Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat for Halloween!

Trick or treat
Trick or treat
Trick or treat for Halloween
Better give a treat that's good to eat If you want to keep life serene

Trick or treat
Trick of treat
Trick or treat the whole night through
Little scalawags with fiendish gags will make things tough on you

Donald Duck gets his comeuppance at the hands of kindly Witch Hazel, in Trick of Treat, the only cartoon short produced by the studios to have a theme specific to the Halloween holiday. Released in 1952, it is a true classic, and one of director Jack Hannah’s very best efforts. When Huey , Dewey and Louie partake of Halloween festivities, the ever malicious Donald prefers tricks to treats. Observing the abuse, Witch Hazel decides to employ some tricks of her own to exact revenge on the nasty mallard.

Music is an integral part of the film, as the song “Trick or Treat” both opens and closes the cartoon, and is woven perfectly throughout.

There are great visual elements, starting right at the beginning with Halloween-enhanced title screens:
The nephew’s traditional costumes:

The jack-o-lantern Hazel brings to life:

And the dark, spooky backgrounds, filled with all the embellishments of the season:

Witch Hazel, brought to life by legendary voice artist June Foray, has some very clever dialogue. When concocting her witch’s brew, she utters my favorite line of the short:

“This is the real thing you know, right out of Shakespeare!”

It is a fast paced, very funny, and beautifully rendered piece of animation.

And it also imparts a very valuable message--

So when ghosts and goblins by the score
Ring the bell on your front door
Better not be stingy or your nightmares will come true!



BJWanlund said...

Hey, I think Witch Hazel is a crossover, from the Warner Brothers cartoons, because the Witch Hazel there is one and the same.


Anonymous said...

This has definetely become one of my favorite Donald shorts, for all the reasons mentioned.