Posted tagged ‘Michael Jackson’s Halloween’

Animals of Michael Jackson’s “Halloween”

October 22, 2018

Michael Jackson’s Halloween, an animated/CGI special which debuted in 2017, was recently dusted off for the season, airing recently.  Following its first presentation, I had posted about Hay Man, a pumpkin-headed scarecrow voiced by Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper), who led a spirited dance of animals to Michael Jackson’s Dangerous, mimicking the King of Pop’s trademark moves to perfection.  For the second airing, I wanted to post about another memorable character, the feline Franklin Stein.

Voiced by Diedrich Bader, Stein is a mad scientist, perhaps with a touch of the Nazi super science thing going on.  He’s got the look, with unkempt hair, a white lab coat, and yellow protective gloves.  Stein even uses a coffee mug labeled, “World’s Greatest Scientist!”  With his slender limbs, fluid moves, and Jacksonian attire Stein is arguably another Michael Jackson variant who works for the villainess Conformity, having devised a machine to (gasp!) destroy music!  But when overcome by the human protagonists, it turns out that Stein isn’t really a bad kitty after all, but just a frustrated musician who plays a mean guitar.  He sends the humans off with his machine, which when hooked up in reverse can summon virtual Michael Jackson, who is able to defeat Conformity in a finale set to the strains of Thriller.

Think what you will of him and his music, but Michael Jackson was someone who liked scary things, and that perhaps makes this oddball family-friendly special appropriate for the season…

 

Michael Jackson’s Halloween…

October 28, 2017

This year brought the novelty of a new Halloween special in the form of Michael Jackson’s Halloween, a 3D animated hour-long special which aired on CBS October 27th, and featured the music of…Michael Jackson!  While centering on the efforts of two young people to rescue a dog and defeat an evil witch (Conformity) who wants to banish music and dancing, the high point of the hour to me occurred about seventeen minutes in when the two protagonists guided by a talking Bubbles the Chimp to “follow the music” entered a surreal pumpkin field where Hay Man, a groundskeeping scarecrow with a pumpkin for a head voiced by Jim Parsons (Sheldon from Big Bang Theory), was kind of channeling Michael Jackson in a Jack Skellington-esque way…

With an entourage of dancing pumpkins and forest and field animals (including some foxes), a rather funky rendition of Jackson’s Dangerous was performed, complete with Jackson’s trademark moves and even a pelvic thrust or two.  Also memorable was a later encounter with a mad scientist cat voiced by Dietrich Bader, Franklin Stein, creator of a machine to destroy music but really a frustrated musician himself whose technology becomes converted to summon Jackson.  And fear not, the evil witch (Lucy Liu) is defeated in a big dance finale by a stylized representation of 1980’s Michael Jackson himself in an outfit reminiscent of his Thriller attire.  Music and dancing are safe, so relax…

Jackson enjoyed both scary things and animals, and his presence looms large over this special, both in terms of the soundtrack and assorted images of the performer, seen even in the wallpaper pattern of the mysterious Jackson Street Palace Hotel where much of the action transpires.  As someone who appeared in quirky delights such as Disney’s Captain EO and Moonwalker, Michael probably would have liked this “magical adventure of personal discovery,” and we foxes do like to get our groove on!