Tim Burton featuring Amy Lee (2008)

Sally’s Song is sung by Sally Finklestein in the film, The Nightmare Before Christmas after her plan to stop Jack fails. During her song, she sings about how she hopes that Jack is safe,
yet she feels that Jack will never accept her feelings for him.

Written by Danny Elfman (1993)

I sense there’s something in the wind
That feels like tragedy’s at hand
And though I’d like to stand by him
Can’t shake this feeling that I have
The worst is just around the bend
And does he notice my feelings for him?
And will he see how much he means to me?
I think it’s not to be

What will become of my dear friend?
Where will his actions lead us then?
Although I’d like to join the crowd
In their enthusiastic cloud
Try as I may, it doesn’t last
And will we ever end up together?
No, I think not, it’s never to become
For I am not the one

Tim Burton featuring Tiger Army (2008)

Oogie Boogie’s Song is the main villain song from the film, The Nightmare Before Christmas sung by Oogie Boogie and his prisoner, Santa Claus. Due to time constraints, the instrumental break was cut from it in the film, while the second verse was omitted because its sequence which was to feature bugs dancing on Oogie Boogie’s arm was deemed impossible and too difficult to animate after being storyboarded. But both were present on the soundtrack of the film.

Written by Danny Elfman (1993)

Oogie Boogie:
Well, well, well, what have we here?
Sandy Claws, huh?
Ooh, I’m really scared!
So you’re the one everybody’s talkin’ about?
Ha, ha, ha, ha!

You’re jokin’, you’re jokin’!
I can’t believe my eyes!
You’re jokin’ me, you gotta be,
This can’t be the right guy!

He’s ancient, he’s ugly;
I don’t know which is worse!
I might just split a seam now
If I don’t die laughing first.

When Mr. Oogie Boogie says
There’s trouble close at hand,
You’d better pay attention now
‘Cause I’m the Boogie Man!

And if you aren’t shakin’,
There’s something very wrong!
‘Cause this may be the last time
You hear the Boogie Song!

Woah

Skeletons:
Woah

Oogie Boogie:
Woah

Skeletons:
Woah

Oogie Boogie:
Woah

Bats:
Woah

Oogie Boogie and Chorus:
I’m (he’s) the Oogie Boogie Man!

Santa:
Release me now or you must face
The dire consequences
The children are expecting me
So please, come to your senses

Oogie Boogie:
You’re jokin’, you’re jokin’!
I can’t believe my ears!
Would someone shut this fella up?
I’m drownin’ in my tears!

It’s funny, I’m laughing;
You really are too much.
And now, with your permission,
I’m going to do my stuff…

Santa:
What are you going to do?

Oogie Boogie:
I’m going to do the best I can.

Oh, the sound of rollin’ dice
To me is music in the air
‘Cause I’m a gamblin’ Boogie Man
Although I don’t play fair.

It’s much more fun, I must confess
When lives are on the line
Not mine, of course but yours, old boy,
Now that’d be just fine.

Santa:
Release me fast or you’ll have to answer for this heinous act!

Oogie Boogie:
Oh brother, you’re somethin’!
You put me in a spin! You aren’t comprehending
The position that you’re in.

It’s hopeless, you’re finished
You haven’t got a prayer
‘Cause I’m Mr. Oogie Boogie,
And you ain’t goin’ nowhere!

Tim Burton featuring Vitamin String Quartet (2008)

Vitamin String Quartet is an American musical group from Los Angeles, widely known for its series of tribute albums to rock and pop acts.

VSQ is not a string quartet in the traditional sense. Rather, VSQ is a series of string quartet projects developed and produced by CMH Label Group, an independent record company based in Los Angeles. The CMH team works with an ever-evolving cast of arrangers, producers, string players and other creatives to bring each project to life. Their albums are released through Vitamin Records and primarily performed by a string quartet, though other instruments have been used. “Vitamin String Quartet is about applying rock n’ roll attitude to classical technique,” says Tom Tally, a violist and arranger who has performed on and produced over fifty Vitamin String Quartet albums.

