I sat down and read through Washington Irving’s original The Legend of Sleepy Hollow after seeing the movie, and it BORED ME TO TEARS. It mostly consists of (A) excessively lengthly descriptions of what life in a small town in that time and place was like and (B) painting a picture of Ichabod Crane as a self-centered clown. And the Headless Horseman, when he finally appears, is a sham!
I was amused actually, to see how Burton had incorporated a scene based on the book’s encounter with the sham Horseman into the middle of his tale of a real Horseman.
I think the movie was one of Burton’s poorer efforts, but it did entertain me more than the story that inspired it.
And since the movie was not named, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, or worse yet, “Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” I’m not in the least bothered by its straying so far from its inspiration. There is a long tradition of fantasy and science fiction writers creating variants on well-known fairy tales and other stories, and I see “Sleepy Hollow” as falling under that category.