Halloween Review – “Garfield’s Halloween Special”

Our annual Halloween countdown continues with this animated classic from many of our childhoods.

Cast and Crew Information

Lorenzo Music as Garfield
Thom Huge as Jon Arbuckle / Binky the Clown
Gregg Berger as Odie / TV Announcer
C. Lindsay Workman as Old Man
Desiree Goyette as Woman at Door

Written by Jim Davis
Directed by Phil Roman

Availability Information

This is available on DVD (Amazon.com, Amazon.ca as part of Garfield Holiday Celebrations, which also includes the Christmas and Thanksgiving specials.


Garfield goes out on Halloween night, taking Odie with him, and encounters some seasonal characters.

High Point

Our first look at the old man. The drastically different art style delivers quite an impact.

Low Point

The minimal production efforts. We’ve got hairs on the camera, randomly changing colours, and other such issues that we don’t typically see from the high end animation houses.

The Review

This isn’t all that original. It’s the standard kiddie Halloween fair, with minimally threatening supernatural elements and a message about the moderation of greed. I give it 3 out of 6.

The animation does a fantastic job of catching the look of Jim Davis’ strip. Aside from that, it’s nothing special. Colours are inconsistent (most blatantly with Garfield’s arm at the end, but also with the skull and crossbones on his pirate hat and other places) and errors like visible hairs on the camera and ghosts that look like crayon drawings as they move. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story has three acts that are almost disconnected from each other. Still, as kiddie fair, it’s entertaining enough, and a decent bridge from some of the “new story every commercial break” series that the target audience often sees. The logic issue I have with most Garfield cartoons is still there: does nobody realize Garfield is a telepath? Odie hears everything Garfield thinks, and while the humans don’t seem to react conversationally to Garfield’s thoughts, they do react to his emotions whether they are displayed or not. This applies to humans in the same room as Garfield, or who are on a TV show that Garfield is watching at the time. I give it 4 out of 6.

The voice acting is generally good. Lorenzo Music carries the show, and has about 95% of the lines. However, despite his last name, he’s a lousy singer, yet he keeps singing in these specials. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production is pedestrian, as was common in this era’s television animation projects. Nothing obviously wrong, but a lot which could have been improved. I give it 3 out of 6.

The emotional response racks up the nostalgia points. This premiered when I was 8, and I watched it at least once a year until I was 15 or so. (I’ve continued to watch it off and on since then.) I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a decent special, but watching it at this point would either be for the sake of nostalgia or introducing it to a younger generation. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Garfield’s Halloween Adventure receives 27 out of 42.

5 replies on “Halloween Review – “Garfield’s Halloween Special””

  1. Are there any significant cartoon characters who don’t have a Halloween special?

  2. I wonder how much of the uneven animation, etc., was actually intentional. I mean, take a look at Charlie Brown Christmas if you want uneven animation (like the tree with 3, um, 6, um 4, um ? branches). Of course, it’s more likely to be an accidental homage rather than intentional. CBC was literally rushed through production which led it is charming defects. Likely, a similar cause is at fault here.

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