Tim Burton featuring KoRn (2008)

Kidnap the Sandy Claws is a song from the film, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.
It is sung by Lock, Shock, and Barrel when they plan to capture Santa so that Jack could take over Christmas,
which only brings in a disastrous result.

Written by Danny Elfman (1993)

Lock, Shock, and Barrel: Kidnap Mr. Sandy Claws?

Lock: I wanna do it!
Barrel: Let’s draw straws!
Shock: Jack said we should work together

Barrel: Three of a kind
Lock: Birds of a feather
Lock, Shock, and Barrel: Now and forever!

La, la, la, la, la, la
La-la-la-la-la
La, la, la, la, la, la
La-la-la-la-la

Kidnap the Sandy Claws, lock him up real tight
Throw away the key and then turn off all the lights

Shock: First, we’re going to set some bait inside a nasty trap and wait
When he comes a-sniffing, we will snap the trap and close the gate

Lock: Wait! I’ve got a better plan to catch this big red lobster man
Let’s pop him in a boiling pot
And when he’s done, we’ll butter him up!

Lock, Shock and Barrel: Kidnap the Sandy Claws, throw him in a box
Bury him for 90 years, then see if he talks

Shock: Then Mr. Oogie Boogie Man…
Lock and Shock: …can take the whole thing over then
Lock and Barrel: He’ll be so pleased, I do declare
Lock and Shock: That he will cook him rare
Wheeee!

Lock: I say that we take a cannon, aim it at his door and then
Knock three times and when he answers, Sandy Claws will be no more!

Shock: You’re so stupid! Think now
If we blow him up to smithereens, we may lose some pieces
And then Jack will beat us black and green

Lock, Shock, and Barrel: Kidnap the Sandy Claws, tie him in a bag
Throw him in the ocean, then see if he is sad

Lock and Shock: Because Mr. Oogie Boogie is the meanest guy around
If I were on his boogie list, I’d get out of town

Barrel: He’ll be so pleased by our success
That he’ll reward us too, I bet

Lock and Barrel: Perhaps he’ll make his special brew
Lock and Shock: Of snake and spider stew (Shock: Mmmm!)

Lock, Shock, and Barrel: We’re his little henchmen and we take our job with pride
We do our best to please him and stay on his good side

Shock: I wish my cohorts weren’t so dumb
Barrel: I’m not the dumb one
Lock: You’re no fun
Shock: Shut up!
Lock: Make me!

Shock: I’ve got something, listen now! This one is real good, you’ll see
We’ll send a present to his door
Upon there’ll be a note to read
Now, in the box we’ll wait and hide until his curiosity

Lock, Shock, and Barrel: Entices him to look inside
And then we’ll have him! One, two, three!

Kidnap the Sandy Claws, beat him with a stick
Lock him up for 90 years, see what makes him tick
Kidnap the Sandy Claws, chop him into bits
Mr. Oogie Boogie is sure to get his kicks
Kidnap the Sandy Claws, see what we will see
Lock him in a cage and then throw away the key…!

Tim Burton featuring All American Rejects (2008)

Jack’s Lament is a song from the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is sung by Jack Skellington who is tired of celebrating Halloween and wants to experience something else. The All American Rejects covered this song for the album Nightmare Revisited, which was released in 2007.

Jack laments the mundane repetition of Halloween as he wishes for a new adventure and hopes to experience something new as he searches for meaning in his life.

Nightmare Revisited is a cover album of songs and score from the 1993 Disney animated film The Nightmare Before Christmas. It was released on September 30, 2008 by Walt Disney Records to commemorate the film’s 15th anniversary of its theatrical release. In addition to the album’s eighteen covers are two re-recordings by original composer Danny Elfman, of the “Opening” and “Closing” tracks. One song featured on the album, Marilyn Manson’s “This Is Halloween”, was previously released nearly two years earlier, on the 2006 reissue of the film’s original soundtrack which, featuring five covers of songs from the film, acted as a precursor to Nightmare Revisited. The album also features Korn covering “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” which is also their first recording to feature Ray Luzier on drums. Enhanced content on the disc features the trailer of The Nightmare Before Christmas, as well.

