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What I’ve Been Watching: September 24, 2018 TV and Movie Review Journal

What I’ve Been Watching is a daily journal of reviews for every film, short film, TV episode/special, and web video I watched today (September 24, 2018). Posts will be published almost every day, usually in the morning or early afternoon, and will be updated throughout the day as I watch more media. I love a wide variety of content including almost every genre, medium, and type of story. This includes a lot of niche, weird, or lesser known content so you will never know what to expect in these daily journals. My goal with this post series is to find at least a few hidden gems that each reader has never heard of but will enjoy (and if you have the same unique taste in TV and film that I do, it will hopefully be a cornucopia of things for you to watch). Most titles are being watched for the first time as preparation for new list posts and other content on this blog, though occasionally I will re-watch old favorites as well.

Feel free to use the comments as an open discussion of the titles you’ve been watching, your thoughts on the content I reviewed today, and also as a place to suggest titles for me to watch (especially titles similar to the ones I enjoyed today). If you enjoy these review journals and you are interested in watching a title I reviewed, buying or renting it via the included Amazon links (or this link) is a great way to support this blog. It costs you nothing extra and a small portion of the proceeds goes to us to keep this blog running.

<- Yesterday’s What I’ve Been Watching Post


Scared Shrekless (2010 TV Special, Animation, TV-PG, Directed by Gary Trousdale and Raman Hui, 25 Minutes)

Scared Shrekless might be one of the newer Halloween TV specials on the block but it is also one of the best of the bunch, especially in terms of humor. It isn’t really something you’re going to watch for spookiness purposes but for pure entertainment factor, if should definitely make your annual Halloween viewing rotation unless you hate the Shrek franchise’s style of humor. In Scared Shrekless, Donkey and the gang attempt to scare Shrek and his family by showing up at their home unannounced. When Shrek tells them that ogres don’t get scared, they decide to hold a scary story contest at the now abandoned and spooky Castle Duloc. After a hilarious performance by the “It’s a Small World After All” like dolls (which sing a much more horrifying song this time), several characters tell their own scary stories. Gingy’s story (“The Bride of Gingy”) revolves around the Muffin Man making him a new girlfriend after his old one kicked him out. He wants his new girlfriend to be super sweet so he ups the amount of sugar in the cookie. This backfires as it makes the girlfriend obsessed with him. Next up is Puss in Boots and Donkey who tell a Psycho-like story (“Boots Motel”) where the plot keeps changing as they fight to take control of the narrative and put the other one in danger in it. Finally, Shrek himself tells the tale of “The Shreksorcist” where Pinocchio is possessed by something unnatural.

Much of the content in Scared Shrekless consists of parodies and I know most of those tend to be pretty unfunny. However, these ones are all quite good and filled with laughs (with the same Shrek humor you would expect). There are so many hilarious moments in this Halloween special from the doll’s song and the Three Little Pigs running away after the first story to Donkey impersonating the Psycho theme and Prince Charming playing the role of Norman Bates. Not a minute goes by without at least one funny moment. I would say Gingy’s story “The Bride of Gingy” is the funniest of the three parodies but “Boots Motel” and “The Shreksorcist” have their moments as well. The bridge material in between the three parodies are some of the strongest material though.

The production quality on Scared Shrekless is very good for a TV production. Of course the animation quality isn’t quite as good as the films (they were obviously working on a much tighter budget so you can’t expect as amazing of visuals) but most of the main cast lends their voice to this special. Only Eddie Murphy sits this one out and Dean Edwards (Murphy’s replacement) sounds almost exactly like him. If you didn’t know any better, you might think that Murphy was still the one playing Donkey. While I don’t really expect Halloween specials to be super scary (as they are mainly meant for families), the only slight disappointment I had with Scared Shrekless involves the lack of scares (at least for older viewers). Younger kids might get spooked out by a few things but nothing will really scare older viewers at all. “The Shreksorcist” is a bit creepy but even that is mainly played for laughs. Overall though, Scared Shrekless is a great example of a modern Halloween TV special and I highly recommend it to those looking for some laughs.

Rating: 4/5 (Highly Recommended)

Watch Scared Shrekless: DVD


Thriller Night (2011 Short Film, Animation, Directed by Gary Trousdale and Sean Bishop, 6 Minutes)

A bonus feature included on the Scared Shrekless DVD release, Thriller Night is a parody of the Michael Jackson classic where just about every character from the Shrek universe (including zombie versions of the villains from the films) returns to put their own spin on the catchy tune. The story involves Shrek and the gang going to a Halloween showing of “The Music doth Sound” (an obvious The Sound of Music parody), which makes Shrek scream in terror. He wanted to do something scarier for the holiday so Puss in Boots suggests a scary musical which causes everyone to do their own rendition of Michael Jackson’s Thriller together.

