Is there a Will Vinton seasonal TV special that’s not an absolute classic? If there is, I haven’t seen it yet. 1991’s “Claymation Comedy Of Horrors” continues the streak, with some of the best stop motion work I’ve ever seen. The story? Eh. But the animation? Classic.
“Claymation Comedy of Horrors” opens with a flashback to a pig named Dr. Frankenswine (get it?) in his lab, putting together an epic formula. He can’t finish his work because the villagers are at his door with pitchforks, so he sends his diary out the window for safety.
We then cut to Wilshire Pig and his friend Sheldon Snail as Wilshire works on a get rich quick-ish scheme involving a sort of carnival ride.
The ride creates a crater, in which Sheldon discovers Dr. Frankenswine’s diary. The diary reveals the existence of a monster that – for some reason- Wilshire thinks can make him rich. Sheldon’s tongue has – for some reason – become the map to the castle, and the duo take off.
The castle’s hosting a Halloween event, with the full cadre of monster attendees. Wilshire and Sheldon pose as monsters themselves, go through the paces of a few gags, and find the monster. I should reiterate at this point that ALL OF THIS IS BEAUTIFULLY ANIMATED.
Long story short, Wilshire and Sheldon find their monster (spoiler: he’s tiny), find Dr. Frankenswine’s potion, and create a giant monster that threatens to destroy everything until a callback from Wilshire and Sheldon’s carnival scheme saves the day.
So, yeah, the story’s not great but you can see the love and enthusiasm that went into imagining gags for just about every type of monster you could think of. As a kid wanting to celebrate Halloween with a TV special, this really hits the sweet spot. It’s a very engaging watch, and one of a kind. Check it out.