Here we are on the big day itself! To celebrate the arrival of October 31, 2018, below is some unique and rarely seen Disney art that captures the spirit of this holiday with a special spooky touch. Created by Imagineer John Drury (aka Roberdeau), this piece was published as the cover of the October 25th, 1985 edition of Disney Newsreel, the in-house newsletter of the Disney Studio. You can discover more about John Drury here. Thank you for joining in the fun here in Tulgey Wood for the annual Countdown to Halloween. Please check back for more madness throughout the year. Happy Halloween!
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
As reported back here in Tulgey Woods, the Groovie Ghoulies made their debut on the Archie spinoff, Sabrina the Teen Age Witch and the Groovie Ghoulies in 1970. Since Netflix is debuting its new (live-action) series, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina today, it seemed a suitable time to look back at the Ghoulies (who were given their own TV series in 1971) via the cover of their very own coloring book. You just never know what spooky surprise will jump out at you next as we continue our countdown to October 31st.
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Dolly Madison, maker of all those tasty snack cakes, was one of the original sponsors (along with Peanuts perennial Coca-Cola) of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown upon its debut on this date, October 27, in 1966. The Peanuts characters also appeared on Dolly Madison packages and in specially created animated commercials, so it should come as no surprise that the cake company created some in-store signage tie-ins with the annual broadcast of this classic Halloween special.
Thursday, October 25, 2018
For the second year in a row, IDW is publishing a spooky-season comic book. Harkening back to years gone by when Disney Halloween comics (and other licensed characters such as Bugs Bunny and Woody Woodpecker) were a regular part of the scene, Magica DeSpell's Giant Halloween Hex #2 is chock full of spooky fun.
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Did you know that Ben Cooper, the famed costume company, produced a Scarecrow of Romney Marsh costume? (The photo of the haunting mask in the collection of the Walt Disney Archives, when it was on display at the Disney Studio a Halloween or two ago.) And has there been a more appropriate costume than this horrifying specter who rode through the nights of 18th-century England, seeking justice for the poor and oppressed? A three part program on Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color in 1964, the Scarecrow remains one of the most unforgettable yet still little known of Walt Disney's productions. To discover more about this midnight marauder with the magical laugh, click here to read the article I wrote for Disney's D23, From the Jaws off Hell: The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. The Scarecrow is part of our Countdown to Halloween 2018 (click the preceding link to see the full list of the participating blogs.)
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Have you visited the other participating bloggers in our Countdown to Halloween 2018? There's plenty of fascinating info and spooky diversions to had for all trick-or-treaters who dare to ring the doorbell in this particular neighborhood. Along the same spook town lines, let's drop in at 1313 Mockingbird Lane. That of course is where we find the manse of that monstrously comical TV family, The Munsters. With its 1964 premiere came a slew of tie-in merchandise. Included was this Stardust velvet art kit from Hasbro. Other licensed characters appeared in this form too, but with as colorful a cast as the Munster clan, this surely is one of the most haunting of the sets that were produced—especially as it appealed to the most artsy-and-craftsy of the Monster Kids.
Monday, October 22, 2018
After taking a look at the Riverdale television series, seems like we should bring on some classic Archie comics. These are actually pretty horrible, in a Halloween-Sit sense, but the fun and the innocence of the Archie property. Truth to tell, Archie Andrews has dealt with all kinds of monsters, ghouls and sinister types (plus Reggie) for quite a bit of his comic-book career. What's in the water in Riverdale, anyhow? Archie has been a Halloween staple over the years for our annual Countdown to Halloween. Come back throughout October for more spooky season fun.
Sunday, October 21, 2018
View-Master did a whole series of three-dimensional Classic Tales, and as mentioned here, literature's great monsters were not overlooked. Here's the cover of the Dracula set, and though we must view it flat, it still gives a feel for how well done this monstrous set was done. We are still counting down to October 31, so don't forget to show off your cutest and/or spookiest costumes to all the participating blogs in our Countdown to Halloween 2018.
