Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Scary Godmother

Go To

Scary Godmother Halloween Spooktacular is a 2003 TV movie based on a series of children's books by Jill Thompson. It's about a girl named Hannah Marie who is locked in a haunted house by her cousin Jimmy and his friends. Hannah is understandably terrified... that is until her Scary Godmother shows up and invites her to her annual Halloween party. Scary Godmother takes her to the Fright Side, where Hannah is introduced to her 'broom-mates' and fellow monsters:

  • Skully Pettibone: a fun-loving, campy skeleton who loves hosting parties.
  • Bug-a-Boo: a huge, scary monster that's a lot gentler than he seems.
  • Harry: an obnoxious, self-absorbed werewolf who can't stop eating.
  • Count Maxwell, Ruby, and Orson: the royal family of vampires, who can be rather out of touch at times but are, for the most part, friendly and agreeable.

There is also a follow-up named Scary Godmother: The Revenge of Jimmy.

Tropes used in this work:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The specials take the basic plots from the first two Scary Godmother books, but to make them into 45-minute specials, a ton of material was added — most notably, Harry and the vampires, who didn't appear at all in the first book and only had minor cameo appearances in the second one, have been made major characters in both special and get a lot of attention and screen time.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Scary Godmother is more white-skinned than in the books. She's missing her light green hue.
  • Adapted Out: The animated special of The Revenge of Jimmy omits some characters present in the book version, most notably the spider Madame Zazie and Hannah Marie's little sister Ellie.
  • An Aesop: It's normal to be scared sometimes, but you can't let your fear consume you.
    • In the first film, Hannah starts terrified of the Spookhouse and the monsters of the Fright Side, but with the help of Scary Godmother, she quickly overcomes those fears and has a great time at the Halloween party.
    • In the sequel, it's shown that after the scare he got at the end of the first movie, Jimmy dealt with the fear in an unhealthy way, spending the whole year cowering and becoming completely obsessed with the monsters. He goes to extreme lengths to avoid having to confront them again, such as preparing traps in his room, throwing out his closet and removing the legs from his bed to stop monsters from hiding there, and finally trying to sabotage Halloween itself. His plans to cancel Halloween eventually lead him to meet the monsters again, and he realizes that they aren't as bad as he thought, finally allowing him to stop living in fear and enjoy Halloween again.
  • Almost Kiss: Between Katie and Daryl in the first special.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Max and Ruby are this to Orson.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Harry, Bug-A-Boo, and Mr. Pettibone all seem to embody different gay stereotypes. The "ambiguous" part is only due to nothing ever being said outright about their sexualities.
  • Animal Motif: Cats for Katie; her Halloween costume is a black cat and in her civilian clothes she has a white cat pendant.
  • Animated Adaptation: The specials are based on a series of books and comics.
  • Art Evolution: The CGI is improved on come The Revenge of Jimmy, with better rendering and frame rate.
  • Art Shift: Whenever Scary Godmother or Hanna gives the audience recipes for Halloween treats, they're represented in a 2D watercolor style similar to the original books.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Jimmy gets a bigger role in the second installment.
    • Compared to the original books, this trope can be applied to most of Scary Godmother's friends — combined with Adaptational Early Appearance for some of them, since only Bug-A-Boo and Skully appeared in the first book. In the second book, the other characters do make minor appearances, but again only Bug-A-Boo plays a role in the story. Of course, by the time the specials were made, the Scary Godmother comics had already introduced and fleshed out characters like Harry, Max, Ruby, and Orson, so giving them large roles in the specials was a natural choice.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": In the climactic scene, all the monsters are pretending to be evil so Hannah can "save" the kids who locked her in the house. Harry wasn't even trying. Until he saw Daryl as a piece of candy... Then he signals Hannah to point her flashlight toward him.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: The Scary Godmother takes it as a compliment when Skully calls her "frightful".
  • Big Eater: Harry delights in the mere thought of food. He manages to eat the whole buffet by himself, and orders twelve extra large pizzas.
  • Big Entrance: Scary Godmother tries for one, but Hannah is too busy crying to notice. So Scary Godmother sits beside her and starts making loud sobbing noises to distract Hannah from her fear.
  • Blatant Lies:
    Scary Godmother: Uh, Hannah, flashlights only work on... monsters that hide in your closet, yeah, and Bug-A-Boo is a monster that hides under your bed!
    Bug-A-Boo: Nice cover.
  • Black Bead Eyes: An unusual CGI case as seen in many of the kid characters (except for Hannah), made more bizarre with the way they blink in some parts.
  • Brainy Brunette: Hannah shows a lot of this in the sequel (this was foreshadowed in the first one); she uses her creativity and imagination when Jimmy causes a lot of problems for Halloween i.e. candy, pumpkins, and the spooky house.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Occasionally. Skully winks at the audience, and Scary Godmother takes a moment to give us her recipe for shutting up a chattering werewolf.
    • In The Revenge of Jimmy, Hannah also gives a recipe after she and the others found out that the candy and costumes in stores have been tampered with.
  • British Stuffiness: Harry is a talking wolf, with a heavy British accent.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Jimmy and his friends hiding inside the closet, which is rather odd, since before that point they all had Black Bead Eyes.
  • Cel Shading: Many of the background elements are rendered with this, while the characters are rendered normally.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: In-universe; Harry assumes that Hannah is dressed up as a character named "Olivia St. Tartar" from one of his favorite comics. A side-by-side comparison shows that they look nothing alike.
  • Character Development: Hannah goes from an easily scared little girl to a more outgoing and assured young lady. In the first special she explains what type of dream job she wants mish-mashing different types of things. When she's asked who she wants to be for Halloween in the next special, she shows different ideas, one at a time and states that she's still deciding.
  • Character Narrator: Harry serves as the narrator in The Revenge of Jimmy, as part of his repaying Scary Godmother when he eats all the snacks (again) in the first movie.
  • The Comically Serious: Count Max.
  • Commonality Connection: Hannah stops being scared of Bug-a-Boo because they both like pizza with olives.
  • Content Warnings: Parodied in the sequel, where Harry (who is the Character Narrator after his misdeeds in the first movie) gives one for graphic content right before the scene where Jimmy smashes the pumpkins in an attempt to ruin Halloween for everyone.
  • Curtains Match the Windows: Hannah and Katie both are brunettes and have brown eyes.
  • Cute Witch: The Scary Godmother is an adult version.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The residents of the Fright Side wear dark clothing and/or are associated with darkness, but are also the nicest people you could ever meet. Bugaboo says it best:
    Bugaboo: To tell you the truth, monsters aren't mean. Big and scary? Yeah. But not mean.
  • Deal with the Devil: The pizza skeleton offers to waive the bill for Harry's order in exchange for Scary Godmother's soul. She looks over the contract, then politely declines — her soul is worth more than 12 pizzas.
  • Dem Bones: Skully is a living skeleton.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • "The light burns! It burns worse than the worst burn ever!"
    • "I die! I flail... and then I die!"
  • Disney Death: A brief one occurs in The Revenge of Jimmy, where it's thought that the house fell on Scary Godmother and crushed her. Skully and Bug-a-Boo are crying, while Harry rejoices. Soon enough, Scary Godmother re-appears, commenting on how sweet it is that Skully and Bug-a-Boo miss her.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Harry, narrating the second special, makes a pun about how Jimmy's plans to ruin Halloween with a Toilet Paper Prank are "on a roll", then stops to explain the joke.
    Harry:: Happy Halloween... Ah, if only it were so, dear viewer, but alas, his dastardly plan to ruin Halloween was on a... roll. Do you get it? Toilet paper? Roll? Ah, Harry, truly, you are the wolf with the wickedest wit in the West.
  • Drama Queen: Harry so much. When Hannah “defeats” him with her flashlight, he drags out his performance longer than necessary. It takes a silent cue from Scary Godmother to make him wrap it up.
    Look how that light radiates into my countenance! Tis too much for me and my pithy soul, the light burns! It burns worse than the worst burn ever! Mercy me, is this the end of poor Harry? It seems so! Goodbye, mother! I can see a long tunnel with a bright light! I move towards the light! (Scary Godmother gives him a "Get on with it" motion) Oh, alright! I die! I flail! Then I die.
  • Eat the Camera: Happens twice in the movie.
    • First on Hannah as she runs towards the camera screaming when she's first locked in the house.
    Why does the animation in this always move like it wants to eat me? - Nostalgia Critic
    • Most famously during the climax of the movie, the kids scream after Skully falls apart and the camera zooms straight into Katie's mouth, emphasizing her wiggling uvula that's also screaming before entering ITS mouth.
