because it amounts to just about the full extent of my memories of Fruity Yummy Mummy, which never really got off the ground as a cereal. I remember having it and thinking it was okay a few times, though given the choice I probably would have picked King Vitaman over it. 1988 was an odd time to bring out a new monster cereal; they had already pretty much stopped advertising them on television by then, and I think they've given up on having cool prizes in the boxes for the most part. By the late 90s, I couldn't find any monster cereals at all, except for occasionally Count Chocula.

Tales of how good Frankenberry was became a part of my teenage suburban folklore. "I used to inhale that stuff," one friend used to say. There was a web page in the mid 90s devoted to the long-lost Boo Berry, lamenting how General Mills "never really gave Boo Berry a chance." Production art from a Frankenberry commercial was one of the first things I bought when I discovered eBay.

About ten years ago, the cereals started being easy to find at Halloween again, so I've always been able to get my fill of the three basic monsters, and never really found myself missing Fruity Yummy Mummy. Still, when they announced last month that Fruity Yummy Mummy was coming back, along with Fruit Brute, which was cancelled before my time, I was ecstatic. Yes! Bring back everything from my childhood! Let nothing be lost! My generation will not stop until we can get our Ecto-Cooler again. From a metal can.

So, with a song in my heart, I have been in a Target store just about every, just checking. I've hit grocery stores, too, but only Target is getting retro-style boxes. Just the idea of getting Count Chocula in a retro box was exciting to me, and the chance to try Frute Brute at last made me feel like I had a chance to fill a hole I never realized I had in my soul. In a way.

Today, they finally showed up in the Halloween department of the West Loop Target here in Chicago.  My memories aren't really strong enough to tell me if the flavor is authentic; word on the street is that they were both the same flavor originally, and the way to get the "authentic" version is to mix them. Here's my verdict:

A cherry-flavored cereal that tastes pretty much like any other red cereal, albeit with marshmallows. Tasty.

Now this stuff is tasty business. The orange-cream flavored cereal tastes like a creamsicle bar. Delicious.

Mixing them together makes things a bit too....crowded. Like a bowl of Fruit Loops, the individual cherry, orange and vanilla flavors sort of get lost in the shuffle. Perhaps the sort of guys who can taste twelve different flavors in their wine would appreciate it more, but I just don't have that good of a palette.

I'll leave you with this photo of how I'm using my boxes to help decorate my desk for Halloween, even though showing a pictures with records exposes me to the general risk of being called a hipster on Reddit. It beats being called a dudebro.

And a vintage Yummy Mummy commercial. Boo Berry was out of the ads by this point, and Frankenberry would soon follow, if I remember right:

2013: The Legend of Smurfy Hollow

I was going to review the new Sleepy Hollow TV series, but I decided I'd wait for a few more episodes. So far, it seems like Inspector Spacetime landed in Twin Peaks during Season 2, the one where things spun out of control and made very little sense. I mean this in a nice way, and all, but I'm not sure what to say about it yet.

So, instead, I thought I'd share a few thoughts on the Smurfs' first proper Halloween special, a straight-to-DVD half hour cartoon entitled The Legend of Smurfy Hollow. It's in stores now.

I suppose we can now expect that every toy we remember is going to be revived for the big screen sooner or later. He-Man hasn't happened yet, but it's in the works. We may not see movies of I Vant to Bite Your Finger or The Wuzzles any time soon, but nothing shocks me anymore. The way the movie business works now, a lot revolves around opening week gross (more than it used to), and "stuff you've heard of" is a safe risk, no matter how bad the movie is.

So after disappearing from pop culture for about 20 years, a couple of years back the Smurfs came back in a big way with a poorly-received movie that did well enough to spawn a poorly-received sequel. I haven't seen either one of them, so I really shouldn't comment. Even in the 80s, I had a few smurfs and all, and I vaguely remember seeing The Smurfs and the Magic Flute in a theater, but I wasn't all that into them.

Still, after a few minutes, when The Legend of Smurfy Hollow turned from its CGI framing device of a bunch of smurfs telling ghost stories and morphed into a cell-animated cartoon, I was filled with a warm, fuzzy feeling. A new Smurfs cartoon! After all this time!

The story is really nothing like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow at all. Here, we have the Smurfs gearing up for their annual berry-picking competetion, which Brainy Smurf wins every year. Another Smurf (I forget his name) follows Brainy into Smurfy Hollow, which most Smurfs avoid because of several signs saying "Beware of the Headless Horseman." Brainy put them up himself to scare others away from Smurfy Hollow, which is by far the best place to pick berries.

There's a funny sequence in which Brainy talks to himself about the general absurdity about a headless horseman. "What would he do if it rained?" he asks. But then, of course, a REAL headless horseman shows up, Brainy runs, a rescue party is formed, and sooner or later three smurfs are trapped in Gargamel's cages.

Now, maybe I don't remember well enough, but I don't think Gargamel used to be particularly funny. He's more self-deprecating now; he gets a funny line here in which he exists that his personal hygiene is perfectly in line with 16th century standards.  Then, again, the Headless Horseman shows up and chases everyone away. Gargamel is vanquished, and the Smurfs learn some valuable lessons. Spoiler alert: the horseman is really a goat the Papa Smurf magically disguised as a ghost (implying that he's known Brainy was cheating all along, I suppose).

The Legend of Smurfy Hollow isn't bad. Heck, it's nice just to see a new cell-animated Halloween special at all. The plot only makes a little bit of sense, but it's probably better than the average episode of The Smurfs from the 80s, and it sure made me hungry for a bowl of SmurfBerry Crunch. That was a some good cereal, right there. I suppose a box of Cap'n Crunch's Oops All Berries will have to do...until I can get my hands on the re-released versions of Fruit Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy, for which I'm checking Target daily. That's where I was when I found this new Smurf DVD, which was only five bucks.

I'll leave you with Tom Smith's "Smurfin' Safari"


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