Title: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Synopsis: In a small town, a brewing romantic rivalry with a local tough and a school-teacher culminates in a terrifying ride in the night.
Tagline: Heads will roll.
Okay, that isn't the real tagline for this 1949 movie by Disney. You got me - I made it up. There isn't a tagline for this 34 minute animation and I just happen to think of decapitation whenever the headless horseman comes into conversation. And I am head-over-heels (see what I did there?) with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs song Heads Will Roll. Based off the book by Washington Irving, this Disney story time classic is a quaint trip into the lazy town of Sleepy Hollow and an introduction to the Headless Horseman.
Now, onto the point.
Ichabod is a womanising jerk. Even worse, he's a money grubbing whore-monger. For a man who is awkward, tall, thin with a crook nose, he gets a lot of play. Throughout the first twenty minutes of this film, I watched him use women, toy with their emotions, and generally be a nuisance. He also objectified Katrina Van Tassel! I mean, the girl was a pretty face, for sure, and a flirt on top of that, but what was her personality like??? To be honest, I haven't a clue. From how she is depicted, she likes to flirt, get men to carry her packages, and generally be a bit of a shit disturber, which is totally something I can appreciate.
Truth be told, Ichabod's obsession with Katrina is a little unnerving. As is his interest in her father's fortune. He basically dreams up Von Tassel's demise and super imposes him into his place. All the talk of the money and how wealthy he would be left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. It makes me wonder if you are even supposed to like Ichabod at all. Or any of the characters. The development in this is some-what confusing. By the end of the thirty-four minutes, I didn't care for a single person, except the chubby girl Brom dances with. I mean, she's hilarious - granted, her desperation and aggressiveness is a bit worrisome.
It seems as though the personalities in this are a bit on the extreme. Yes, I do know I am over-thinking this. But it just seems so backwards and stunting. Maybe that's the beauty in it? Don't get me wrong, this is totally worth your time, and it certainly opens your eyes to how much we've grown over the years. For the musical numbers and the (unintentional?) humour, it is worth it.
Personally, I think there needed to be a bit more of the Headless Horseman. He's the best part. Like when he throws the pumpkin. Not to mention his horse is rather spooky.
It's funny how a little movie like this can bring up thoughts about feminism, womanising, objectification and greed. Or maybe I'm just in one of those analytical moods.
On a side note, I did like the Johnny Depp/Tim Burton mash up of Sleepy Hollow and even have been enjoying the reboot television series of the same name.
Anyway, the whole movie is on YouTube for you to partake in. Here's the link.
And now, let's dance till we're dead.