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Western Animation / The New Misadventures of Ichabod Crane

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The New Misadventures Of Ichabod Crane was a 1979 Canadian animated special animated by Titlecraft, in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, based on the classic tale by Washington Irving.

In this version of Irving's story, Ichabod Crane is called upon by the townspeople of Sleepy Hollow to rid the town of the Headless Horseman that has been terrorizing everybody. With the help of his horse Washington, his bloodhound Wolf, and Rip Van Winkle, Ichabod goes off to find the Horseman. Unbeknownst to everyone, the Headless Horseman was actually an apparition conjured up by the Wicked Witch, Velma Van Damme, via use of her special spell book. When Ichabod and his friends reach Velma's secret hideout, they steal her spell book, wherein Ichabod uses the spell himself to become the Headless Horseman to face off against a band of scarecrows brought to life by Velma. After Velma is defeated, Ichabod and his friends go on their way once again.

This version is significantly different than the original version.

You can watch this special on Youtube in three parts. Here's Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.

This animated special includes the following tropes:

  • Adapted Out: Ichabod's love interest Katrina Van Tassle, as well as his enemy Brom Bones, do not appear in this version of the story.
  • The Alleged Steed: Washington, like in the original story.
  • Blowing a Raspberry: Rip Van Winkle does this to the graves.
  • Cats Are Mean: Inverted with Velma's cat, who is just about as mean as Velma, but has never been shown as being outright mean.
  • Crossover: This special includes both Washington Irving's famous characters, Ichabod Crane and Rip Van Winkle.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In the climax of the short, Ichabod as the Headless Horseman slices up the scarecrows sent by Velma.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Washington and Wolf
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Wolf
  • The Door Slams You: Happens twice to Velma Van Damme. The third time was subverted as a barrel falls on Velma instead.
  • Forced Transformation: Velma turns Rip Van Winkle into a possum.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Wrongneck Roost
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: After Rip mentions Wrongneck Roost being one of the meanest places...
    Washington: Uh, I just remembered, I left the water running!
  • Literal-Minded:
    Washington: Well, if you-know-who got him, his goose is cooked!
    Wolf: Hey, that reminds me! I'm hungry!
    Ichabod: This is no time to think about your stomach! There's too much at stake!
    Wolf: There you go, talking about food again!
  • Noodle Incident:
    Velma: I haven't had this much fun since last Halloween, when I turned all the trees to stone and watched the woodpeckers beat their brains out!
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Just when it seemed that Ichabod and his friends were about to fall to their death, Ichabod finds a reversal spell that undoes their fall, as well as turning Rip Van Winkle back to his old self again.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Velma's cat.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    Ichabod: Well men, there's only one thing to do!
    Everyone Else: Right! (all walk off in opposite direction).
  • Sleepy Head: Rip Van Winkle, in contrast with his characterization in Irving's original story.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Unlike Irving's original story and other film versions of the story, Ichabod Crane survived the Headless Horseman's wrath, as well as acquiring Velma's spell book to allow him to turn into the Horseman.
  • Wicked Witch: Velma Van Damme