The Legend of Sleepy Hollow? More like The Love Triangle Buffet of Sleepy Hollow. Despite the fact that Ichabod Crane is kind of a foodie jerk, this movie is still one of our favorites for this time of year. Lots of spooky scenes, pie glamor shots, and fun old-timey animation. Best of all, it has a formidable love triangle plot line. If only this love triangle included the Headless Horseman.
Upon rewatching, our first observation was: what is the deal with Ichabod? Like the film’s song about him states, he’s kind of odd but nice just the same.
He pretty much womanizes his way through life so that he can get free food. Seriously, this guy’s moral compass is in his seemingly bottomless tummy.
Here he is stealing food.
Here he is stealing more foods. (Food looks yummy in this movie, by the way.)
Then he falls “in love” with Katrina. At first it seems like he loves her because she’s so beautiful, but we soon discover that it’s actually because she’s rich. Farm rich, which means she’s rich in money and also produce, the keys to Ichabod’s heart.
By the way, Katrina looks a lot like Cinderella, which is probably why everyone loves her.
However, drama ensues because Brom Bones, the Gaston of Sleepy Hollow, is also in love with Katrina.
But Katrina isn’t feeling him at all. In fact she likes Ichabod. So actually, this love triangle is a little lopsided.
Brom Bones obviously gets a bit frustrated at this dynamic and takes it out on old Ichabod who is more of a food-lover than a fighter.
All this drama, and we haven’t even gotten to the Headless Horseman yet. The spookiness starts to rear its head during the party scene when Brom tells a scary story and the animators really turn up the volume on the Halloween imagery.
This guy is terrifying.
All this stuff works on Ichabod the scaredy cat, enter the Headless Horseman who stalks Ichabod on his way home, and forever cemented himself into our psyche as the epitome of scariness.
Ichabod barely gets away, and it’s never really explained if the Headless Horseman is a prank by Brom Bones, if it really is a spirit in search of a new head, or if it’s a figment of Ichabod’s imagination.
The bit of closure we are given is that Ichabod goes on to marry for his love of food and is never heard from again.
We have two additional observations unrelated to the Sleepy Hollow love triangle. First: This framing device is used throughout the film, always when Brom Bones is watching Ichabod. He sees him through a glass, through a keyhole, through a tree. Does it suggest that Brom will always be watching Ichabod’s good fortune from afar? Does it mean that Brom is now an outsider, displaced by the charming new guy? Is it just a cool thing animators did for fun? The world may never know.
Second, the song about Ichabod is really funny and unusual and captures his anti-hero status perfectly: