In a small town named Sleepy Hollow, a gangly schoolteacher named Icabod Crane comes to town. Despite his unattractive appearance, he quickly proves to be a ladies man who charms the local beauty, much to the local tough, Brom Bones', displeasure. A subtle rivalry erupts, only to have Crane continually gaining the upper hand. The situation changes when Brom learns of Crane's superstitions and exploits them as he musically tells the legend of the fearsome Headless Horseman to frighten the teacher. That night, Crane's lonely night ride home becomes more lively than he ever imagined as the Horseman appears to chase him.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The song "Headless Horseman" is considered one of the darkest songs written for a Disney film. It, much like "Worthless" from The Brave Little Toaster (1987) and "Hellfire" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), was nearly cut from the film. See more »
Originally part of the movie The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, this adaptation of Washington's Irving's famous story contains some of the scariest imagery from any Disney cartoon. The story, for those who somehow have never read or heard of it, takes place in 1790 New York. In the village of Sleepy Hollow, a lanky new schoolmaster named Ichabod Crane arrives and becomes smitten with a beautiful young woman named Katrina. His rival for her affections is a brawny hunk named Brom Bones. Brom tells superstitious Ichabod the legend of the Headless Horseman, a ghost that haunts the village each year on Halloween, searching for a head to replace the one he lost. As Ichabod travels home alone at night, he discovers the legend is true.
The first half is heavy on comedy, much to the frustration of many viewers who only watch for the scary parts they've heard about or remember from their childhood. I enjoy the lighter parts but admit what makes this a true classic is the scene where the Horseman chases Ichabod. It's an amazing sequence. The animation is gorgeous with rich Technicolor that'll make you drool and beautifully-drawn characters and backgrounds. Katrina is one of the most underrated animated beauties from the classic Disney era. As Crosby's narration states, "She was a blooming lass, plump as a partridge, ripe, melting and rosy-cheeked..." The Headless Horseman is also brilliantly realized. Sublime voice work from Bing Crosby, who also lends his voice to some songs. It's one of the classic Disney cartoons that I remember most from my childhood. Watching it today it's even better than I remembered.
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