The Dancing Pumpkin was created by novelist Howard Butcher, published in 1992 as a limited edition children’s book. In the story, Butcher imagined a secret world of pumpkins, where jack-o-lanterns come to life to protect children from Halloween monsters. The Dancing Pumpkin is the heroic leader of the pumpkin world, who also likes to share good cheer through his love for dancing.
The book earned a loyal fan following among children and adults. Highlights for Children magazine proclaimed that The Dancing Pumpkin would become 'a perennial favorite.' One fan, Ray Waterman, founder of the World Pumpkin Confederation and the WPC Weigh-Off named his giant pumpkins, 'Thunderbellies,' after characters in Butcher’s book. Waterman mentioned The Dancing Pumpkin book when he was a guest on the ABC show, Good Morning America, while promoting his contest for giant pumpkins.
In 2000, The Dancing Pumpkin video was released on VHS as a 26 minute animated show, and later on DVD as an extended version. The video earned ‘Official Selection’ status at the Chicago International Children’s Film festival, Barcelona International Television Festival, and the California SUN International Animation Festival.
In 2017, a reboot of the video titled, The Dancing Pumpkin and the Ogre’s Plot was released on Amazon Prime and later on iFlix, enjoying millions of views in over 80 countries.
In 2021, a Dancing Pumpkin soft plush toy debuted, which is now available on Amazon and Shopify.
Butcher stated, 'It is really amazing to me when I hear that viewing The Dancing Pumpkin video has become a Halloween tradition for so many families. I loved Halloween as a kid, and the fact that so many children think of the Dancing Pumpkin at Halloween puts a smile on my face. The character has taken on a life of its own.'