American psychobilly band Tiger Army also provided a cover of “Oogie Boogie’s Song”, which was not featured on physical CD editions of Nightmare Revisited, but was released as a digital bonus track. Scott Murphy’s cover of “Sally’s Song” is also featured on Japanese pressings of the album.

Danny Elfman (1993)

There are few who’d deny, at what I do I am the best
For my talents are renowned far and wide
When it comes to surprises in the moonlit night
I excel without ever even trying
With the slightest little effort of my ghostlike charms
I have seen grown men give out a shriek
With the wave of my hand, and a well-placed moan
I have swept the very bravest off their feet

Yet year after year, it’s the same routine
And I grow so weary of the sound of screams
And I, Jack, the Pumpkin King (SHOUT!)
Have grown so tired of the same old thing

Oh, somewhere deep inside of these bones
An emptiness began to grow
There’s something out there, far from my home
A longing that I’ve never known

I’m a master of fright, and a demon of light
And I’ll scare you right out of your pants
To a guy in Kentucky, I’m Mister Unlucky
And I’m known throughout England and France
And since I am dead, I can take off my head
To recite Shakespearean quotations
No animal nor man can scream like I can
With the fury of my recitations

But who here would ever understand
That the Pumpkin King with the skeleton grin
Would tire of his crown, if they only understood
He’d give it all up if he only could

Oh, there’s an empty place in my bones
That calls out for something unknown
The fame and praise come year after year
Does nothing for these empty tears

Tim Burton featuring Marilyn Manson (2008)

Come, one and all, and bear witness to the fantastic freakishness of the creepy crypt creators Tim Burton
and Marilyn Manson as stop-motion animation meets shock rock.

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a 1993 American stop-motion animated musical dark fantasy film directed by Henry Selick and produced and conceived by Tim Burton. It tells the story of Jack Skellington, the King of Halloween Town who stumbles through a portal to Christmas Town and becomes obsessed with celebrating the holiday. Danny Elfman wrote the songs and score, and provided the singing voice of Jack.

The Nightmare Before Christmas originated in a poem written by Burton in 1982 while he was working as an animator at Walt Disney Productions. With the success of Vincent in the same year, Burton began to consider developing The Nightmare Before Christmas as either a short film or 30-minute television special to no avail. Over the years, Burton’s thoughts regularly returned to the project and in 1990, he made a development deal with Walt Disney Studios. Production started in July 1991 in San Francisco; Disney released the film through Touchstone Pictures because the studio believed the film would be “too dark and scary for kids”.

Written by Danny Elfman (1993)

Boys and girls of every age
Wouldn’t you like to see something strange?
Come with us and you will see
This, our town of Halloween

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Pumpkins scream in the dead of night
This is Halloween, everybody make a scene
Trick or treat till the neighbors gonna die of fright
It’s our town, everybody scream
In this town of Halloween

I am the one hiding under your bed
Teeth ground sharp and eyes glowing red
I am the one hiding under yours stairs
Fingers like snakes and spiders in my hair

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!

In this town we call home
Everyone hail to the pumpkin song
In this town, don’t we love it now?
Everybody’s waiting for the next surprise

Round that corner, man hiding in the trash can Something’s waiting no to pounce, and how you’ll…
Scream! This is Halloween
Red ‘n’ black, slimy green
Aren’t you scared?

Well, that’s just fine
Say it once, say it twice
Take a chance and roll the dice
Ride with the moon in the dead of night
Everybody scream, everybody scream

In our town of Halloween!
I am the clown with the tear-away face
Here in a flash and gone without a trace
I am the “who” when you call, “who’s there?”
I am the wind blowing through your hair
I am the shadow on the moon at night
Filling your dreams to the brim with fright
This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!
Tender lumplings everywhere
Life’s no fun without a good scare
That’s our job, but we’re not mean
In our town of Halloween
In this town
Don’t we love it now?
Everybody is waiting for the next surprise
Skeleton jack might catch you in the back
And scream like a banshee
Make you jump out of your skin
This is Halloween, everybody scream
Wont’ ya, please, make way for a very special guy
Our man, Jack, is king of the pumpkin patch
Everyone hail to the Pumpkin King now
This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!
In this town we call home
Everyone hail to the pumpkin song
La, lala la, lala la
La la la, lala la, lala la
La la la, lala la, lala la
La la la, lala la la la
Heir

Walt Disney (1929)

The Haunted House, also known as Phantom House or simply Haunted House, is a Mickey Mouse short animated film first released on December 2, 1929, as part of the Mickey Mouse film series. The cartoon was produced by Walt Disney Productions and distributed by Celebrity Productions.