  • Everyone Calls Her Barkeep: Everyone refers to Scary Godmother as Scary Godmother. Her real name has yet to be revealed.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The delivery skeleton for Diablos Pizza has a stereotypical lisp normally, but when he offers for Scary Godmother to "sign" for the pizza, his voice drops into an evil growl.
  • Expressive Uvula: Katie's uvula is also screaming during the climax.
  • Faeries Don't Believe in Humans, Either: When Hannah asks Orson if he's a real vampire, he responds by asking if she's a real human.
  • Fiery Redhead: Scary Godmother has bright red hair and a hot temper.
  • Flashback: Spoofed. Bert, Katie, Hannah, and Jimmy recreate one as to how Hannah's parents gave her the flashlight to scare away monsters. Daryl even brings it up that he wants to be in the next one.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the first special, Hannah is the one who comes up with the idea of Bert being an "evil" piece of candy which pays off in the second special as her ability to see things from a different perspective helps save Halloween. She also defies Jimmy's expectations of immediately running away from the Spook House to show that she's not as scared as first believed.
    • When Jimmy and friends make Hannah enter the Spook House, they scare her by making shadow puppets of a witch, skeleton, and werewolf. She meets all three later in the story.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Why is Harry invited anywhere? According to Jill Thompson, even his mother can barely stand him. Upon his introduction, Scary Godmother and Harry seem to be on good terms, until his Establishing Character Moment. Maybe the overcharging for pizza was the straw that broke the camel's back for Scary Godmother?note 
  • Frozen Face: In The Revenge of Jimmy his face got stuck in a permanent sneer. At least until the end. Beforehand, his mom keeps telling him not to make faces.
  • Genki Girl: Scary Godmother is whimsically energetic and enthusiastic about Halloween.
  • Gentle Giant: Bug-a-Boo is the largest of the monsters and very friendly.
  • Goth: Orson has shades of this.
  • Happily Married: Max and Ruby. Ruby is very supportive of her husband, and Max is very much in love with her.
  • Halloween Costume Characterization: The costumes worn by the kids.
    • Bert: He's really into candy and dresses up as a big one to invoke getting more.
    • Katie: She's a black cat who relishes the frights of Halloween.
    • Daryl: A baseball player in an SUV as it's something more mundane and shows off he has higher expectations (given that his SUV has an automated laser)
    • Jimmy: A devil as he's shown to be a bully to his cousin, Hannah, and wants nothing more than to terrorize her.
    • Hannah: A fairy princess to reflect her innocence.
  • Halloweentown: The Fright Side.
  • Hurricane of Puns: People on the Fright Side are very into puns, since we hear at least five every scene.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Averted with Bug-A-Boo, and zig-zagged with the vampires. Max, Ruby, and Orson think that Hannah is one of the party snacks when they first see her but are perfectly fine with pizza when it's suggested (as long as there's no garlic).
  • I Was Just Joking: Orson says this after Hannah asks if he wants a bite, and pretends to try to bite her but she shoves a pair of carrots in his mouth.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Hannah (human) and Orson (vampire) become fast friends.
    • Interspecies Romance: It's heavily implied that they have feelings for each other in the specials. Word of God even confirmed that in the book versions, Orson does have a crush on Hannah.
  • Jerkass:
    • Jimmy. His friends to a lesser extent, but they're mostly just following Jimmy's lead. By the time of the sequel, though, they're more like Hanna's friends than Jimmy's. Jimmy eventually becomes a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • There's also Harry. In the first movie, he's an annoying pest of a Big Eater with absolutely no consideration for anyone but himself. But in Revenge of Jimmy, when it looks like Scary Godmother has been crushed by her house, Harry was overjoyed that he was free from doing chores to pay her back the twelve pizzas he stiffed her for, while Skully and Bug-A-Boo are racked with grief. She wasn't dead, but still.
  • Jerkass Realization: Bert, Daryl, and Katie realize in between the first and second specials that they were mean to Hannah and that they deserved to be frightened out of their wits.
  • Large Ham: Harry the Werewolf.
