The start of Halloween season varies according to who you ask. For some, it’s the moment Easter is over. Jack-o-lanterns have been up at Disney World since August. October 1 sees the release of The Addams Family 2 (and possibly Hotel Transylvania: Transformania), which, as far as Cartoon Brew is concerned, signals the start of festivities.
In anticipation, we asked readers which freaky animated films and series they always return to at this time of year. Their answers ran the gamut from vintage Hollywood shorts to anime (see them all on our Facebook poll).
The canonical stop-motion family horror films of Tim Burton and Henry Selick proved popular: Corpse Bride (2005), Coraline (2009), Frankenweenie (2012), and the king of all, The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). (Come our Christmas poll, that last one may well make a reappearance.)
Unsurprisingly, Halloween specials of classic series figured prominently in the poll. There was much love for Garfield’s Halloween Adventure (1985), a show that sent at least one reader running out of the house in terror. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966), arguably the summit of Bill Melendez’s career, also got multiple nods. And love aplenty was shown to the Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror” specials (the old ones, naturally).
More proof that the oldies still have the power to petrify: several respondents chose films from the golden age. There were votes for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949) — not the Johnny Depp one, but the segment in Disney’s package feature The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. Several Looney Tunes shorts were mentioned, including the Halloween-themed classic Broom-Stick Bunny (1956).
Some readers plumped for shows with a strong dose of the supernatural. Over the Garden Wall (2014), the marvelously atmospheric Cartoon Network miniseries, was cited probably more than anything else. Scooby-Doo made a few appearances, with one reader singling out the films Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998) and Scooby-Doo! and the Witch’s Ghost (1999).
Others prefer to be haunted by demons from overseas. A few anime titles were in the mix, among them Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000), a spooky Spaghetti Western with vampires and werewolves, and Ghost Stories (2000–01), in which a bunch of kids drive a gaggle of ghosts out of an abandoned school.
So, what’s your poison? Which chilling film will you chill to come October? Let us know in a comment below.
Images at top, left to right: “Paranorman,” “Over the Garden Wall,” “Ghost Stories,” “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”