Thursday, October 29, 2015

Animated Monster Mash

Started the morning with breakfast and the remaining two cartoons on the Disney's Halloween Treat special. A bunch of "Lonesome Ghosts" invite ghostbusters Mickey, Donald, and Goofy to their old home to give them something to do. After much blundering, it's the ghosts who end up getting spooked!

"Trick or Treat" is Disney's only theatrical Halloween short to date. Donald gets on the bad side of a good-hearted witch when he plays a mean trick on his nephews. She helps the boys to get even with their stingy uncle.

Moved onto sitcom episodes next. "Haunted," from the second season of Happy Days, takes us back to Wisconsin and urban legends. Ralph is holding a party in an old house that's said to be inhabited by the ghost of it's former owner, who cuts off the heads of all those who enter! Richie is determined not to be scared by the stories. Something does show up at the party...but it's definitely not anything supernatural.

We move from Milwaukee in the 50's to Chicago in the 80's for "Aliens," from the fourth season of Perfect Strangers. Larry and Balki hold a Halloween party to watch a horror movie marathon, but Larry is the only one who lasts all 12 hours. He ends up having a nightmare about Balki being an alien bent on conquering the Earth.

Did a bunch of horror-oriented animated shorts while making a fall collage from old catalogs. Mickey Mouse did two spooky cartoons in the black-and-white early 30's. "The Mad Doctor" has him trying to rescue Pluto from the demented title character...if he doesn't wind up being a victim as well.

"The Haunted House" is one of Disney's earliest horror titles. Mickey's involved again, this time playing the organ for a group of skeletons with a fondness for dancing and outhouse gags.

Moved over to Universal for some spooky Walter Lantz Studio cartoons. "Witch Crafty" feels a bit more like a Warner Bros short of the time than Woody Woodpecker. A witch gets Woody to repair the handle of her broom, but he won't give it back until she pays him 50 cents. She does everything she can to get her property back and not have to pay him.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who was Universal's only animated star during the early talkie years, appeared in several horror-themed shorts during the height of his popularity. "Spooks" was a riff on Phantom of the Opera. Oswald's girlfriend Kitty is helped onto the opera stage by a mysterious fellow in a mask. He's not happy when she would rather be with Ozzy than a masked ghoul!

"Wax Works" spoofs the Universal horror stable and Warner Bros' Mystery of the Wax Museum. The plot has a few things in common with "The Mad Doctor" as well. Instead of a dog, it's a baby Oswald has to rescue from a group of wax figures in his museum who come to life and terrorize the child.

Popeye and his crew had their occasional encounters with ghosts and ghouls, too. "Shiver Me Timbers!" has him, Olive, and Wimpy stranded on a wrecked ship. The ghosts on the ship aren't thrilled with them being there. They attack them and torture them...until Popeye fights back.

Headed out to run errands in the Oaklyn area around noon. Started at the Oaklyn Library. I organized the DVDs while listening to the teacher read the small class of pre-school kids stories about Halloween and trick-or-treating. Their craft this week was painting small rocks to look like jack-o-lanterns. I headed out as they were finishing their "pumpkins."

Next stop was Common Grounds Coffee House for lunch. Despite it being 12:30, the place was pin-drop quiet. There was only one other woman doing work on her laptop. I had a slice of sausage, pepper, and onion quiche and a green iced tea while admiring their resin pumpkins and softly glowing orange lights in the window.

I was originally going to volunteer at Studio LuLoo today, but they weren't around any of the times I looked. I just ended up at home instead. I wanted to get a little further on my story.

Betty just manages to find a paper in the locked drawer in Holstrom's desk before the older man appears, none-too-happy with the mess. As it turns out, the scrolls Betty found are just normal correspondence to King Charles of Weepla...or are they? Why were they locked away?

Betty and Maple bring up their concerns at the Rebel Society meeting. Betty explains why she's looking for the Guardians. The other Rebels don't see the point...but the Leader does. Finding the Guardians and convincing them to join the Rebels could turn the tide against the Shadow Realm. The Leader recognizes the wording on the scrolls - they're in code. While he figures out what they say, he tells the others to get ready to attack the next day, and for Maple to help Betty continue to search for the Guardians.

Around 4:30, I decided I needed a stretch and to run a few more errands. I finally took the luggage I borrowed from Dad back to his house. Thanks to Halloween being on a Saturday this year, trick-or-treating in Oaklyn has been extended literally all afternoon, from 12 to 7. While a lot of moms are complaining that this is far too long for their children to be out, I'm fine with it. It'll give me the chance to give out candy for an hour and a half (and make up for my missing the parade this year). I turned the rolling suitcase over to Dad and said "hi" to Jodie, who was chatting with some of the moms and kids from the neighborhood. Brought the rent to Miss Willa and Richard when I got in.

Spent the next forty minutes or so in a wonderful, luxurious bath. I badly needed one. I can't remember the last time I had one. I kicked back, read Peace and Plenty, and listened to the Marsalis family's Joe Cool's Blues. This fun CD features covers of the jazz tunes from several Peanuts specials, along with their own Peanuts-inspired melodies.

Put on Young Frankenstein while making Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Brownies to go with my leftover turkey-tomato soup for dinner. Dr. Fredrick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) has been trying for years to avoid references to his family's ghoulish legacy. When he comes to Transylvania to collect an inheritance from his late grandfather, he discovers that his grandfather's work may not be as crazy as it seems. He resolves to pick up where his grandfather left off by bringing an enormous dead man (Peter Boyle) back to life. Trouble is, his assistant Igor (Marty Feldman) brings him an abnormal brain for his very big creation. Now he has to keep the creature from terrorizing everyone, while fending off the local inspector (Kenneth Mars) and his fiancee (Madeline Khan).

One of my favorite Mel Brooks comedies gentles down the satire in favor of an affectionate homage to the Universal horror movies of the 30's. (In fact, it actually uses sets from the original 1932 Frankenstein.) If you're a Brooks fan or are like me and would rather laugh at your fears, this is one of his best and most atmospheric movies. Highly recommended.

1 comment:

Linda said...

"Abby normal." I laugh every time I think of it. Also "Frau Blucher." ::whinney::