Leave the lights on while you watch this.
Overview (Spoilers Below)
The plot is so convoluted so try and stay with me here. Michael Jackson’s Halloween follows “Vincent” (Lucas Till) and “Victoria”(Kiersey Clemons) as they stumble upon Michael Jackson’s haunted house which is now run by “Bubbles” (Brad Garrett) and is for some reason haunted by “Conformity” (Lucy Liu) who is hell-bent on making sure millennials never discover having fun to music. Along the way, the kids meet the scarecrow groundskeeper Hay Man (Jim Parsons), spider security guard Generalissimo Meriweather (Alan Cumming), and a cat mad scientist Franklin Stein (Diedrich Bader).
Those last three characters are important because when combined they become Michael Jackson, this special’s Voltron if you will. When Michael shows up, he dances his way all through his own house, defeats Conformity, and the house just kinda gets up and leaves.
While at NYCC, I watched a screening of Michael Jackson’s Halloween, but the host of the panel noted that what was shown was both an incomplete version and shortened 10 minutes so as not to spoil the ending. I mean, it’s not like anyone was watching Stranger Things Season Two, but I guess the PR staff at CBS thought that peoples’ minds were just gonna be blown when they check out this special.
Unfortunately, this thing’s a pile of shit. The animation production is absolutely horrid, featuring unfinished motion designs and plasticky looking characters that looked like they were rejected from McDonalds’ Happy Meals during Pixar month. The voice acting is mixed at best, Till and Clemons are about as cliched as they can get, and we are now on Jim Parsons’ third animated special following stints on Supermansion and that terribad Elf animated holiday special that aired on NBC, and quite frankly I think he should just fucking stop there because I actually think he’s a great actor (see his awesome performance in Hidden Figures), but in the voice game he keeps picking shitty projects (aside from the Supermansion episode which was decent) to work on. This is definitely another one, capped off by a terribly miscast “Bubbles” played by Brad Garrett who I guess was supposed to do his best impression of Gene Wilders’ “Willy Wonka” character but failed miserably.
The plot was horrendous. Apparently, the 1980s era Michael Jacksons travels from city to city looking for “millennials” (marketing made sure to put that terrible attempt at demoing in the synopsis) in a house haunted by a crazy lady that looks like Latoya Jackson with his spirit being manifested in a spider, a scarecrow, and a scientist cat…I’m not making this up. THEN he comes back to life to turn ghosts into a BUNCH OF CHILDREN WHO DON’T KNOW WHERE THEY ARE OR HOW THEY GOT THERE! At the end, Bubble loads up a limo, threatening to visit another city with this shit.
Is anyone at CBS even trying to vet their animated programming? I mean, we literally have an animated movie about a Jackson household that’s still being haunted by the spirits of children who have inhabited his house! I gave the special this score for the first time in our company’s history. Nothing will be worse than this.
Next up, Harvey Weinstein’s XXX-mas Spectacular.