By now, many fans have watched “Michael Jackson’s Halloween”, the animated cartoon from CBS in conjunction with the Michael Jackson Estate.
The Story is simple. Two main characters go on a quest to save music and dance against an evil witch. Our lead male is Vincent (Lucas Till, MacGyver), the son of a grocery store owner, deemed to one day take over the business but really aspiring to be a DJ. The leading lady is Victoria (Kiersey Clemons, Neighbors 2), an intern for a corporation literally trying to get a job as an assistant while suppressing her passion for dance. Our hero and heroine cross paths thanks to a bike-chasing-dog-collision and end up at 777 Jackson Street (All fans will know the meaning of that number and that street) where they meet a mixture of characters (including Bubbles) while figuring out how to stop Conformity (the witch).
While the story line is pretty simple to understand – especially if you are within the target audience of under 10 years old – it’s full of Michael Jackson references. From the designs of the scenary to the characters’ t-shirts, Michael Jackson is all over it! (My favorite is the big Dangerous window of the hotel but love the little details like “I’m BAD” on the “Boss” car). All those details will for sure please the older fans and give them some ‘spotting’ to do.
Lucas Till, Kiersey Clemons, Jim Parsons, Christine Baranski, Lucy Liu, George Eads, Alan Cumming, and Brad Garrett lend their voices to the film and there’s a very (very) short use of Michael’s voice at the end in a sort of ‘fantasy like’ delivery.
As for the music, there were some pretty good mixes there such as They Don’t Care and Threatened. However, some use of songs are weirdly positioned in the cartoon and felt included for the sake of it. It could have done with a bit less (I cannot believe I just said that – less Michael!). Also, the mix felt a little heavy in places. But all in all, an interesting use of music…Who knew Dirty Diana intro would work so well for a Witch’s entrance?!
The whole cartoon was in conjunction with the release of the Halloween compilation album “SCREAM”. And all the songs on that album were used in the cartoon!
As for the Michael’s Character, naturally he appeared as himself in a Thriller era look-like and looked pretty good. The dance moves are a bit stiff and disjointed but for those who wants to see the real deal, just watch Michael Jackson on tour!
As for the ending, (not spoiling it for you) it opens up to a sequel and it would be great to see Michael Jackson on TV every Halloweens!
Overall, the cartoon is very good, with a good moral. This also open the door to a brand new generation to Michael Jackson’s music and artistry. I really believe the aim of this cartoon is to get more young fans to grow up with Michael in the same way many of us had the chance to do. With out Michael here to be the driving force, this is maybe a new way to reach them.
If this cartoon gets an episode every Halloween, CBS and the Estate really need to create not only DVD/BluRay but maybe a series of toys! I would definitely buy some for my nieces and nephews!
Now, as an older fan, of course I would love to get more “Grown-up” projects which fans were told at ComiCon New York that the Estate is working on! “Thriller 3D” is one of them and it’s amazing! Also “GHOSTS” in 3D which will be incredible…That 2Bad dance routine in full 3D…I can only imagine.
As for the cartoon, MJVibe asked fans if they liked the CBS special and here the results: