“Bugs Bunny’s Howl-Oween Special” is that kind of TV movie you watch when there’s really no other access to the Looney Tunes shorts that are presented here. That’s not to say “Bugs Bunny’s Howl-oween Special” is terrible, it’s just in line with a ton of the other Bugs Bunny holiday shorts. It’s about two minutes of original story with the nine shorts all cut, spliced, and redubbed to give what is an illusion of a story. One of the most jarring aspects of these specials is that it’s easy to discern what is the contemporary animated segments’ and what are the classic animated segments. This is made very easy in “Bugs Bunny’s Howl-Oween Special” as a majority of the animation is pretty terrible.
In 2020’s “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2,” heroine Addison spent a lot of her arc trying to figure out if she was perhaps the “Great Alpha” werewolf. When that was a bust, we were left on a cliffhanger as Addison was left pondering on her origins. And we were given a clue—from outer space. The idea of Addison perhaps being an alien makes a ton of sense considering the character guidelines the movies follow, and with the final movie in Disney’s “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S,” Disney works fast to seal up any and all lingering questions about Addison and Zed.
The follow up to the surprise 2018 hit musical is a superior movie in every way possible. Although there didn’t seem to be much that they could do with a follow up, “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2” does a darn good job in amplifying what was so great about the first one; the writers are great at adding on to the whole mythos of the town of Seabrook offering even more characters, more potential for more monsters, and give cheerleader Addison her own arc. While in the original she sought to fit in with the zombies, now she’s looking for her own group, unsure of where she really belongs after her experiences with Zed and Zombietown.
It’s an allegory for class divide. That’s basically all “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S” is. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good movie, but once you can get past the clumsy symbolism of the way the zombies are supposed to be the more impoverished individuals, while the humans are meant to be the upper echelon, “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S” is actually kind of a fun horror comedy musical. You wouldn’t think that they could really pull off a zombie horror comedy for kids, but Disney and director Paul Hoen do a pretty darn good job of it. Even if 2013’s “Bunks” is better.
It’s surprising that “The Halloween that Almost Wasn’t” has managed to become something of a mini-cult classic over the years. It was a TV movie that was almost lost to time, and once reclaimed, has survived thanks to nostalgia. The TV movie was much before my time, so I don’t have any real sentimentality directed toward it. In either case, ”The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t” isn’t the best Halloween special, but it has its heart in the right place, even through the cheesy final scene.
Before they became hacking and slashing horror movie characters (?), “The Banana Splits” were a niche kids program from the seventies. They were performers dressed in animal outfits that performed original pop rock like “The Monkees” and got in to various misadventures. They’d also show various animated shorts during the program. While I was never personally a fan, “The Banana Splits” were so much more interesting than “The Monkees” ever were. Their animated Halloween special is also one of the highlights of their television life, even if you’re not a fan.
There’s a horror sequel to “Bring it On.” Repeat: There is a horror sequel (part seven!) to “Bring it On.” The cheerleading sports teen comedy that birthed a series of cheerleading sports teen comedies actually has a sequel that is a full on horror movie. That’s kind of like a sequel to “Mission Impossible” that’s a full on slasher film or something. It’s kind of amazing. It’s too bad “Cheer or Die” just isn’t.
“A Tale of Two Witches” is a weird special in that it involves Mickey telling the story that becomes the center of the entire short. There’s no reason why we have to keep jumping back and forth from Mickey telling Pluto the story, and getting to the story. I don’t know why this couldn’t have been just a stand alone Halloween tale. In either case, “A Tale of Two Witches” is a fun and simple Halloween special that has a good time celebrating the holiday.