This is a cartoon I remember seeing an episode of as a preview on a VHS tape in the early 2000s. The VHS may have been of The Wizard of Oz if that helps, but I can't be sure.

In it, the protagonist is a character with a removable jack-o'-lantern for a head (he could still talk even if it was removed from his body) and I believe he has to steal/recover gold from the antagonist who may have been a headless horseman. There was a general supernatural feel about the story's setting, and I'm sure there were other fantasy characters (a witch possibly?). It was for children though, so not anything sinister or too scary.

Just to be clear, I don't think this cartoon had anything to do with the feature film it preceded, although I was a child at the time so I may be incorrect. On the same VHS I'm sure there was also an episode of the old Pink Panther cartoons in the previews, so this cartoon I'm searching for doesn't necessarily have to be about The Wizard of Oz. To summarise some comments I've made in the question, I'm quite sure this cartoon was part of a larger series, and the animation style looked old/low budget for the early 2000s, reminiscent of the old Scooby-Doo cartoons from the 70s.

  • Do you think this was part of a series of cartoons or a one-off special/movie? You saw the tape in early 2000s, but did the cartoon look contemporary for that time period or older?
    – K Mo
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 14:24
  • @K Mo I've got a strong feeling it was some part of a series. I'm sure the episode had a conclusive ending (they retrieved the gold), but I can't help feel it was one part of a bigger series. The cartoon was of an older style I think, but may have just been low budget contemporary. I'm recalling an animation style similar to the old Scooby Doo cartoons.
    – Ongo
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 14:30

4 Answers 4


A simpler approach, but how about Jack O'Lantern? An episode of the animated Rankin/Bass anthology show Festival of Family Classics from 1972, it contains:

  • A scarecrow with a detachable jack o'lantern for a head (that can still talk when detached);
  • A witch as the antagonist;
  • Recovering gold as a plotline (the witch wants to steal Jack's pot of gold - he's actually a leprechaun in disguise);
  • No headless horseman, but the witch's sidekick Archie seems headless at some point (his head is buried in a wall) and is then approached by a horse;
  • The animation is definitely 70s style. ;)

The episode is currently available on Youtube here, and here's a trailer:

  • I have no idea how I didn't find it sooner when it's LITERALLY called Jack O' Lantern, thank you so much!
    – Ongo
    Commented Aug 23, 2019 at 13:37

Possibly Journey Back to Oz (1972). It has the jack-o-lantern character with the removable head and the witch, although not the headless horseman. Still, there's enough there that I'm proposing it as an answer.

An image of the cover

  • Ah, perhaps I need to reword the question a bit - the story isn't part of The Wizard of Oz but was an entirely different cartoon which was just a preview on a VHS of the 1939 film. +1 anyways though, I appreciate the effort on a story ID question.
    – Ongo
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 3:19
  • 2
    @Ongo As Journey Back to Oz was a 1972 sequel to The Wizard of Oz, I thought it might have been a preview on a VHS copy of the original movie. It was a long shot though, as a few elements are missing.
    – Moriarty
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 3:28

Could this be The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the second segment of the 1949 animated film The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad?

I offer only one exhibit in support of this suggestion:


  • Not this one I'm afraid, +1 for the effort again and for reminding me this cartoon existed. I'm having a serious nostalgia moment.
    – Ongo
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 14:28

The most famous fictional character with a pumpkin or Jack o'lantern for a head was Jack Pumpkinhead in the Oz books.

Jack Pumpkinhead was created in the second book The Marvelous Land of Oz in 1904 and appeared in many of the later books.

So Jack Pumpkinhead may be a character in many live action and animated movies set in Oz and more or less loosely based on various Oz books.

Journey Back to Oz (1972) is an animated movie loosely based on The Marvelous Land of Oz, but featuring an army of green elephants working for the witch Mombi among other changes, and Jack Pumpkinhead is a character. There is a sequence where trees are turned to gold.

The OP suggests it was an episode of an animated series.

There are many other animated Oz movies and television shows. The List of Adaptations of the Wizard of Oz lists a number of television series based on The Wizard of Oz and other OZ books, some of them animated, and no doubt some of them including Jack Pumpkinhead.


In film Jack was one of the main characters in The Wonderful Land of Oz (1969), Journey Back to Oz (1974), Dorothy in the Land of Oz (1980), and Return to Oz (1985).

Robert Ridgely voices Jack Pumpkinhead in the 1980 Thanksgiving special Dorothy in the Land of Oz.

Ross Maplettoft who played Jack Pumpkinhead Sr. in the animated TV series The Oz Kids (1996-1997) He has a son named Jack Pumpkinhead Jr. His son likes to adventure with his friends.


Of course, there can be other animated characters with pumpkins for heads. I hope this can help you find the series you asked for.

  • +1 for your efforts, but I'm afraid none of these turn up a positive result. I could be wrong but I'm almost certain this cartoon had nothing to do with The Wizard of Oz and was something completely separate. For instance, I'm sure this VHS also had an old episode of The Pink Panther cartoon on it, which is its own entity and not Oz related.
    – Ongo
    Commented Mar 9, 2019 at 0:49

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