October 26, 2017 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Halloween Cartoons Revisited!

First, some quick Thunderbean news: We’re working on sending out some things this week, including the special ‘Little King’ set and others. We had hoped to finish the blu-ray version of ‘Grotesquries’. The original DVD was co-produced with the Blue Mouse Studio in 2008. It’s still very much in progress, and we do hope to have it in the can before the end of the year.

To me, Halloween and cartoons go hand in hand. There’s a lot of Halloween-esque cartoons made over the years of course, and It’s started to be a yearly tradition here at Cartoon Research to ask what your favorite Halloween cartoons are and what you’re watching as well. Here are some of mine:

I’ve been enjoying the just released Halloween Haunts set from Tommy Stathes ‘Cartoons on Film’. Halloween or not, it’s a great set of spooky cartoons. I was happy to help with the set, and am enjoying these vintage shorts. It’s available here.

This year, on Tuesday night, I’m looking forward to revisiting a favorite event- showing 16mm prints of cartoons on a screen in the driveway of the house I grew up in. Kid’s gather on the driveway and, these days, marvel at the strange machine that makes a ticking noise as the cartoons show. This was a favorite yearly event for my mother- and every year we tried to do it- being rained out on occasion. I think I missed one year out of the past 25 or so. This year, I’m happy to continue the tradition. My good friend, Mel McCann, who also teaches at CCS, now rents the house with her husband, and they invited us over on Halloween.

Here’s a few required viewings:

First up, since my mom would always say ‘Make sure to bring the ‘Flora Dora Girls’… here is the Columbia/ Iwerks cartoon Midnight Frollics (1938) to kick things off this year:

Betty Boop’s Halloween Party (1933) is also required viewing each year- and happily, there is very nice remastering of this short these days. I wish my old dupe print looked this good!

The Gorilla Mystery (1930) and The Mad Doctor (1933) are my two favorite Mickey Mouse shorts to show on Halloween. I especially love the soundtracks of both of these:

Night on Bald Mountain by Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker is one of my favorite spooky films. If you6 are unfamiliar with this Pinscreen animated short, check it out:

And, as last year, here’s The Ghoul, a local to Detroit and Cleveland favorite, blowing up a pumpkin to celebrate the holiday:

And.. an extra, just because it’s strange:

Somehow, almost every film that Russian-born animator Ledislas Starewicz made has a spooky element to it. This clip (from Love in Black and White (1923) is something I stumbled onto recently, and even though it’s not so Halloweeny, no Halloween show is complete without some Sterevich at some point..

Now – it’s your turn: what’s on your list this year?


  • Read about Starewicz “Love in Black and White”, but this is the first I have some footage. Thanks! Also found the full version on YouTube as well, which is literally begging for a Christopher Lehman analysis here.

  • Topping my list of four kooky Halloween Toons are five classic Walt Disney cartoons….

    Skeleton Dance
    Hell’s Bells
    The Mad Doctor
    Ghost Chasers
    Trick or Treat

    Followed by

    Flop Secret with Little Roquefort and Percy
    Witch-Crafrty and Frankenstein-Stymied with Woody Woodpecker
    Zagreb Studios’ Spider (Pauk)
    The Funnybones series from Wales
    The Trap Door series from England
    Mr Peabody and Sherman meets Edgar Allen Poe
    Warner Brothers Ghost Wanted,Bewitched Bunny and Transylvania 6-5000
    And a unusual anime from Japan about a nine tailed fox taking on a couple of Tanookies (a Japanese raccoon dog type animal) with a fantastic score using traditional Japanese folk instruments and a western guitar.

  • Also Water,Water Everyhare with Bugs Bunny should be on my list as well as the Night on Bald Mountain sequence from Fantasia..

  • I love any and all of the classic Halloween shorts (Skeleton Dance, The Mad Doctor, etc.) but my favorite Halloween cartoon is “Halloween is Grinch Night” by the DePatie-Freleng studio. I don’t know, ever since I was a little kid, I was fascinated by it.

    I always liked the way the characters were drawn, and just how bizarre the whole thing is. I would love to own a cel setup of any scene from the “Paraphernalia Wagon” segment!

    • That’s my all time favorite Halloween cartoon! Especially with the outstanding score by Joe Raposo.

    • And Ukariah stepping outside in the “sour sweet wind” to “go to the euphemism.”

  • A few more spooky kooky cartoons that I love to see again on Halloween

    The Witches Cat-Mighy Mouse
    Ghosts in the Bunk-Popeye
    The Pumpkin that couldn’t Smile-Raggedy Ann and. Andy animated by Chuck Jones
    Draculee, Dracula-Animaniacs
    Towser and the Haunted House from England
    The Ghost Smurfers with a outstanding score by Hoyt Curtin based on the theme of Ghostbusters.

  • The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
    “Spooks and Magic” episode of The Mouse Factory hosted by Phyllis Diller
    A Disney Channel Hallowe’en (Disney’s Hallowe’en Treat)
    Hallowe’en is Grinch Night
    “All About Magic” hosted by Walt Disney and Hans Conried (as the Magic Mirror)
    Disney’s DTV Monster Hits
    Donald’s Lucky Day
    Pluto’s Judgment Day
    Woody Woodpecker’s Spook-a-Nanny
    The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone
    It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
    Disney’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow
    Night on Bald Mountain from Fantasia
    and most of all…..
    Swing you Sinners!! Fleischer’s and Halloween is like a match made in heaven.

  • No “Lonesome Ghosts” – ??!!

  • Great stuff!
    Halloween is my Christmas.

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