Today's blog comes from the the world of the dying holiday, Halloween. With people being more concerned with things such as the economy, religion (the main thing holding back all of society), child predators (only real valid reason) and primetime ratings, my absolute favorite holiday is slowly being dragged to the depths of scarcity and extinction. Who suffers the most? Kids (But that's another story for another time). Sure, us grown up Halloween loving, decoration nuts are fewer and further between, and yes, Halloween's waning popularity hurts us too, but kids suffer the most, and as such, grow up to be bitter, conservative sticks in the mud. Schools have taken away Halloween celebrations where kids had in-school parties, were allowed to dress in costume and were able to get and eat candy/baked goods in school in favor of "Harvest celebrations" with none of the above mentioned happenings. Halloween isles in stores are slowly getting smaller with less quality products and decorations, and my main gripe here today, Halloween specials are slowly disappearing from TV's everywhere with with "fall" themed episodes taking their place.
I was born in 1987, so I missed the best ones, but luckily, I grew up in the late 80's and 90's so there was still massive interest in halloween, and everything fun, so I got to see many great "new" halloween episodes/specials, and reruns of the greats. I grew up on things like: The Witch That Turned Pink, The Halloween That Almost Wasn't, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (The Animated one with Bing Crosby as narrator, and live action with Jeff Goldbloom), The New Misadventures of Ichabod Crane, The Worst Witch, Mr. Boogedy, The Canterville Ghost, The Great Bear Scare, Its The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Garfield's Halloween Adventure, The Halloween Tree and Halloween episodes of Roseanne, Home Improvement, Doug, Pete and Pete, The Simpsons, Disney Halloween Hall of Fame, Bugs Bunny's Howl-o-ween, Buttons and Rusty's Which Witch Is Which?, Disney's Halloween Treat and so on. All of which, with the exception of the odd re-run of the Home Improvement Halloween episodes, have been pretty much erased from history and forgotten about.
Now, yeah, I was little when all this was happening, and most had been out since before I was born, but to me then, and to me now, they were all considered classics, as were the Halloween commercials for Hallmark, Dunkin Donuts, Doritos, Pepsi and a few other assorted Halloween commercials. I watched them all until my mom shrieked when I would ask to watch the battered VHS tapes they were recorded on. I watched them till I knew every word for every character, knew every song and till the tape inside started tearing apart. Every friend I ever had/still have in my home town, and every girlfriend I ever had/have, all grew up on these and lived, slept, ate and breathed Halloween. It was all we cared about every year. Its all we still care about every year, and its all I'll ever care about, aside from any of my possible future children's birthdays.
Over the years, those specials/episodes I listed above, started to fall victim to the Halloween serial killer, and just started disappearing, with Disney being the trend setter by pulling things like Disney's Halloween Hall O' Fame and The Halloween That Almost Wasn't off the air, and putting lackluster poser Halloween themed shows like Halloween Town (And all its sequels) and The Haunting Hour: Don't Think About It on in their place. Then Home Improvement was canceled, Roseanne went off air, Pete & Pete was nixed after two seasons, and Doug died a horrible death, all replaced by mindless drivel like House, Gossip Girl, Grey's Anatomy, Mercy, Hannah Montana and iCarly. That was the final garlic wrapped, cross shaped steak through the heart for me for a long time. Until just recently...
With the latest resurgence of horror movies (Due in part to remakes of older, classic movies, explained in previous blog post), and the very slowly growing re-interest in Halloween, more classic horror movies are being remastered and released to huge chain stores, and things like Wizards of Waverly Place, Phineas and Ferb, and JONAS (I know, I know, but still credit for an actual Halloween episode) are bringing back the Halloween special, and Cartoon Network re-airing things like Scooby Doo Meets the Boo Brothers, Scooby Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf and Scooby Doo and the Ghoul School, Halloween is now on an upslide. Anchor Bay re-issuing Mad Monster Party and Lion's Gate acquiring the rights to The Halloween that Almost Wasn't, maybe Disney and 'Toon Network will wake up and give proper release to their timeless Halloween classics. I know the chances are slim, but maybe a petition to all the different studios would make them see the dark, orange, soul light of Halloween.
To Disney, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros, and all other studios who hold the rights to the above mentioned, and unmentioned Halloween specials, I paraphrase a quote from the great James Hetfield - "We're telling you not to fuck around!"