The film follows Mickey Mouse trapped in a haunted house and forced to play music. It was directed by Walt Disney, who also provided the voice of Mickey. Ub Iwerks was the primary animator and Carl Stalling wrote the original music.

The Haunted House borrowed animation from Disney’s first Silly SymphonyThe Skeleton Dance, which was released earlier in 1929. The Haunted House was Mickey’s first cartoon with a horror theme and led the way to later films such as The Gorilla Mystery (1930), The Mad Doctor (1933), Lonesome Ghosts (1937), and Runaway Brain (1995).

Fleischer Studios (1933)

Snow-White, also known as Betty Boop in Snow-White, is a film in the Betty Boop series from Max Fleischer’s Fleischer Studios directed in 1933. Dave Fleischer was credited as director, although virtually all the animation was done by Roland Crandall. Crandall received the opportunity to make Snow-White on his own as a reward for his several years of devotion to the Fleischer studio, and the resulting film is considered both his masterwork and an important milestone of The Golden Age of American Animation. Snow-White took Crandall six months to complete.

The plot, such as it is, is really more a framework to display a series of gags, musical selections, and animation. Critics have cited the film as having some of the most imaginative animation and background drawings from the Fleischer Studios artists. Mae Questel performs the voices of Betty Boop and the Olive Oyl-ish Queen, and Cab Calloway is the voice of Koko the Clown, singing St. James Infirmary Blues. Koko’s dancing during the “St. James” number is rotoscoped from footage of Cab Calloway.

The film was deemed “culturally significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1994. The same year, it was voted #19 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field. The film is now in the public domain.

History of Fleischer Studios

Fleischer Studios was an American corporation which originated as an animation studio located at 1600 Broadway, New York City, New York. It was founded in 1921 as Inkwell Studios by brothers Ma Fleischer and Dave Fleischer who ran the pioneering company from its inception until Paramount Pictures, the studio’s parent company and the distributor of its films, acquired ownership. In its prime, Fleischer Studios was a premier producer of animated cartoons for theaters, with Walt Disney Productions becoming its chief competitor in the 1930s.

Fleischer Studios is notable for Koko the Clown, Betty Boop, Bimbo, Popeye the Sailor, and Superman. Unlike other studios, whose characters were anthropomorphic animals, the Fleischers’ most successful characters were humans (With the exception of Bimbo in the 1930s.). The cartoons of the Fleischer Studio were very different from the Disney product, both in concept and in execution. As a result, the Fleischer cartoons were rough rather than refined, commercial rather than consciously artistic. But in their unique way, their artistry was expressed through a culmination of the arts and sciences. This approach focused on surrealism, dark humor, adult psychological elements, and sexuality, and the environments were grittier and urban, often set in squalid surroundings, reflecting the Depression as well as German Expressionism.

The Fleischer Studio was built on Max Fleischer’s novelty film series, Out of the Inkwell (1919-1927). The “novelty” was based largely on the results of the rotoscope, invented by Fleischer to produce realistic animation. The first Out of the Inkwell films were produced through The Bray Studio, and featured Fleischer’s first character, “The Clown,” which became known as Ko-Ko the Clown in 1924.

In 1921, The Bray Studio ran afoul with legal issues, having contracted for more films than it could deliver to its distributor, The Goldwyn Company. The Fleischer Brothers left and began their own studio with Dave as Director and Production Supervisor, and Max as Producer. In 1924, Veteran Animator, Dick Huemer came to The Inkwell Studio and redesigned “The Clown” for more efficient animation. Huemer’s new design and experience as an Animator moved them away from their dependency on The Rotoscope for fluid animation. In addition to defining the clown, Huemer established the Fleischer style with its distinctive thick and thin ink lines. In addition, Huemer created Ko-Ko’s companion, Fitz the Dog, who would evolve into Bimbo in 1930.

