I recently had the opportunity to catch a sneak peek of Michael Jackson's Halloween at this years New York Comic Convention.
Here I am, after weaving through massive crowds, cosplayers, and booths to get to the screening room.
MJFANGIRL First Impressions:
Michael Jackson's Halloween takes you into Michael's world through the eyes of its three main characters - Vincent, Victoria, and Ichabod, the dog. Their individual journeys take them to the mystical This Place Hotel where they explore and discover the world of Michael Jackson and run into the hotels many guests.
The special is fast paced and energetic, incorporating some of his most iconic dance moves and songs. Some of what you'll hear includes"Bad," "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" and "They Don't Care About Us," just to name a few.
I was pleasantly surprised to see selects beyond the "Halloween" theme within the storyline including "Childhood," which really stood out to me. Michael has shared that this is one of his most autobiographical songs. I hope that viewers who are being introduced to him for the first time will pick up on the soundbyte and find the full track. There's also the inclusion of Jacksons' songs "This Place Hotel" and "Torture", and cult classic, the Rockwell duet track"Somebody's Watching Me".
Outside of the range of music, I found myself most impressed with the characters dance moves and the dance sequences in general. The animation house tapped choreographers, Rich and Tone Talauega to bring the dance moves and essence of Michael Jackson to the characters. Rich and Tone have an incredibly long history working with Michael Jackson, after being handpicked as dancers for the HIStory Tour, at the ages of 15 and 17 years old.
The brothers also danced in "Ghosts" and several other stage performances with Michael.
Additionally, the Talauega brothers choreographed the short film for "You Rock My World" with Michael and several numbers for both the Immortal and Michael Jackson One Cirque Du Soleil shows.
At the panel discussion following the preview, they both shared great insight on their experience choreographing the animated dance routines. The Talauega brothers discussed Michael's dance style, and how photographic it was, how intentional he was with each move. Each one, they shared, conveyed a piece of the story he was telling. In order to translate his dance style and iconic moves onto the screen, they followed this same pattern. Rich and Tone shared that as a performer, Michael was decades ahead of his time and now that technology has caught up to speed, it was less of a challenge to turn some of his moves into animated form. They did an excellent job.
Michael Jackson's Halloween takes viewers on an exciting ride into the world of Michael but, it's not only about his music and not only focused on his dance moves. Many of Michael's messages are ones that still greatly resonate with today's society, and the special touches upon several. Following your heart, chasing your dreams, and staying true to oneself, are just some underlying themes that viewers will find throughout.
Michael Jackson's Halloween special features lots of the fun and spooky elements of the holiday but, beneath it all is a story of self discovery that kids and fans, both old and new, are likely to enjoy and relate to.
Check out the premiere of Michael Jackson's Halloween on CBS at 8pm on October 27th. See your local listings for channel information. Subscribe to MJFANGIRL to get more exclusive commentary like this- straight to your inbox!