As a lifelong “constant reader” of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books (I credit them, like many, for making me a horror fan at a young age), I absolutely *loved* Rob Letterman’s 2015 feature film adaptation, which managed to adapt not just one or even a handful of Goosebumps books, but rather brought pretty much ALL of Stine’s most iconic monsters to the big screen.
The franchise’s debut on the big screen pretty much took a glorious “kitchen sink” approach to Stine’s work, telling a story wherein “Night of the Living Dummy” star Slappy unleashes all of Stine’s most well-known creations on a small town. Mind you, Sony may have been smarter to adapt individual Goosebumps books one at a time rather than giving them all to us at once, at least in terms of future money-making and franchise potential, but I absolutely adore the fact that they went for broke right out of the gate and focused on making one super fun movie.
From “The Shocker on Shock Street” to “The Werewolf of Fever Swamp,” Stine’s monsters exploded onto the screen in 2015, coming together for the ultimate love letter to the books. And that love extended right into the film’s end credits sequence, which paid tribute to the man whose importance to the Goosebumps franchise cannot be overstated: artist Tim Jacobus.
It’s hardly even up for debate when I say that the original Goosebumps cover art was as important to the franchise’s success as Stine’s stories themselves, and it was Tim Jacobus who painted up the covers for all 62 of the original books. That eye-catching, colorful cover art was like catnip for young monster lovers, selling kids on the idea that reading, for once, could probably be a whole lot of fun. There’s no doubt in my mind that Jacobus’ art played a HUGE part in pushing sales, and his Goosebumps covers remain some of the most iconic pieces of horror art ever created. Surely, the mere mention of the word “Goosebumps” conjures up a handful of images in your mind; an angry dog with red eyes… a skeleton emerging from a lake… an evil dummy cackling… a monster reaching into a tent… a little girl wearing a haunted mask.
Brilliantly, the end credits to Letterman’s Goosebumps brought many of those iconic pieces of cover art to life with an animated sequence that can best be described as “Tim Jacobus’ Greatest Hits.” With a track from Danny Elfman(!) playing over top of the visuals, the end credits sequence traveled through various Goosebumps covers, including “Welcome to Dead House,” “Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes,” “Shocker on Shock Street,” “The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight,” “The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena,” and “Night of the Living Dummy.”
It was perfect. And it was the love letter Tim Jacobus deserved to receive.