Murder, mayhem, illicit relationships, forbidden romances, wrongful imprisonments, scandalous secrets, betrayal and deceit. A new edition of American Horror Story, perhaps? Nope, it's simply your everyday elements of the new adventures of Archie, aka Riverdale. Now in its third season, this one-hour drama is one part Gossip Girl, one part Twin Peaks, one part Scooby-Doo, and some part Archie. Even though the show is well-produced and acted (Lili Reinhart as Betty and former Disney Channel star Cole Sprouse as Jughead are standouts), it's unsettling to see something as innocent as Archie transmuted into a CW morass of sensuality and havoc. Though purists look askance at this novel take on the classic funnybook antics, the TV series does include nods toward the original comics, such as the inclusion of Archie's jalopy, Archie sometimes wearing a bow tie (as he did in the first decades of his comics appearances), and Jughead's hipster wool cap cut to evoke his trademark jagged-crown headgear and a capital "S" on his shirt. In fact, the characters even dressed in the traditional costumes in an amusing dream sequence. (In Archie's case, his costume went so far as to mirror his pre-1970s garb of letter sweater, bow ties, checked pants and saddle shoes). Those that can accept the transformation of the innocence of the comic books and the earlier TV outings may enjoy the permutation of Everytown USA into a sort a horror story on more level than one, especially as we Countdown to Halloween. But beware the Gargoyle King.
Saturday, October 20, 2018
As reported back here and here in Tulgey Wood, The Mouse Factory was a zany, fast-paced, sort-of Laugh In-like syndicated series. This iconoclastic Disney TV program, created/directed/produced by Disney's resident iconoclast Ward Kimball, this half-hour show ran for two (actually one and a half) seasons, from 1972 to 1973. Phyllis Diller was "Mickey's Friend" on the fourth episode, "Spooks and Magic," which ran the week of February 16, 1972. The popular comedienne is perfectly cast as a wacky witch celebrating Halloween in various ways, finally offering an apple to trick-or-treater Snow White. As this publicity still shows, this episode featured Lonesome Ghosts (1937) and Trick or Treat (1952), as well as the Wizard's Duel from The Sword in the Stone (1963). Clearly this is a Halloween show, as opposed to a show centering on more generic spookiness, so why this episode was telecast in February and not October is a mystery. Perhaps the series was actually indented to premiere at the beginning of the 1971-1972 season and ended up being delayed until mid-season. At any rate, this silly yet spooky installment is just the thing for the Countdown to Halloween here at Tulgey Wood.
The Monster Cereals from "Big G" have made their annual Halloween return, but this year there is unfortunately no new art. The boxes have the same designs as last year so if you would like to see what they look like, please check out my Monster Cereal post from 2017 here. Even more unfortunately, there is no sign of the retro boxes with the original versions of the Big G monsters from the 1970s. So here's a look back at a vintage Franken Berry box featuring both the fun design originally used for the animated character and also, "Inside" (breakfast cereals stopped boasting of "FREE Inside" prizes in the 1970s), one of the best premiums ever: erasers that also doubled as toys/finger puppets representing the whole cast of creepy cereal spokes-monsters (and three other characters) that are always welcome to help us Countdown to Halloween for 2018.
Friday, October 19, 2018
October brings a fall festival of frights and delights to both parks that make up the Disneyland Resort here in California. As part of our Countdown to Halloween 2018 in Tulgey Wood, here are the covers of the latest Halloween Time guide maps for both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. Also included are photos of Elias & Co. on Buena Vista Street with several animated windows based on the vintage Mickey Mouse starrer The Haunted House (1929). And let's not forgot the old-fashioned pumpkin decor along Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland, with plenty of spooky-season merchandise sprinkled along the way, like a dash of cinnamon in a pumpkin pie.
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Coloring books, comic books, and storybooks—The Gruesomes made the scene in them all. Introduced in The Flintstones episode originally broadcast on November 12, 1964, Weirdly and Creepella and their son Goblin got more play in the printed-page tie-ins to the animated TV series than did some other characters from the show. (Think Baby Puss.) Just in time for our Countdown to Halloween 2018, here are those next-door ghouls in a Big Golden Book from 1965.