Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween Specials : Beetlejuice - Laugh Of The Party


Much like with Frankenweenie, Tim Burton's 1988 film Beetlejuice started out as a live action affair, and afterwards received an animated makeover.  Beetlejuice : The Animated Series began in September of 1989, and aired through October of 1991, spanning a total of four seasons, and comprised of 94 total episodes.  The show began its life as a Saturday morning cartoon on ABC, where it spent its first three seasons, and eventually made its way onto the FOX weekday afternoon children's lineup, where it finished out its fourth and final season.

Created and executive produced by Tim Burton himself, the animated Beetlejuice series featured the characters of Beetlejuice and Lydia Deetz, who in contrast to the film are best friends.  Lydia is a living goth girl, and Beetlejuice her friend from the other end, a deceased being who lives in The Neitherworld, a sort of kid friendly version of the afterlife.  Each season of the show began in September and ran straight through Halloween, so it was only natural that there were a couple Halloween themed episodes of the show (two, in fact).

It's that first Halloween special that we're here to watch together tonight.  Titled Laugh Of The Party, the episode was part of Season 1 of the show, and originally aired on October 28th of 1989.  The plot sees Lydia being somewhat forced into having a Halloween party, which she worries will not go well (partially because her mom wants her to dress as a cute pink bunny).  Enter her dead pal Beetlejuice to work a little of his otherworldly magic, and make her party a real night to remember.  In other words, he dresses in drag and walks around calling himself Betty Juice.  Oh and he enlists the help of a product called 'Party People In A Can', a cockamamie plan that results in the two spending Halloween night sucking up monsters with a hair dryer.  Now that's my kinda party!

Ladies and gentlemen ... IT'S SHOWTIME!!

Though a handful of episodes of the animated series were released onto a series of VHS tapes, the show has to date still never hit DVD, aside from three episodes being included as a special feature on the 2008 20th Anniversary DVD re-release of Tim Burton's original film.  The series also got the shaft on the action figure front, when a planned line of toys to be made by Kenner, who made a slew of toys and whacky products based on the movie, fell through.  That said, those movie toys were very cartoony and pretty much looked more like Beetlejuice did in the cartoon than he even did the movie, so those more than suffice, though Kenner never got around to making a Lydia toy.  Sad face.


Mike said...

There were Burger King toys.

Johnny said...

Ah yes, totally forgot about those! So I guess we did get a Lydia toy, after all!