The cover of Thriller in Thriller Night is just okay, which isn’t helped by the fact that the song starts and stops several times to get some more jokes in. However, the short is still reasonably funny. Nowhere near as hilarious as Scared Shrekless but there are still some funny moments like Prince Charming as The Sound of Music‘s Maria von Trapp and Shrek’s line “You know how I feel about spontaneous musical outbursts.” None of the main cast reprises their roles for this short but the sound-alikes are pretty decent (and most of the short film is comprised of singing anyway). Overall, Thriller Night is a fine little addition to the Scared Shrekless DVD that is probably worth watching (especially with how short it is).

Rating: 3/5 (Average)

Watch Thriller Night: Scared Shrekless DVD


Garfield’s Halloween Adventure (aka Garfield in Disguise) (1985 TV Special, Animation, Directed by Phil Roman, 23 Minutes)

I know Garfield’s Halloween Adventure is pure nostalgia for many viewers and that the special has a lot of fans. However, as I wasn’t even born yet when this special first aired I don’t have any nostalgia for it. In fact, the first time I watched this classic Halloween TV special, I hated it. I decided to give it another chance today and upon my second viewing, Garfield’s Halloween Adventure definitely grew on me a bit but I still personally think it is a below average Halloween special.

In Garfield’s Halloween Adventure (also known as Garfield in Disguise), Garfield learns about Halloween from Binky the Clown. When he learns that he can get a lot of candy by going trick or treating, he decides to do so (and brings Odie with him so he can get twice the amount of candy). Garfield dresses as Orangebeard the Pirate and gives Odie the moniker Odie the Stupid. The two hit every house on the block, run into a few actual monsters while singing a catchy tune, and eventually go across the river for even more candy. They get temporarily lost until they come across a creepy old dilapidated house, whose owner believes the island is haunted by the ghosts of pirates (who are returning 100 years later to retake their gold).

The biggest problem I have with Garfield’s Halloween Adventure (and the main reason I think it is below average) is the lack of humor contained within it. Garfield cartoons are supposed to be funny but outside of a few chuckles here and there, there isn’t much to laugh at in this special. Some jokes are flat-out lame like “I’ll have you know Halloween’s my middle name, Gar-Halloween-field” and Garfield’s “stand-up comedy routine” where he roasts Odie. The special also starts out pretty weakly, with too much time spent on the boring scenes at home. The trick or treating and haunted house portions are much better but they aren’t as long as they should have been due to the wasted time spent on the early scenes. The best part of Garfield’s Halloween Adventure is easily the “Scaredy Cat” song scene. The song is surprisingly catchy and Garfield and Odie being constantly scared by actual paranormal entities is the highlight of the special.

While Garfield’s Halloween Adventure isn’t super funny, it is pretty good in terms of making you feel like it’s Halloween time. While it is far from scary, the atmosphere is a bit spooky and the ghosts could even be a bit creepy for younger viewers. If more time was spent on the trick or treating and haunted house parts of Garfield’s Halloween Adventure, it would have vastly improved it. Instead, too little time is spent on the good parts and the special kind of ends suddenly, just as things were getting good.

I do realize that a big part of how much you enjoy something like this is based on whether or not you watched it as a child. Since I never watched it when I was young (or at least I don’t remember doing so), I just don’t have the nostalgia for Garfield’s Halloween Adventure that others do. Those who remember watching it as children should definitely give it another watch. However, if you are like me and don’t remember it from your childhood, there are better Halloween specials to watch.

Rating: 2.5/5 (Below Average)

Watch Garfield’s Halloween Adventure: DVD, Amazon Video

Stats:

  • Total Days Recorded: 6 (Logging started on September 19, 2018)
  • Total Titles Watched:
    • Today: 3
    • September 2018: 7
    • All-Time: 7
    • Average Per Day:
  • Watch Time:
    • Today: 0:54
    • September 2018: 3:57
    • All-Time: 3:57
    • Average Per Day:
  • Films Watched:
    • Today: 0
    • September 2018: 2
    • All-Time: 2
  • Film Watch Time:
    • Today: 0:00
    • September 2018: 2:18
    • All-Time: 2:18
  • Short Films Watched:
    • Today: 1
    • September 2018: 2
    • All-Time: 2
  • Short Film Watch Time:
    • Today: 0:06
    • September 2018: 0:27
    • All-Time: 0:27
  • TV Episodes and Specials Watched:
    • Today: 2
    • September 2018: 3
    • All-Time: 3
  • TV Episodes and Specials Watch Time:
    • Today: 0:48
    • September 2018: 1:12
    • All-Time: 1:12
  • TV Seasons Completed:
    • September 2018: 0
    • All-Time: 0
  • Web Series Episodes and Videos Watched:
    • Today: 0
    • September 2018: 0
    • All-Time: 0
  • Web Series Episodes and Videos Watch Time:
    • Today: 0:00
    • September 2018: 0:00
    • All-Time: 0:00

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