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Thursday, October 02, 2014

Scared Shrekless

Hello, everyone!  Welcome to the first Tube Talk Thursday entry for October!  And, as promised, I have decided that I would make the majority of these entries fall themed or Halloween themed.

This is one of those times.  I know, Halloween still isn't for another twenty-nine days, but I thought that the subject that I've chosen for today was going to be a fun one.

Now, when you think of Halloween, what are some of the first things that pop into your mind?  Some of you might have said costumes.  Some of you may have said candy.  Some of you might have even said tricks, as I'm sure some of you have egged a couple of cars, or threw toilet paper over people's trees.

As for me?  The first thing that comes to my mind whenever I hear Halloween is scary stories.  I can easily see people gathered around a bonfire in the middle of a campsite, or people gathered inside a dimly lit room surrounded by candles on a stormy night telling scary tales involving ghosts, goblins, monsters, and psycho killers, qu'est-ce que c'est fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far better...

Oh, ahem.  Sorry.  I had a little bit of a "Talking Heads" moment.  Pardon me.

But seriously, how many of you remember telling ghost stories on Halloween night after you've gone trick-or-treating?  There's dozens of tales that you can tell.  Certainly in the world of pop culture - especially in television - there have been several references to ghost stories.  After all, the "Goosebumps" book series was turned into a television series in the 1990s.  "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" turned the average ghost story into a frightfully fun experience.  And even those Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" episodes feature a trio of scary tales from both above and beyond the grave.

Well, in this edition of Tube Talk Thursday, we'll be taking a look at the popular Shrek franchise, and a particular holiday special that has aired around Halloween since it first debuted on October 28, 2010.

(Has it really been four years since it first aired?  Yikes!)

Yes, today, we'll be taking a look at the NBC holiday special "Scared Shrekless", which features a trio of very scary stories as told by your favourite Shriek characters.  There's Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Puss in Boots, Pinocchio, Gingy, the Big Bad Wolf, and many many more! 

I guess it's to be expected that the Shrek gang would inevitably do a Halloween special.  Their "Shrek the Halls" special released during Christmas 2007 did extremely well, so naturally, they had to try the Halloween angle out.  It's a wonder they haven't tried to do a Valentine's Day special yet.

(Actually, the Shrek gang doing a Valentine's Day special might make that day much more tolerable for me.)

Now, there are a couple of things that you need to know about "Scared Shrekless" in that there are a couple of minor changes.  For whatever reason, Eddie Murphy was unavailable to record Donkey's voice for the special (or he turned it down, I'm not sure), so as a result Dean Edwards was cast as the new Donkey.  Though, to be honest, I think he did a good job in the role.

Another role that was recast was that of Prince Charming.  We all know that Rupert Everett breathed life into the villainous Prince, but in this special, he's voiced by Sean Bishop.

Other than that, the old gang returns to the special with Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, and Antonio Banderas reprising their roles as Shrek, Fiona, and Puss in Boots respectively.

And here's another interesting throwback to the past.  Remember how the first movie took place in the kingdom of Duloc with those annoying singing children puppets, jousting knights, and a ruler that could make Napoleon Bonaparte feel like Michael Jordan in comparison?  Well, Duloc makes an appearance in the 21-minute long special - but not in the way you might think.  Duloc has changed a lot since its 2001 debut, and it is now dilapidated and in disrepair. 

The perfect setting for a few scary stories!

Of course, I don't really want to spoil all the fun.  For those of you who haven't seen this special yet, I definitely encourage all of you to check it out because it is quite good and still keeps the Shrek charm alive.  I'd even say that it might even be better than Shrek: The Third.  Though given that the third movie was the weakest of the four films, that's not much of a bold statement.

All I can tell you is that the three stories in the film all feature a different character and is based on a classic Halloween story.

In "The Bride of Gingy", Gingy asks the Muffin Man who lives on Drury Lane to make him an extra sweet girlfriend named Sugar.  But when Sugar gets too sweet for Gingy to handle, will his solution to end things cause him more harm than good?

Then we take a peek inside "Boots Motel" in which Puss in Boots and Donkey tell a story about how they get trapped inside of a run down motel during a thunderstorm...or at least they TRY to tell a story. 

And finally, in the "Shreksorcist", Shrek talks about his experience in looking after a possessed Pinocchio who keeps hearing voices inside his head which slowly drives him to insanity.  But the twist ending is what the source of the voice ends up being.  It's quite funny.

So, seriously, go and see this Shrek special.  It's quite nice for the upcoming Halloween special.  And if you get the DVD version, you will see a special added bonus with the Shrek gang pulling out their best Michael Jackson moves!

Coming up next week, we'll be doing a Thanksgiving special for my Canadian pals...and I'll also include some reader mail within that inspired my decision for this post!

1 comment:

  1. Hello Matthew,

    Tried to reach you via Archiefans site so I have a message for you there.. . trying here as well:

    I've been asked by a Richard Krauss, editor/publisher of a new magazine called _The Digest Enthusiast_ planned for January 2015 publication, to prepare a feature interview/article on and about Archie Digests. _The Digest Enthusiast_ is a new publication recognizing and celebrating the "digest publications" of past and present. Primarily the focus will be towards the fiction publications like Analog, Ellery Queen, and Alfred Hitchcock and their predecessors, however, I have made a convincing argument that the many Digests related to Archie Comics get their due as well. In our first issue we have already secured an interview with the editor/publisher of Fate magazine, Phyllis Galde.

    Personally, I have just started collecting Archie Comics Digests but have always been interested--I just didn't know where to start! Would love to hear some more stories! And seeing how active you are in this forum, I thought you'd certainly have the knowledge to help us put something really nice together.

    My email address is in your archiefans message.

    Thanks for your consideration,
    Looking forward to hearing from you,
    Blake: Charlotte, NC