The Haunted Pumpkin of Sleepy Hollow

At 48 minutes, this can also be filed under both the "specials" section of the site AND the "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" variations. Made direct-to-video in 2004, this features much higher production values than your average halloween cartoon.

It starts out very well, too. Beginning with a flashback of Ichabod's midnight ride (and a good one at that), then moving to the present day, where a Sleepy Hollow-area library is showing off the original manuscript of Irving's story (in reality, only a fragment of the manuscript exists, but nevermind).

We then meet our heros, including a boy named Nicholas Crane (there sure are a lot of relatives of Ichabod showing up these days). When thieves steal the manuscript and hide it in a pumpkin, the pumpkin becomes possessed by ghosts. Or something like that. I didn't really understand all of the details.

When Nick and his friend find the pumpkin, it turns out to be the home of a ghost from the revolutionary war, who informs them that on the night before Halloween, the horseman will ride again. And, if he can put the pumpkin (which is actually his head - again, the physics didn't always make sense) onto his shoulders at midnight, he'll be brought back to life.
Now, all of this is very well and good - it's a pretty good setup for a cartoon. It doesn't make much SENSE, but plenty of perfectly good cartoons don't. The problem here is that the characters simply aren't that interesting. And when the ghost comes out of the pumpkin, the kids are scared for a second, then immediately start to take the whole thing in stride. They aren't even interested enough in the fact that there's a ghost talking to him to ask what the food is like in the afterlife or any other such questions. Considering how freaked out they get by the obligatory neighborhood bully dressing up like the headless horseman, they should have been at least a little bit frightened by real ghost. Maybe the fact that he sort of reminds the viewer of Captain Crunch put them at ease.

Now, people taking seeing a ghost or getting possessed by a ghost or somethign like that in stride is pretty much par for the course (running like hell and then contemplating life, the universe, and everything would get in the way of the plot). But this took things a bit too far.

All this is not to say that the show is a failure - kids will probably enjoy it. The songs could have been a lot worse. And, hey - it's an hour-long Halloween special that creates and exists in its own world, which by 2004 was practically a lost art form, and that has to count for something.

2 comments:

kirbymana_36 said...

hi, what is the name of the theme song and who sings it?

C-Man said...

BEWARE OF THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN!!!!

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