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Halloween Retro 101: DISNEY'S DTV MONSTER HITS

Disney
Disney
Disney

"Disney DTV" was a series produced by Walt Disney Productions in the eighties, which was the kiddie equivalent to MTV. Basically, the episodes consisted of a compilation of music videos featuring popular songs of the time, which were set to clips of Disney cartoons that were edited and synchronized with the music.

In 1987, Disney aired "Disney’s DTV Monster Hits" on Halloween night. My mother taped it for me on an old videocassette, and I watched it year round, over and over again. It is still one of my favorite Halloween specials, and not a year goes by that I don’t watch it at least twice.

"DTV Monster Hits" is hosted by the Magic Mirror (character actor, Jeffrey Jones, camping it up big time) and is co-hosted by Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Witch Hazel. Together, they introduce each of the music videos. We are also treated to an animated short, “Trick or Treat”, as well as an extended clip from The Great Mouse Detective, which was the latest Disney feature at the time. The heffalumps and woozles of The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh also make an appearance.

The songs featured in the music videos are as follows:

  • Michael Jackson: “Thriller”
  • Ray Parker, Jr.: “Ghostbusters”
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival : “Bad Moon Rising”
  • Bobby “Boris” Pickett featuring The Crypt-Kickers: “Monster Mash”
  • Rockwell: “Somebody’s Watching Me”
  • Electric Light Orchestra: “Evil Woman”
  • Stevie Wonder: “Superstition”
  • Pat Benatar: “You Better Run”
  • Spike Jones & His City Slickers: “That Old Black Magic”
  • Daryl Hall: “Dreamtime”
  • From “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh”: Heffalumps & Woozles
  • The Eurythmics: “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”

"Disney’s DTV Monster Hits" will always have a special place in my heart. It is a precious relic from my childhood that never saw an official release on either VHS or DVD. That’s too bad, because, while it may be incredibly dated, it is a program that should be sought out and appreciated, especially if you are a child of the eighties! There is so much to love here. All of the songs are great, the animated clips are endearing, and Jeffrey Jones has one hell of a time in his role as the wise-cracking Magic Mirror. The highlight of the entire show is the music video for “Ghostbusters”, featuring Mickey, Goofy, and Donald as ghost hunters. Many of the sound effects in this particular cartoon were included in the “Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House” vinyl LP that Disney released in the sixties!

If you love Halloween as much as I do, you’ll want to seek out this rare gem for yourself. Or you can just watch it on YouTube!