A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Michael Jackson's Halloween is an animated holiday special set to the King of Pop's music and featuring images of him. The characters -- two teens who meet by accident at the story's start -- find surprises, mild scares, and some perilous predicaments at every turn, but there's no real fright to concern parents. There are, however, oversized spiders, a pumpkin-headed man, zombies, and a talking chimp. You'll hear "damn" in one song and "stupid" rarely. This unique Halloween movie is a fun pick for kids and parents who can appreciate the Michael Jackson imagery and inspiration.
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What's the story?
In MICHAEL JACKSON'S HALLOWEEN, Halloween night turns surprisingly eventful for teens Vincent (voiced by Lucas Till) and Victoria (Kiersey Clemons), who meet when their paths cross and lead them to the mysterious This Place Hotel. Along with a dog named Ichabod, Vincent and Victoria encounter a talking chimp named Bubbles (Brad Gilbert) and an assortment of bizarre creatures desperate to free themselves from a woman named Conformity (Lucy Liu), who has banished all music and dancing from the land. Guided by the spirit of Michael Jackson, these two unwitting heroes set off on a grand adventure.
Is it any good?
What begins as an arguably bizarre concept evolves into a thoroughly entertaining Halloween treat for families. Everyone knows Jackson's Thriller's relationship to the holiday, but how will his other hits set the stage for an animated movie? As it turns out, they do so exceedingly well when matched by other imagery of him -- in the Hay Man's (Jim Parsons) dance moves, in the rhythm context between Victoria and a spider army, and finally in an animated version of him.
With a bold visual style and creative characters, Michael Jackson's Halloween is a quirky, funny, and engrossing addition to families' holiday collection. Young kids may worry over the characters' fate in a few spots, and there's always that fine line between reality and make-believe to contend with. But this unique Halloween story is fun for kids, teens, and parents alike.
Talk to your kids about ...
Does this unusual pairing of a Halloween story and Michael Jackson's music work for you? What imagery of Jackson's legacy do you see in Michael Jackson's Halloween? What accounts for the King of Pop's popularity long after his passing?
Is it fun to be a little scared when you watch a movie or show? Are there any real scares at play in this story? How differently does on-screen violence affect you when it's animated rather than live action?
In what instances do you notice the character(s) demonstrating positive traits like courage and determination? Are certain people more inclined to leadership than others? Kids: Do you like being a leader? What qualities are important in a strong leader? What examples do you see of strong leadership in your community?
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