Throughout the 1920s, Fleischer was one of the leading producers of animation with clever moments and numerous innovations including the “Rotograph”, an early “Aerial Image” photographic process for compositing animation with live action backgrounds. Other innovations included Ko-Ko Song Car-Tunes and sing-along shorts featuring the famous bouncing ball, a precursor to Karaoke.

Fleischer Studios (1932)

Minnie the Moocher is a  1932 Betty Boop cartoon produced by Fleischer Studios and released by Paramount Pictures. In 1994, Minnie the Moocher was voted #20 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.

The cartoon opens with a live action sequence of Cab Calloway and his orchestra performing an instrumental rendition of “St. James Infirmary”. Then Betty Boop gets into a fight with her strict, Yiddish speaking, Jewish parents, and as a result, runs away from home with her boyfriend Bimbo, and sings excerpts of the Harry Von Tilzer song “They Always Pick on Me” (1911) and the song “Mean to Me” (1929).

Betty and Bimbo end up in a cave with a walrus, which has Cab Calloway’s voice, who sings “Minnie the Moocher” and dances to the melancholy song. Calloway is joined in the performance by various ghosts, goblins, skeletons, and other frightening things. Betty and Bimbo are subjected to skeletons drinking at a bar; ghost prisoners sitting in electric chairs; a cat with empty eye-sockets feeding her equally empty-eyed kittens; and so on. Betty and Bimbo both change their minds about running away and rush back home with every ghost right behind them. Betty makes it safely back to her home and hides under the blankets of her bed. As she shakes in terror, the note she earlier wrote to her parents tears, leaving “Home Sweet Home” on it. The film ends with Calloway performing the instrumental “Vine Street Blues”.

History of Fleischer Studios

Fleischer Studios was an American corporation which originated as an animation studio located at 1600 Broadway, New York City, New York. It was founded in 1921 as Inkwell Studios by brothers Ma Fleischer and Dave Fleischer who ran the pioneering company from its inception until Paramount Pictures, the studio’s parent company and the distributor of its films, acquired ownership. In its prime, Fleischer Studios was a premier producer of animated cartoons for theaters, with Walt Disney Productions becoming its chief competitor in the 1930s.

Fleischer Studios is notable for Koko the Clown, Betty Boop, Bimbo, Popeye the Sailor, and Superman. Unlike other studios, whose characters were anthropomorphic animals, the Fleischers’ most successful characters were humans (With the exception of Bimbo in the 1930s.). The cartoons of the Fleischer Studio were very different from the Disney product, both in concept and in execution. As a result, the Fleischer cartoons were rough rather than refined, commercial rather than consciously artistic. But in their unique way, their artistry was expressed through a culmination of the arts and sciences. This approach focused on surrealism, dark humor, adult psychological elements, and sexuality, and the environments were grittier and urban, often set in squalid surroundings, reflecting the Depression as well as German Expressionism.

The Fleischer Studio was built on Max Fleischer’s novelty film series, Out of the Inkwell (1919-1927). The “novelty” was based largely on the results of the rotoscope, invented by Fleischer to produce realistic animation. The first Out of the Inkwell films were produced through The Bray Studio, and featured Fleischer’s first character, “The Clown,” which became known as Ko-Ko the Clown in 1924.

In 1921, The Bray Studio ran afoul with legal issues, having contracted for more films than it could deliver to its distributor, The Goldwyn Company. The Fleischer Brothers left and began their own studio with Dave as Director and Production Supervisor, and Max as Producer. In 1924, Veteran Animator, Dick Huemer came to The Inkwell Studio and redesigned “The Clown” for more efficient animation. Huemer’s new design and experience as an Animator moved them away from their dependency on The Rotoscope for fluid animation. In addition to defining the clown, Huemer established the Fleischer style with its distinctive thick and thin ink lines. In addition, Huemer created Ko-Ko’s companion, Fitz the Dog, who would evolve into Bimbo in 1930.

