The Michael Jackson Halloween Special a HIT!! “We’re Takin’ Over”

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2017 is the Michael Jackson Halloween TAKEOVER

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It started off early in July 2017, with Michael Jackson’s Thriller featured in the Stranger Things 2 Second Season preview circulated. So far 12,294,867 views.


Then August 2017, it was announced Thriller3D would premiere at Venice International Film Festival- Later it’s revealed by the MJEstate that plans are to have Thriller 3D released in IMAX theaters next year- as well as, a Ghosts project.

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Then September 2017 – MJ Scream, a compilation of Michael Jackson’s thrilling tracks is released with a Blood On the Dancefloor/Dangerous remix –

Then the Halloween Special Premieres!!

Friday, October 27th, 2017, a new hourlong animated delight entitled Michael Jackson’s Halloween Special aired on CBS, to the delight of televison viewers.

Before airing, the animated special created an air of great anticipation:

“Here’s a chance to trick or treat with the eyes and ears” AP 

“It contumes Halloween as a life-affirming way to explore hope and dreams” CBS

“The special will weave together 25 songs from Jackson’s catalogue, including spookier fare like “Thriller” and “Blood on the Dance Floor,” slightly deeper cuts like “Childhood,” and peripheral hits like Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me” and the Jacksons’s “Torture.”  Variety 

And the TV Ratings Prove that the magic of Michael Jackson STILL Delivers !!

A Viewership of  5.67 Million for CBS, as only the World Series brought in more viewers.

“King of Pop Michael Jackson was the King of television Friday night (October 27th) as reports indicate his CBS Halloween special, ‘Michael Jackson’s Halloween,’ reigned over ratings and scored yet another win for the network in the process.”   GrapeJuice

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John Branca, co-producer of the Halloween special, who worked with his friend for over two decades, stated: “Michael loved Halloween, he loved animation; he was basically a big kid at heart. We wanted to stay true to and be inspired by Michael and what his tastes and loves were.” 

Michael Jackson, indeed “was a big kid at heart” and we know he had desired to create a Halloween Special as revealed by notes, he’d written to himself.  Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.32.21 PM

What Michael had in mind for a Special, may not have been along the lines as this animation project but it does incorporate Michael’s love for all aspects of the season. It is exactly the kind of platform that attracts younger geneartion to his music.  Michael Jackson was enamored with the thought of trick or treating incognito and with his penchant for sweets, an additional boon for him. Donning disguises while taking on different personas also gave him the ability to feel free, since he could never go out without being physically overwhelmed by fans. 

“I love to trick or treat. I love dressing up like some kind of monster… and knocking on doors. Nobody knows it’s me and I get candy!”

“I missed out on Halloween for years and now I do it. It’s sweet to go door-to-door and people give you candy. We need more of that in the world. It brings the world together.”

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Michael Jackson celebrating Halloween with Cascio family in New Jersey

Michael Jackson understood early on in his career that a legacy of artistic exceptionalism required hard work, planning and preparation. He constantly endeavored to create something new through his talent and wanted it infused with magic. Much of his art was filled with messages of self-realization with belief in ones ability to reach the highest goals, and this Halloween Special encompasses his core principles:

“No matter what, the most powerful thing in the world is the human mind, and prayer, and belief in yourself and confidence and perseverance. No matter how many times you do it, you do it again, until it’s right. And always believe in yourself, and no matter whose around you that’s being negative or thrusting negative energy at you, totally block it off, because whatever you believe you become.” 

It was critical to infuse Michael’s own exceptionalism and magic into this Halloween special and of course, his music takes center stage throughout the fast-paced program.  To partner his iconic dance moves with his music, the director, Mark A. Z. Dippé procured the expertise of Jackson’s former choreographers, the brothers, Rich and Tone Talauega and Kevin Antunes.  Using 3D animation and high tech motion captures, Dippé was able “to bring Michael’s dancing to life in a very rich and deserving way.”

By viewing the Twitter hashtag #MJHalloween it is clear that overwhelmingly, the Michael Jackson fan base appreciated the efforts of the Estate, and all involved in the creation of this Michael Jackson Halloween Special –

Here’s a sampling:

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What was particularly enjoyable was noticing all the iconic Michael Jackson bits throughout the program.  There are many delightful inferences to The Wiz/Wizard of Oz, and Captain EO-

Here’s some of the most obvious iconic Michael imagery.

Bat- Not only had sparkly socks but aviator glasses –

HayMan – Nod to scarecrow Michael played in the Wiz. His trademark white Tshirt and black leather pants / red jacket with gold embellishments on collar. Character is shy but is transformed when dancing.

Gen. Meriwether- One white glove, plethora of Medals/ Military sash & epualettes- Character is a fearsome warrior, fighting against the repression of others.

Franklin Stein– Wore Smooth Criminal white jacket w blue armband/BAD buckle pants- Character is an innovator, inventor and highly intelligent scientist. 

Dangerous Moon- Hung over an Earth Song bridge

Conformulator– Machine using music to defeat evil / Captain EO same premise

Conformity– Wraps MJ in wings / Angel wraps MJ in wings Will You Be There

Maybe the most powerful line was the one from Gen. Meriwether – It really hit very close to the respect, protectiveness and love Michael had for his fans.

“Slander me if you must, but do not insult the honor my troops”

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We give Michael Jackson Halloween Special Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 11.40.35 PM

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“We thought: Michael deserves to be part of Halloween.” John Branca

So do we!! Thank you, MJEstate!



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2 Responses to The Michael Jackson Halloween Special a HIT!! “We’re Takin’ Over”

  1. altaylor49 says:

    I missed the original Friday airing, so I watched it twice ‘On Demand’ and loved it!! The way they used the subtle references, i.e. aviator shade, pants form Bad tour, moon over Earth Song bridge and the weaving of Michael’s music throughout was so much fun. There was so much to pick-up on that it became a game of naming the song that was being played, such as the beginning of ‘Dirty Diana’ used whenever Conformity appears. You know you’re a true MJ fan when you can ‘name that tune’ with only 3 notes are played. Hopefully CBS will choose to make ‘Michael Jackson Halloween’ an annual program. I’m sooo looking forward to that!


  2. Carol Selva says:

    Always and forever the King of music, dance and hearts!


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