Every year the fall/winter holiday season starts just a little bit sooner: our local Wal-mart had out Halloween candy, costumes and decorations by the first of September. I’m not sure who is buying Halloween candy two months before the fact, unless they plan to eat it themselves, since I am unaware of any reports of candy shortages, even in the thick of Trick or Treat night itself.
Another local anomaly: since the Halloween Haunt feature now runs from Sept 23 through October (“six spooktacular weekends!”) at nearby Geauga Lake theme park, they had to run their “Oktoberfest” in mid-September. Hmm, maybe we’ll have the 4 of July in June next year.
So anyway, I’ve been keeping a keen eye out, and I got my very first news item on Halloween, yesterday, from PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! about their Halloween-themed programming on October 31, 2005, which is inevitably filled with “frightful fun.”
“Halloween is such an exciting time for kids and we’re featuring content to help children expand their imaginations and talk about some of the things that might frighten them this time of year,” said John F. Wilson, Senior Vice President, Programming, PBS. “Through our educational, entertaining programming, parents can feel good knowing their kids are getting a real treat with PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! on October 31.”
As a parent who cares, I certainly feel good about it.
In addition to the programming on October 31, from Monday, October 24 through Halloween, Monday, October 31, “ARTHUR’s Halloween Week” coincides with a similar full week of spooky episodes on the PBS KIDS GO! math thriller cartoon, CYBERCHASE.
October 31 programming On PBS KIDS:
CLIFFORD (Episode 206)
“Clifford the Scary Puppy”
Evan goes a little too far when he’s playing spooky tricks on the kids, until Clifford accidentally gives him a good scare.
“Things That Go Bump”
There’s a costume campout party in the courtyard on Halloween night. Everyone drifts off to sleep but Clifford, who’s too spooked by unfamiliar sounds to close his eyes. Norville comes to his rescue, and together, they nervously uncover that the “things that go bump” are only frightening in their imaginations.
BERENSTAIN BEARS (Episode 110)
“Trick or Treat”
Brother and Sister plan to avoid Widder Jones’ house when they go trick or treating because neighborhood lore has it that she’s a witch. Mama knows Widder Jones personally and tells the cubs what a sweet person she is. When the evening is over the cubs agree with Mama. They enjoyed visiting Widder Jones more than anyone else that Halloween. Brother and Sister learn not to judge others by appearances or by preconceptions.
“Lend a Helping Hand”
En route to their friend’s house, Brother and Sister stop to help the frail and elderly Widder Jones dispose of a fallen tree limb. The cubs soon wish they weren’t so generous with their time when Mrs. Jones recruits them for other chores. While spending a Saturday cleaning out her attic, Brother and Sister come to enjoy the company of Widder Jones and find that lending a helping hand is a very rewarding experience. Brother and Sister learn that helping others is its own reward.
TELETUBBIES (Episode 535)
The Teletubbies leave their favorite things to watch Alex make a pumpkin head. She uses glue to stick big leaves on a pumpkin as ears, and a triangle shaped piece of paper for the nose. Alex puts marshmallows on the pumpkin for eyes and uses raisins for teeth. Finally she adds straw for the pumpkin’s hair and finds a hat for it to wear. A pumpkin appears in Teletubbyland. It has two ears, a nose, two eyes and big smile. Laa-Laa and Dipsy are very impressed with the pumpkin until it wears Dipsy’s hat. The Teletubbies dance the round and round dance.
GEORGE SHRINKS (Episode 126)
The Shrinks family, and a few of the neighborhood kids, have assembled in George’s backyard for Dad’s annual Monster Movie Marathon. The kids add to the fun of watching hoky old monster movies by playing pranks on each other. When some unexplained pranks begin to happen to the kids, George, Becky and friends set a trap for the mystery prankster — who turns out to be a new kid who has moved in behind the Shrinks. Here they thought she was the “mean” new kid in town but turns out she’s a very creative thinking new friend! She just wanted to be part of the fun.
CAILLOU (Episode 122)
Caillou and his new friends play hide and seek in the yard with a flashlight. Rexie is in search of the scary Spooking Doodle and Gilbert and Teddy go on a fairy hunt. Bad dreams keep Caillou awake long after bedtime. Caillou has a sleepover at Leo’s but he misses his mommy and daddy.
DRAGON TALES (Episode 101)
“To Fly With Dragons/ The Forest of Darkness”
Emmy and Max move to a new house where they find a magic box in their new playroom that takes them away to Dragon Land. The children meet Ord, Cassie, Quetzel, Zak, and Wheezie and they all help Ord find his missing tooth. Later, the children return to Dragon Land and go with their friends into the Forest of Darkness to find a magical star seed.
JAKERS! THE ADVENTURES OF PIGGLEY WINKS (Episode 109)
“Song of the Banshee”
When Piggley, Ferny and Dannan hear strange noises in the barn, Piggley decides it’s the “song of the banshee” — which frightens Dannan more than she wants to admit! When she finally confesses her fear to her friends, they search for the source of the noise… and discover it’s only Wiley the sheep trying to lead his uncooperative flock in song. Trust your friends and share your true feelings with them.
On PBS KIDS GO!:
ARTHUR (Episode 403)
Will Buster’s friends treat him the same after they learn he has asthma? Maybe the answer will be found on a guided tour through…Buster’s lungs!
“The Fright Stuff”
In the second story, prankster poltergeists have arrived in Elwood City – – and just in time for the “Scare Your Pants Off” costume party! It’s boys versus girls in what becomes a great big battle of the pranks, until the kids learn a lesson about practical jokes…from a spooky source.
CYBERCHASE (Episode 214)
“Trick or Treat”
Hacker shows up at Motherboard Control Central. He pleads guilty to being the King of Chaos, but says he’s sorry. He doesn’t want to be a bad guy anymore. But when nobody’s looking, he slips a strange frog into the air duct. What happens when this frog grows into a grotesque, alien creature that threatens to destroy Motherboard? And what will happen to the kids when they go inside Motherboard to track it down?
POSTCARDS FROM BUSTER (Episode 104)
Near Mt. Hood, Buster meets some regular-sized kids who grow giant pumpkins for competition. He also goes mountain biking, extreme, Oregon-style with siblings Jordan and Ashley.