By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
On the eve of Halloween night, young children should not be denied some early treats. Disney’s DVD release of The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad (Disney Gold Classic Collection) is a must own for any paranormal enthusiast or classic Disney fan. This collection contain three wonderful shorts — The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the Wind in the Willows and Lonesome Ghosts. The latter is worth noting because it was an influential classic which shaped this author’s life path to investigating ghosts for real. There were The Three Investigators and Scooby-Doo too, but the combination of these products certainly was a game changer.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a gently eerie tale. The setup is one of contrasts; the gentle romanticism of a bygone era is contrasted with clandestine gothic mysticism. The supernatural elements nicely sneaks up on the viewer. And when the tale is set on All Hallows Eve to warn lonely travelers to not stray off the beaten path, especially for kids wanting to go the extra mile for some extra candy, this video is a must watch. Bing Crosby’s excellently done narrative is just a bonus.
But to further this movie’s mystic origins, only the truly superstitious folks from Celtic traditions will know that to enter the woods without an invitation by the faerie folk usually spells trouble. Interestingly enough, Brom, the film’s antagonist, references banshees in his song that introduces the headless horseman. And for Ichabod Crane, he got into trouble way before the supernatural terror would make its presence known. When he took a liking to Katrina van Tassel, that’s when the fun started.
Nostalgia will certainly be felt when watching this collection with young ones. But for the paranormal enthusiasts, thankfully Mr. Toad can be saved for viewing another holiday, namely Christmas.