Out of the Vault Halloween Collection (DVD)


I can’t think of a better way to spend Halloween than with classic Nickelodeon shows. And no, I don’t mean the yellow talking sponge, either. I mean classice nineties Nickelodeon, a time where the series were just more innocent and creative. Shout! treats fans of classic Nickelodeon this year with a compilation of scary and Halloween based episodes of some of Nickelodeon’s best animated series, and it’s almost four hours of spooky fun! Featured are choice episodes of “Hey Arnold!,” “The Angry Beavers,” “Aah! Real Monsters,” “Rocko’s Modern Life,” and “Cat Dog.”

Among some of my favorites is “Arnold’s Halloween,” where Gerald and Arnold plan to play a huge prank on the adults when they exclude them from the festivities. When Helga and the class go trick or treating as aliens, the pals use the opportunity to scare the wits out of the adults, including Helga’s dad, who is convinced he had a close encounter with aliens years before. Things go too far though when Arnold and Gerald create mass hysteria across the city. It’s a hysterical episode with a wonderful guest spot from Maurice LaMarche. “Haunted Train” is another good one where Grandpa spins a yarn about a haunted train that arouses the attention of a bored Arnold and friends.

When they go investigating the legend, they learn sometimes imagination and fear can combine to create the worst kind of specters. Despite being a good episode, I have no idea why they included “The List.” It has no spooky elements to it, but is instead about Arnold and Gerald’s quest to have the perfect Saturday which includes cartoons, cereal, and riding their bikes down a steep hill. Things don’t exactly go as planned though, as every task they try to accomplish fails spectacularly. From “The Angry Beavers,” there’s “The Day The World Got Really Screwed Up,” a special episode that pays homage to the B grade science fiction movies of the fifties. When Norbert and Daggett go trick or treating, they end up at the house of their cinematic hero Oxnard Montalvo.

He’s dealing with creatures from another dimension, which accidentally sucks the pair of beavers in his world, prompting them to help fight the evil beasts. Featuring the voices of Adrienne Barbeau and Peter Graves, this is easily my favorite episode of the series, and an absolute laugh riot. In “The Posei-Dam Adventure,” Norbert is stuck in the dam with Trucky the shrew after a Volnado strikes their lake. While Daggett hides in a shelter with friends, Norbert and Trucky have to figure a way out of their now upside down home. The only thing that would make this set special is if they replaced “Cat Dog” with “Doug” or “Rugrats,” but hey, beggars can’t be choosey. “Out of the Vault Halloween Collection” is a very neat compilation of Nick shows, and a fine Halloween treat worth grabbing.