Throughout the 1920s, Fleischer was one of the leading producers of animation with clever moments and numerous innovations including the “Rotograph”, an early “Aerial Image” photographic process for compositing animation with live action backgrounds. Other innovations included Ko-Ko Song Car-Tunes and sing-along shorts featuring the famous bouncing ball, a precursor to Karaoke.

Silly Symphonies (1929)

The Skeleton Dance is a 1929 Silly Symphony animated short subject produced and directed by Walt Disney and animated by Ub Iwerks. In the film, four human skeletons dance and make music around a spooky graveyard —
a modern film example of medieval European “danse macabre” imagery.
It was the first entry in the Silly Symphony series.

The origins for The Skeleton Dance can be traced to mid-1928, when Walt Disney was on his way to New York to arrange a distribution deal for his new Mickey Mouse cartoons and to record the soundtrack for his first sound cartoon, Steamboat Willie. During a stopover in Kansas City, Disney paid a visit to his old acquaintance Carl Stalling, then an organist at the Isis Theatre, to compose scores for his first two Mickey shorts, Plane Crazy and The Gallopin’ Gaucho. While there, Stalling proposed to Disney a series of “musical novelty” cartoons combining music and animation, which would become the genesis for the Silly Symphony series, and pitched an idea about skeletons dancing in a graveyard. Stalling would eventually join Disney’s studio as staff composer. Animation on The Skeleton Dance began in January 1929, with Ub Iwerks animating the majority of the film in almost six weeks.

Matt Groening (2020)

Don’t forget to vote.

Treehouse of Horror is a series of Halloween-themed episodes of the Adult animated series The Simpsons, each consisting of three separate, self-contained segments. These segments usually involve the Simpson family in some horror, science fiction, or supernatural setting. They take place outside the show’s normal continuity and completely abandon any pretense of being realistic, being known for their far more violent and much darker nature than an average Simpsons episode. The first, entitled Treehouse of Horror, aired on October 25, 1990, as part of the second season and was inspired by EC Comics horror tales. Since then, there have been 30 other Treehouse of Horror episodes, with one airing every year. Episodes contain parodies of horror, science fiction, and fantasy films, as well as the alien characters Kang and Kodos, a special version of the opening sequence, and scary names in the credits.

Treehouse of Horror: The Raven

Matt Groening (2020)

Take a look, if you dare, at the episode that started it all: the original showcase of Hallowe’en goodies that have come to be know as The Treehouse of Horror, found in the Simpsons archives, season 2 episode 3. Following, I have included Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven for reference to The Simpsons unique take on the classic poem.

The Raven

Edgar Allan Poe (1845)

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.”

    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
            Nameless here for evermore.

    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
    “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
            This it is and nothing more.”

    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
            Darkness there and nothing more.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
            Merely this and nothing more.

    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
    “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
      Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
            ’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
            Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
    Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
            With such name as “Nevermore.”

    But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
    Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
    Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
            Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
            Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

    But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
    Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
            Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

    This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
    On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

    Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
    “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
    Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
    Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
    On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
    Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
    It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    “Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
    Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
            Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Robert Smigel & J. J. Sedelmaier (1996)

The Ambiguously Gay Duo is an American animated comedy sketch that debuted on The Dana Carvey Show before moving to its permanent home on Saturday Night Live.

The Ambiguously Gay Duo follows the adventures of Ace and Gary, voiced by Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell, two superheroes whose sexual orientation is a matter of dispute, and a cavalcade of characters preoccupied with the question.

The Ambiguously Gay Duo is a parody of the stereotypical comic book superhero duo done in the style of Saturday morning cartoons like Super Friends. The characters are clad in matching pastel turquoise tights, dark blue domino masks, and bright yellow coordinated gauntlets, boots and shorts. The shorts were intended to satirize suggestions that early Batman comics implied a homosexual relationship between the eponymous title character and his field partner and protégé Robin, a charge most infamously leveled by Fredric Wertham in his 1954 book, Seduction of the Innocent, the research methodology for which was later discredited.

The typical episode usually begins with the duo’s arch-nemesis Bighead, a criminal mastermind with an abnormally large cranium. Bighead is usually briefing his henchmen on a plot for some grandiose plan for world domination, interrupted by a debate as to whether or not Ace and Gary are gay. Once the crime is in process, the police commissioner calls on the superheroes to save the day, often engaging in similar debates with the chief of police.

