Oct. 4th: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) & Sleepy Hollow (1999)

ichabod-and-mr-toad-1949 sleepy-hollow-1999Friday Night Double Feature!

We’ll start off this double feature with the 1949 Disney classic The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.

Though wonderful in and of itself, The Wind in the Willows adaptation isn’t exactly necessary viewing for our purposes, and one could skip straight to the incredibly faithful adaptation of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Positively brimming with Halloween and autumnal atmosphere, the tale of Ichabod and The Headless Horseman is essential holiday viewing. Its classical animation is further enhanced by some fantastic sound design and Bing Crosby’s great narration. Plus, ole Bing gives us a Halloween song for the ages.

If just viewing the Disney cartoon feels a bit brief however, follow it up directly with 1999’s undervalued Sleepy Hollow.

Sure, it may not be a terriby faithful adaption, but Tim Burton’s love letter to the classic Universal and Hammer Horror’s of old is rich with a sinister beauty I think no fan of Halloween can deny.

Factor that together with a fine performance from Johnny Depp plus 18 awesome decapitations from Kevin Yagher and you have a truly memorable horror effort from the typically more quirky, light and sentimental Burton.

Now I’m not sure, off-hand, if Halloween is actually ever mentioned in this live action revamp, but few movies look as much like Halloween as Sleepy Hollow..

While It’s certainly not my favorite Tim Burton film (that would be Ed Wood) or without it’s share of flaws (some poor plotting with a sticky 3rd act that disappointingly grounds the supernatural aspects more than I would have liked) there aren’t many movies that I think are as gorgeous to view. Half the time I watch it without the sound just to look at it. If I had to pick a movie to live inside forever, I’d choose Sleepy Hollow, without question.

With its incredibly seasoned and talented supporting cast, beautiful cinematography and absolutely jaw-drawing production and set design, Sleepy Hollow is in a gothic class all of its own, and should definitely grace your eyes at some point in October for a truly seasonal escape.

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