Sunday, 31 October 2010

Disney does Sleepy Hollow

Here's a nice bit of soothing Halloween viewing for anyone who has been out partying over the weekend; it's Disney's version of The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow from the 1950s. I remember watching this as a youngster and really enjoying it but I think is one of those more "off the radar" Disney productions that aren't so well remembered now.

It's soothing viewing because it's narrated by Bing Crosby, and voices don't get much smoother than that, and there's also the damn fine classic Disney animation to enjoy. Think of it as the Halloween version of a Christmas special, it's familiar but always enjoyable and gets you in the mood for the season.

This bares very little resemblance to the Tim Burton film of recent times (which I actually like, which is surprising considering how much toss Tim Burton has made lately). It's got Ichabod, Sleepy Hollow and The Headless Horseman but the whole set up is completely different. Ichabod is a school master, there's no unsolved murders and the main conflict is between Ichabod and local tough guy Brom Bones (a prototype Gaston from Beauty & The Beast if ever I saw one) over the local rich girl, Katrina. Ichabod is more of an anti-hero as he comes of as greedy and self serving, always stuffing his face and pursuing Katrina for her wealth. He's a sneaky one, and also not quite as swoon inducing as Johnny Depp, but he does have a great scene where he wears a chicken on his head and eats his hat. Brom Bones also says 'Odds bodkins, gadzooks!' which has to be the best line in it.

It's classic stuff. Now I hand you over to Bing. Enjoy...

note: the title of the Youtube clip says that this cartoon was banned but I can't find any reason or explanation as to why so I'm not sure this is really true. Disney do like to keep a large amount of their classic films unavailable to buy so there is always demand when they are released every seven years or so. I guess this film has been deleted for a long time, but that's not the same as banning something.

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