Ace and Gary set out to foil the evil plan, but not before calling attention to themselves with outrageous antics and innuendo, and behaving in ways perceived by other characters to be stereotypically homosexual.

Hayao Miyazaki (2001)

From Hayao Miyazaki, one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the history of animated cinema, comes the Academy Award winning masterpiece, Spirited Away, a wondrous fantasy about a young girl named Chihiro who discovers a secret world of strange spirits, creatures, and sorcery. When her parents are mysteriously transformed, she must call upon the courage she never knew she had to free herself and return her family to the outside world.

I recently had the pleasure of re-watching this wonderful animated fantasy fairy tale and came to the realization that I had never posted it on my blog, so I decided I had better do so. This is one of my favorite animated stories, and I have always felt that Spirited Away is as good a story as Frank L. Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz or Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, complete with fantastic imagery and fantastic imaginative characters. I love a story that can transport you from the comforts of your living room directly to a reality conjured up by dreams and imagination, despite of age and countless other factors. I remember watching films like this as a child and hoping that one day I could take an amazing adventure through my own fantasy world of interesting characters.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find many clips of the film, but if you are interested in watching Spirited Away in its entirety, you can either find it on HBO Max or on YouTube:

Spirited Away is a 2001 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and animated by Studio Ghibli. The film stars Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki, Takeshi Naito, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Tsunehiko Kamijō, Takehiko Ono, and Bunta Sugawara. Spirited Away tells the story of Chihiro Ogino, a 10-year-old girl who, while moving to a new neighborhood, enters the world of Kami (spirits of Japanese Shinto folklore). After her parents are turned into pigs by the witch Yubaba, Chihiro takes a job working in Yubaba’s bathhouse to find a way to free herself and her parents and return to the human world.

Miyazaki wrote the script after he decided the film would be based on the 10-year-old daughter of his friend Seiji Okuda, the movie’s associate producer. Production of Spirited Away began in 2000. Pixar animator John Lasseter, a fan and friend of Miyazaki, convinced Walt Disney Pictures to buy the film’s North American distribution rights, and served as executive producer of its English-dubbed version. Lasseter then hired Kirk Wise as director and Donald W. Ernst as producer, while screenwriters Cindy and Donald Hewitt wrote the English-language dialogue to match the characters’ original Japanese-language lip movements.

Originally released in Japan on July 20th, 2001 by distributor Toho, the film received universal acclaim, grossing over $352 million worldwide, and is frequently ranked among the greatest animated films ever made. Accordingly, it became the most successful and highest-grossing film in Japanese history with a total of $293 million, overtaking Titanic in the Japanese box office.

It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards, making it the first hand-drawn and non-English-language animated film to win that award. It was the co-recipient of the Golden Bear at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival, and is in the top 10 on the British Film Institute’s list of “Top 50 films for children up to the age of 14”. In 2016, it was voted the 4th-best film of the 21st century by the BBC, as picked by 177 film critics from around the world, making it the highest-ranking animated film on the list. In 2017, it was also named the second “Best Film…of the 21st Century So Far” by The New York Times.

I think you will enjoy Spirited Away as you are swept into a world full of possibilities and meaning. I fell in love with it the first time I saw it, and I think you will, too.

Bruce Bickford and Frank Zappa (1979)

Baby Snakes is a film which includes footage from Frank Zappa’s 1977 Halloween concert at New York City’s Palladium Theater, backstage antics from the crew, and stop-motion claymation from award-winning animator Bruce Bickford.

Tom Ruegger (2020)

The 2020 revival of Animaniacs is an upcoming animated slapstick comedy series for Hulu.

The Warner siblings — Yakko and Wakko, and the Warner sister Dot — have a great time wreaking havoc and mayhem in the lives of everyone they meet. After returning to their beloved home (the Warner Bros. Water Tower), the Animaniacs waste no time in causing chaos and comic confusion as they run loose through the studio and beyond, turning the world into their personal playground. Joining Yakko, Wakko and Dot, fan-favorite characters Pinky and the Brain will also return to continue their quest for world domination in each of the 13 episodes.