Garfield’s Halloween Adventure (1985)

garfields halloween adventure poster 1985 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Early Garfield, creepy ghost pirates, fun for fans

No direction, non-fans won't enjoy

TV Show Info

Show Name:  Garfield’s Halloween Adventure

Studio:  CBS

Genre(s):  Animated/Seasonal

Release Date(s):  October 30, 1985

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

garfields halloween adventure jon pumpkin head

“Jon…I hate you with every fiber of my soul”

It is Halloween and Garfield is celebrating.  With Odie helping him trick-or-treat, Garfield sets out to get the most candy he can.  When Garfield and Odie accidentally drift away on a raft while trying to reach another neighborhood, they find a haunted house and face ghost pirates seeking their treasure.

Directed by Phil Roman, Garfield’s Halloween Adventure is a family animated Halloween special.  The show originally aired on CBS on October 30, 1985.  It was based on an original story by Jim Davis, and an adaptation expanded the story in the cartoon.  Also called Garfield in Disguise, it won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program.

garfields halloween adventure trick or treat odie

We’re gonna get the good stuff

Garfield meant everything to me when I was nine (especially being from Indiana where the cartoon strip originated) when this special first aired.  I read the comic strip and I read the collections.  My friends and I all loved Garfield…and the holidays were always ripe with new cartoons and “special presentations” to see that meant the season was in full swing.

This special was one of those specials that aired regularly for years.  Along with It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, it was one of the few Halloween specials that you could watch as a kid and it was fun to mix it up with the horror movies that peppered the seasonal landscape.

Garfield was relatively “new” at the time and this also predates the perennial A Garfield Christmas (which came out on December 21, 1987).  While Garfield was still a few years away from hitting his full stride with sticky-Garfields donning the windows of cars and a Saturday morning cartoon, he was still popular and similar to his contemporaries like Charlie Brown.  You could watch Garfield’s Halloween Adventure and read Garfield in the paper the next Sunday…it was exciting to see something like this.

garfields halloween adventure ghost pirates odie

Johnny Depp…are you here?

The story is very unbalanced.  The first half revolves around Garfield’s quest for candy and the second half has a ghost story that is solved by simply running away.  The ghost pirates just kind of randomly show up (and they do actually appear rather terrifying).  They don’t really add anything to the plot other than make it more “Halloween-y”.

Garfield’s Halloween Adventure is a classic for kids from the ’80s and still is enjoyable for younger kids.  It doesn’t hold up as well as some of the other cartoons, but if you are a fan of Garfield and looking for something to check out when Halloween rolls around (or seeking nostalgia), it is usually easily found on online.  It is sad however that things like this do not pop up around the holiday season as much…and it is a reminder of simpler times when entertainment could be found by flipping through the TV Guide pre-internet.

Related Links:

A Garfield Christmas (1987)

Garfield’s Thanksgiving (1989)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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