- Directed by Phil Roman
- Written by Garfield creator Jim Davis
- October 30, 1985
- Garfield-Lorenzo Music
- Jon Arbuckle / Binky the Clown-Thom Huge
- Odie / TV Announcer-Gregg Berger
- Old Man-C. Lindsay Workman
- Woman at the Door-Desirée Goyette
Garfield and Odie go trick-or-treating as pirates only to get stranded on a small island where they encounter specters on Halloween.
This is one of the innumerable Garfield (actually fourth of twelve produced between 1982 and 1991 actually) specials. This in my opinion is a standout among them. It sports the same quality of animation that was in the Christmas special as well as the long running Saturday morning series which is also better than the current CGI series but that is a different story.
From the get-go you have the feeling you are in for something special. This special just has a vibe to it that lets you know this will be a Halloween treat better than others of the time. I cannot quite put my finger on it, but it is there and I think you will sense it as well.
For a half hour special which needs to do things quickly, this does everything quickly and effectively without feeling rushed. Our “hero” of Garfield quickly learns of Halloween, cons Odie into helping get candy in a rather uneven agreement, and they are off dressed as pirates to go knock on doors for treats. We even get a few cute songs along the way.
But the real treat of this whole special is the finale when they are marooned on an island through a combination of Garfield’s greed for candy and Odie’s general stupidity. It is a creepy place with an aging building where a solitary elderly man lives alone.
In what felt like a bit of a nod to John Carpenter’s The Fog, 100 years prior a group of five pirates came to that island to bury treasure and swore that they would return in one century exactly to reclaim their prize and the old man, who was their cabin boy, has lived there all that time waiting and guarding it.
The sequence that follows when the spectral pirates arrive I found frightening when I was younger and first saw this. Not nightmare frightening but disturbing enough and it still holds up pretty well for me as an adult. The narration of events by the old man followed by the ghost sequence is rather effective to this day.
Garfield’s Halloween Adventure is a solid special from back in the day when you could count on such things. You will still enjoy it and your kids will get a kick out of it too.