Animating Halloween: Halloween is Grinch Night Review

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Rating: 5.5/10

Plot: As a sour-sweet wins blows through Whoville, irritating all of the creatures in the night, a little Who named Euchariah gets swept away and lands nearby the Grinch. He is on his way to Whoville to terrorize the Whos, spurred from the sour-sweet wind. Euchariah must find some way to stop the Grinch and save all of Whoville.

Breakdown: Hey guys, do you remember that How the Grinch Stole Christmas had a prequel?

Immediate responses are probably lacking; sit back and think for a minute. I’ll start back up when you say “….Oh yeeeaaahhh. I kinda remember, I think.”

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Back with me? Good. For those of you who still aren’t catching on, don’t feel bad. I didn’t remember a lick of this special until I got to the very ending.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of the most beloved Christmas specials and probably the most beloved Dr. Seuss story ever. If you ever wanted a Halloween special with the Grinch…..then look somewhere else because this short has nothing to do with Halloween; you damn lying title.

Yep, this story has absolutely nothing to do with Halloween. They don’t even make a Halloween-like day and call it Grinch Night. It’s a random night where a sour-sweet wind blows through the countryside, irritating the various animals and calling the Grinch down to be a bucket full of bastard.

Not much happens for a majority of the special. We get songs, we see the Whos holing up in their houses, scared to death of the Grinch, and we see the Grinch traveling down the mountain forcing poor Max the dog to pull his physics-defying cart.

Only about 18 minutes into this 25 minute long special do things actually start happening, and even then it’s just Euchariah stalling the Grinch asking to be scared (because he likes it…make of that what you will) Why, you may ask? What will this do to save the town?

Well, you see, the wind doesn’t last forever and once the wind dies down, the Grinch must turn around and go home.

That’s it. When the wind dies down, the Grinch has to go home and not terrorize the town. Why? I have no clue. I mean, the Grinch is the Grinch. He likes scaring people and ruining their good moods. He doesn’t need the annoying sour-sweet wind blowing to make him want to do it. It’s like he’s honor-bound to not attack the town when the sour-sweet wind isn’t blowing. That kind of makes the Grinch a bit too reasonable.

Keep in mind that this is a prequel to How the Grinch Stole Christmas so he’s obviously still going to be an ass after this, and the last we see of him in this short is him looking forward to the next sour-sweet wind so he can do some terrorizing.

And absolutely nothing was learned.

Okay, it wasn’t a complete wash because something good did come of it. Max decided to ditch the green goblin and go live happily with Euchariah.

Oh wait, even that’s not a good ending because we know he’s back to being slave-driven by Grinch on How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

I guess there is one good thing that came of it; Euchariah proved that he was a brave young lad who saved the town.

Except he wasn’t shown to have bravery problems before this, so this supposed character growth seems a bit misplaced. I mean, hell, this is a kid who braved hurricane force winds and the threat of a Grinch attack to go to the bathroo—I mean ‘The Euphemism’ (Seriously, calling it the euphemism makes it sound much worse.)

He did save the town, so there is that. But really, the Grinch was just planning on scaring the Whos with his cart of nightmares. If this short is supposed to be for Halloween, and Euchariah is supposed to be making kids less legit scared by proving that scary things can be fun sometimes, then he didn’t really save the village from much, did he?

Wow, I just completely negated every plot point of this special. Uhh….Hmm…

Well, the music was pretty good. Not nearly as good or memorable as How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but still solid enough. The song at the end with Euchariah getting the full Grinch treatment (well, now, I’ m making innocent things sound worse.) was the only one I remembered from watching this when I was a kid. The other songs were fine, but I definitely didn’t remember them.

Maybe that’s understandable because unlike HtGSC, this special didn’t air nearly as much around the Halloween season. Maybe because it has jack squat to do with Halloween….They could’ve melded the Grinch into Halloween festivities so easily it’s sad. Like he was irritated by the happy Whos enjoying harmless scares and candy that the Grinch went down to Whoville to stir up legitimate scares and horror. Then he gets thwarted somehow and goes back home to prepare for being cranky on Christmas.

Overall, it’s an okay special, but doesn’t amount to really anything. It doesn’t really get you in the Halloween mood, and the only quasi-freaky imagery is kept to the very end. What the hell is the Grinch anyway? Nightmarish schizophrenia incarnate? How is he doing all of that?

Recommended Audience: And Fiddletwix said “It’s Dr. Seuss, are you kidding me? You could watch this special if you were negative three!”

Animating Halloween: Yami Shibai 2 Episodes 5 and 6

Yami Shibai 2 Episode 5: Locker

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Plot: Tried and true story of a girl with a crush on a guy but can’t admit her feelings to him. She overhears some girls talking about a locker that supposedly grants wishes. You put the picture of your loved one in the locker and your love will be realized. She puts the picture of her crush in the locker and prays for her wish to come true. When she checks back later, the picture is gone and her crush is also looking to make a wish. Will her love bloom or is there something more sinister about this locker?

Breakdown: This one was creepy, but a little confusing. Starts out with an innocent enough story and a rumor that leads to yet another creepy doll. And go figure, the creepy doll in this story is much creepier than the doll in the short about the doll.

I kinda have to spoil the ending to express my confusion, so please skip to the next episode to avoid spoilers.

 

 

 

 

Like I said, she puts the picture in the locker with the doll and later finds the picture missing. She sees her crush in the basement where the locker is located and they chat up each other for a bit before he reveals that he’s also there to make a wish. She explains that her picture went missing and her crush becomes confused. As she opens the locker to show him, he jolts back in fright realizing that this locker is not the one that you’re supposed to be wishing on, but is instead….I dunno.

When she opens the locker, he is forcibly and painfully mushed into a ball and shoved into the locker, I guess to make a new doll, and the episode ends.

I have so many questions. First of all, if that wasn’t the wish-granting locker, what was it? What was that doll? Are there really two supernatural lockers in this school that work on a wish system? Why did her crush get turned into another doll? Is this the vengeance spirit locker? How did he know what was in it? And how did he seemingly know he’d be the one to be transformed?

It’s not a big surprise that she chose the wrong locker, though. Her method of selecting a locker among the 50 or so in the basement was to choose the locker that bore the number of her crush’s baseball jersey. Because…yeah, why wouldn’t it be that number? Except the fact that these are unused lockers in the basement not baseball team lockers, and there’s no reason to ever suspect that. You’d think if the wish locker and the vengeance locker were so well known someone would mark them or something. If they both work on the same system just with drastically different outcomes, I’d say that’s something to warn people about.

It should be noted that one of the lockers had a note on it, which might be marking it as the wish locker, but there’s no shot close enough to read it. You’d figure the first thing she’d look for is a damn sign or note indicating which locker is the wish locker.

This whole story ends on a pretty sad note because of this, too. This poor girl just wanted, literally, for her senpai to notice her, and she ends up killing him on accident instead.

Episode 6: Nao-Chan

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Plot: A mother becomes slightly worried when her young son starts saying ‘Nao-chan’ over and over while looking at the ceiling at night. They know no Nao-chan and Takkun stays at home all day with his mother and has never met anyone with that name. They brush it off as an imaginary friend and play around with him about it, but Nao-chan is certainly real. What does he want?

Breakdown: I….actually don’t think this one’s even aiming to be a horror story. To be fair, despite the title translating to Theater of Darkness, the full title of this show is Yami Shibai: Japanese Ghost Stories, and not all ghost stories have to be scary.

That being said, the middle of the story where we finally see Nao is pretty damn creepy just on the design of Nao and how he makes no noise as he approaches.

I’m not exactly sure how we’re meant to take the ending. I suppose it’s a good thing because a good friend of the family gets reincarnated but Takkun clearly seems angry at the situation and the parents seem like they’re not in the same frame of mind as they were previously. I don’t want to say that they seem like they’re in a trance, but similar to it. I want to say that they’re fine and that Takkun is just being jealous because if Nao is what he’s supposed to be there’s no reason he’d do anything bad to them.

This one’s a pretty good story, but there’s no real scary material here outside of Nao’s reveal.