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11 Days: Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Disney, 1949

October 20, 2008

One of the best parts of Halloween was the Halloween party at school. You got to wear your costume, or if you didn’t want your costume ruined before trick-or-treating, you’d wear last year’s ill-fitting costume. Classes were suspended for the day, and every kid brought in some sort of food for the party: apple cider, spiced wafers, pumpkin pie, toasted pumpkin seeds, popcorn balls, all those good treats that you never seem to find anymore, their rich tradition replaced by mini Snickers and orange Kit-Kats.

The room would be tinted red, yellow, and orange from bits of cellophane taped to the windows, and it would be covered in decorations made by us children of papier mache ghosts and popsicle stick skeletons. In the front of the room, the teachers desk was moved to make way for the apple-bobbing tank and the best part: the TV/VCR taken from the media room, it’s cart stacked with Halloween classic cartoons! For an hour before lunch, and another after, the shades would be drawn, the lights turned off, and we’d watch well-loved classics like It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown or the Garfield Halloween Special.

My favorite, the one I waited for all day, was Disney’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. From Ichabod Crane’s lanky entry with his long nose in a book to the scary and melodramatic tale of the Headless Horseman told by Brom Bones with his shadow cast by orange firelight, to the chase under the covered bridge between the Horseman and Crane, this cartoon was all I needed for Halloween in-school entertainment!

Of course, the cartoon is based on Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and follows the text of the story remarkably closely. Irving’s short story is, in turn, based on the legend of a Hessian soldier who was beheaded by a cannonball during the Revolution’s Battle of Chatterton Hill, outside of Tarrytown, NY. The legend is that the horseman rides the forest looking for his lost head.

Take a few minutes to enjoy a cartoon that many, including me, have loved for many decades!

Part 1

Part 2 (The dance scene is a scream!)

Part 3

Part 4

2 Comments leave one →
  1. KLT permalink
    October 21, 2008 8:24 am

    You know, I’ve never seen this. Is it too scary for a 6 year old?

    I don’t remember having any cool Halloween parties in school either or any other holidays for that matter. I’ve been deprived.

  2. October 22, 2008 8:00 am

    No, not too scary for Ganna. I remember watching this one from kindergarten on.

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