    Harry: (With a flashlight shining on him) Look how that light radiates into my countenance! (Beat) Tis too much for my and my pitied soul! The light burns! It burns worse than the worst burn ever! Oh, mercy me, is this the end for poor Harry? It seems so! Goodbye, mother. I can see a long tunnel with a bright light! I move towards the light! (Scary Godmother gives him a cue to move on) Oh alright! I die! I flail! And I die.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: In The Revenge of Jimmy, Skully remarks "Without pumpkins, you ain't got jack...", then is nudged by the Scary Godmother, making him finish the sentence with "...o'lantern".
  • Limited Wardrobe: In The Revenge of Jimmy the kids use the same costumes just with different names. Hannah gives a handwave that they just use their previous outfits.
  • Long-Lasting Last Words: Parodied in the first movie by Harry, a very hammy werewolf who is trying to scare children. The joke is that the monsters are trying to convince some bullies that Hannah, the protagonist, is brave and can kill monsters with her flashlight. Harry takes so long to "Die," while making a performance worthy of Shatner himself that other characters are openly giving non-verbal signs for him to hurry up.
  • Medium Awareness: In
    • The Revenge of Jimmy, Scary Godmother starts noticing "dramatic music."
    • Surprisingly, Harry has an instance of this.
    Harry: Ahem! While I'm sure this Jimmy-slash-monster discussion is imperative to the plot, can we get back to something really important? Like ordering pizza?
  • Monster Mash: There's a fairy godmother/witch hybrid, an animated skeleton, a werewolf, a vampire family, a monster who hides under beds to scare children for a living, a ghost cat, and a human girl.
  • Motor Mouth: Harry can't seem to go a minute without talking rapidly.
  • Must Be Invited: It's established to be the case for vampires in this setting. Humorously, everyone, including Orson, seems to forget.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In the second special, all of Jimmy's plans to cancel Halloween briefly work, putting the Fright Side in perul, until Hannah finds a silver lining that brings the Halloween spirit back:
    • First, he kicks every pumpkin at the patch in order to ruin the Jack-o'-Lanterns, but Hannah points out that the hole he kicked into them can be used as a gaping mouth, which also makes it easier to get the seeds out; all they have to do is draw eyes on with a marker.
    • Then, he breaks into the candy and costumes store and marks them as poison or flammable. Hannah suggests wearing the same costumes as last year, and just reinterpreting what they are, as well as making their own treats to hand out. Making their own treats even ends up inspiring them to throw a Halloween party at the Spook House.
    • Finally, he vandalizes the Spook House with a Toilet Paper Prank. Hannah just has to point out that the toilet paper looks like ghosts.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Hannah is the only one who has normal eyes in comparison to the Black Bead Eyes of Jimmy and his friends which makes her stand out for being innocent and child-like.
  • Noodle Incident:
    Daryl: (talking about how Hannah helped put glitter in her costume) My mom won't let me use glitter. Not since the incident with the glue and the dog...
  • Noodle People: Scary Godmother is a very skinny woman.
  • No Smoking: In the Flashback spoof in the first special, Bert (acting as Hannah's father) is using a bubble pipe.
  • Oddly Small Organization: Well Party at least. They make a big deal that Scary Godmother's party is the biggest talk of the Fright Side, but by the time the party starts, there are only a handful of people at most attending.
  • Old-Timey Ankle Taboo: The first special has Max make a fuss over Ruby's ankles being exposed as one example of how old-fashioned he is.
  • Overly-Long Gag: One word: "RECOUNT!" For context, Jimmy and his friends are voting for who should lead the way into the Spook House to find Hannah, only to discover that it's one vote for everyone. Their response is to repeatedly demand a recount.
  • Painting the Frost on Windows: Apparently, the monsters of the Fright Side are responsible for changing the color of autumn leaves by baking them in the oven, and painting the clouds in the night sky.
  • Parental Substitute: Implied. Scary Godmother is very motherly towards Hannah, and the latter shows no doubt that she loves her godmother very much.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Hannah's fairy costume and daily clothes are mostly pink.
  • Pixellation: Pixel censoring happens to Harry in The Revenge of Jimmy when his shirt disappears, as the shirt is his only article of clothing means he's naked without it.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Scary Godmother and Skully are always seen together. Be it helping Scary Godmother's Halloween parties, snarling at Harry, or dancing with each other.
  • Poor, Predictable Rock: When trying to decide who the leader of the group should be, Jimmy’s group plays “rock, paper, scissors” and everyone chooses rock. After a couple rounds, Jimmy gets everyone to choose something else. This leads to everyone except for Jimmy choosing scissors while he sticks to rock, making him the winner.
