Halloween Hall of Fame (1977)



Before there was Disney's Halloween Treat (or its later incarnation, A Disney Halloween), there was a mid-70s attempt at a Disney anthology Halloween show that aired as an episode of the ongoing "Wonderful World of Disney" show: "Halloween Hall o' Fame."

It featured Jonathan Winters, a mainstay of 1970s comedy variety shows, as a security guard patrolling the Disney studios. At the beginning of the special, he and his dog wander into a prop room and Winters does am engaging little prop comedy routine with all the stuff he finds there. It's all fun and games until Winters comes across a crystal ball housing a live action talking pumpkin (which is also Winters, albeit in a pumpkin suit) that reminds me of the moon from that old silent "Voyage to the Moon" flick. Winters seems somewhat unfazed to find such an entity in the prop room. It's Disney, right? You have to take magical stuff in stride when you work for Disney (or, anyway, that's the way I like to imagine it) (though i can now tell you that the paperwork when you sell them film options is a little less than magical).



This talking pumpkin has some eerie powers and threatens to "turn the place into a vacant lot" if Winters doesn't let him hide out until midnight. After all, it's Halloween, which, the pumpkin describes as "just the dumbest thing I ever saw....there's nothin' scary about it." In the old days, he says, they had REAL ghosts and goblins.

The debate between Human Winters and Pumpkin Winters acts as a framing device (not the worst in the business, but far from the best) for the Halloween shorts - fully half of the special is taken up by Disney's take on "Legend of Sleepy Hollow," which is shown nearly in its entirety. The other three shorts, "Lonesome Ghosts," "Pluto's Judgement" and the one with Donald Duck and the witch, also appeared in both versions of Disney's Halloween Treat.

This is one of those specials where, if you loved it as a kid, you'll probably like seeing it again, but if not, well.... the prop comedy routine is very funny, but if you want a Disney Halloween anthology, the other two are a better bet. No offense to Jonathan Winters, but there's no shame in coming in second or third when when one of the OTHER narrators in a framing device is a magic mirror voiced by the great Hans Conried.













See also: Monster Memories, which has a shot of Winters getting into makeup (and looking just THRILLED).

10 comments:

Tiki Amy said...

This was a pretty good special, mostly because it was my first experience with Donald Duck's "Trick or Treat" cartoon. Winter's performance adds to the spooky feel, especially since it felt vintage when I first saw it in the mid 80's. My only issue was clipping a bit off the Sleepy Hallow segment, which inspired me to get it a few years ago in full format on DVD.

cuteordeath said...

I loved this one as a kid. :) The early scene where he's playing with the props still cracks me up.

katty said...

I really like halloween, the party and i love to go out with my litle girl, she really enjoy to ask in every house for a candy.
In the night the party is only between my husband and i, usually i buy viagra and my husban is a real machine.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite Disney Halloween shows. I saw it when I was a kid. I downloaded it from Youtube. Face it,TV is all about the "new and improved".I suspect Disney will never show the good old stuff ever again. Too bad Walt's not around. As long as there are young profit minded yuppies running Disney,we're left to our own devices.

Belon said...

wow i really found this to be interesting. thanks for sharing



Cheers,

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GaryBoz said...

I like this special as well. I remember being freaked out by the talking pumpkin as a kid.

Lauren said...

does anyone know where I can get this on DVD? I used to LOVE this special!

C-Man said...

BEWARE OF THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN!!!!

DeckardC said...

lol does anyone remember that old horror movie from disney? i dont rememebr the title.."this way comes" or something. anyway ive been thinking of
selling import and export goods as a home business , selling old dvds and stuff. anyone know a good old horror movie?

darlaimports said...

I work from home selling export goods and it has been interesting to read a bunch of blogs! Keep it up.

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