Halloween TV Special

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow -1949

Sleepy Hollow

The Disney ” Legend of Sleepy Hollow  is narrated by Bing Crosby and was actually banned for television for several years due to how scary many felt this special appeared to children.

in 1790, a lanky, skeleton like character Ichabod crane shows up in the small town of Sleepy Hollow to take on the role as the new schoolmaster. The local town bully Brom Bones finds Icabod to be odd right from day one although Ichabod proves to be a match for Brom, not so much from direct combat but rather using his brain and wisdom to get out of tight situations. Ichabod also shows himself to be quite the ladies man, even though he has a lanky and gaunt appearance. He has every woman in Sleepy Hollow in the palm of his hand.


One day, Ichabod comes across Katrina Von Tassel who is the beautiful young daughter of Baltus Von Tassel who is the wealthiest farmer in the area. Brom Bones has also done everything he can to scare away any suitor for Katrina because he wants to be the only suitor for her. Katrina see’s Icabod as a potential challenge for Brom and welcomes the idea of having another man interested in her. After several attempts to get Icabod away from Katrina, Brom finds himself unsuccessful and possibly a beaten man.

On Halloween night, Baltus Von Tassel has a Halloween party where everyone in the town shows up. Ichabod charms Katrina and Brom is running out of ideas but then notices that Ichabod is superstitious.  Brom takes this opportunity to tell a story about ” The Headless Horseman” which makes Icabod very uncomfortable and rather scared.


The party ends and Ichabod heads back to his house but after hearing about the Headless Horseman, Ichabod is on edge and hears alot of noises and sounds that make him feel like he is in danger. A false alarm occurs when Ichabod hears sounds of a approaching horse but turns out to be reeds smacking against a log. Ichabod breaks into laughter with his horse thinking about how childish he has been acting. Immediately, the Headless Horseman appears riding a black horse and swinging a long sword. Ichabod panics and a chase scene begins where Ichabod goes through many different measures to try to escape the headless horseman.


Eventually, Ichabod sees a bridge and remembers hearing Brom say during the tale that once you cross the bridge, the Headless Horseman’s power will end.  Ichabod races to the bridge and crosses it but when he turns around the Headless Horseman is seen throwing a flaming jack o lantern at Ichabod and the screen goes to black.


The next day the only thing that is scene is a shattered pumpkin and Ichabod’s hat. Brom Bones earns Katrina’s hand in marriage and it is later rumored that Ichabod is believed to be alive and married to a heavy set woman in a distant country but the residents of Sleepy Hollow do not believe this and they feel Ichabods spirit was spirited away on Halloween night by the Headless Horseman.

The Disney version holds well to the actual story and does not try to soften the story in fear of scaring viewers. This is a classic Disney telling of a great story and reminds us what a genius Walt Disney was when he was the man in charge. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is the first special that is aired in my house when October comes around. It is a wonderful starter for the Halloween season. Younger kids still may find it scary at certain scenes however this is a great 30 min cartoon for old school disney lovers or just halloween fans in general.


Click here to watch it on YouTube!

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