  • Red Is Heroic: Inverted with Jimmy when he wears his red devil costume. He's the closes thing to an antagonist, especially in Jimmy's Revenge. Possibly played straight after the ending of the sequel.
  • Red Right Hand: In Jimmy's Revenge, Jimmy becomes more and more monstrous as the film goes on. When he gets the idea of ruining Halloween, his Slasher Smile freezes, and his hair gives his ears a pointed look. After he kicks in all of the pumpkins, he walks with a limp. When he decides to make the costumes and candy unavailable by marking them poisoned and flammable, he has a red smear on his lips from the marker and he is seen wearing his devil costume for the rest of the film. After teepeeing the Spook House to ruin the party, his features exaggerate further (pointed hair, flared nostrils, sharp teeth). All of this goes away when he regains his Halloween spirit.
  • Running Gag: In the first special, every single time Hannah is introduced to one of Scary Godmother's friends, she runs to hide behind her and screams, "A monster!"
  • Sarcasm Mode: When the humor isn't puns, it's sarcasm.
    Scary Godmother: Was that supposed to help?
    Skully: Yes! Do you think it worked?
    Scary Godmother: Yes.
  • Sequel Hook: The key Scary Godmother gives Hannah that allows her to enter the Fright Side.
  • Shipper on Deck: Scary Godmother appears to be this for Hannah and Orson.
  • Ship Tease: Between Daryl and Katie in the first special. Katie specifically wanted to trade one of her candies in exchange for three kisses (and not the chocolate ones) and when voting on who gets to be leader, they vote for each other.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Scary Godmother's Wicked Witch's act.
      (pretending to be killed by the flashlight) "I'm melting!"
    • Daryl runs past some trick-or-treaters dressed as ReBoot characters. Somewhat appropriate since Mainframe Entertainment made the films.
    • When Jimmy first gets his idea to destroy Halloween, his face begins morphing into a devilish grin, while Harry narrates that Jimmy got a "nasty, mean, selfish, devilish idea."
    • Daryl freaks out about the lack of candy in local stores. He shakes a candy machine while yelling "Game over, man! Game over!", which is a Aliens reference.
  • Slasher Smile: Jimmy in The Revenge of Jimmy constantly gives a mischievous grin, especially when contemplating ways to ruin Halloween.
  • Stealth Pun: Double over! Mr. Pettibones is both a literal "skeleton in the closet" but he's also a skeleton who is in the closet.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Without the glasses or hair, Orson looks just like his father, Count Max.
  • Swapped Roles: At the start of the first special, the older kids are having fun by scaring Hannah. By the end of it, Hannah's met some friendly monsters and gotten over her fear, while the big kids, who don't know that Scary Godmother took her to the Fright Side, start to get more and more afraid that there might be real monsters in the Spook House who ate her. In the end, Hannah ends up being the one who pranks them by having her new monster friends give them the fright of their life.
  • Sweet Tooth: Daryl. He even dresses up as a piece of candy and takes it particularly hard in The Revenge of Jimmy when told that the store will have to throw out all the candy that's been labeled as poisoned.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Hilariously played with in The Revenge of Jimmy.
    Orson: Do I have to wear it? I'll look like a dork in the crown!
    Max: Yes, you will be the Prince of Dorkness! [Orson groans] What? Dorkness is not good? What is a dork?
  • Thriving Ghost Town: No one but Scary and her friends seem to live in the Fright Side.
  • Toilet Paper Prank: In the second special, one of Jimmy's plans to cancel Halloween consists of vandalizing the house where Hannah and her friends were planning on hosting a Halloween party by throwing a bunch of toilet paper rolls all over the place. This backfires when Hannah points out that it looks like little ghosts.
  • Token Minority: Bert is the only non-white teen of his friends.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Jimmy's favorite meal is spaghetti and meatballs. But then Jimmy imagines it as a monster, telling him he will eat him.
  • Vampires Hate Garlic: Count Max becomes livid when Harry suggests ordering garlic as a pizza topping, to the point that he appears ready to beat the tar out of Harry before being restrained by his son Orson.
  • The Voice: Jimmy's parents are heard speaking in The Revenge of Jimmy, but never appear on-screen.



Harry in The Revenge of Jimmy, as part of his repaying Scary Godmother when he eat all the snacks (again) in the first movie.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / Narrator

Media sources: