Trick or Treat (1952)
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10/10 Bethany Cox
Donald learns the true meaning of TRICK OR TREAT when he infuriates a wee witch on Halloween.
This funny little film is probably Donald's best cartoon of the 1950's. The animation, music & characterizations are all first rate. June Foray has a fine time voicing Witch Hazel, who unfortunately makes her only appearance in a Disney film here. Clarence Nash provides the unique voices for the Duck and his Nephews.
For the record, Witch Hazel's recipe for the magic brew consists of eye of needle, tongue of shoe, hand of clock, neck of bottle, tail of pout (a type of fish) and whiskers from a billy goat.
Walt Disney (1901-1966) was always intrigued by pictures & drawings. As a lad in Marceline, Missouri, he sketched farm animals on scraps of paper; later, as an ambulance driver in France during the First World War, he drew comic figures on the sides of his vehicle. Back in Kansas City, along with artist Ub Iwerks, Walt developed a primitive animation studio that provided animated commercials and tiny cartoons for the local movie theaters. Always the innovator, his ALICE IN CARTOONLAND series broke ground in placing a live figure in a cartoon universe. Business reversals sent Disney & Iwerks to Hollywood in 1923, where Walt's older brother Roy became his lifelong business manager & counselor. When a mildly successful series with Oswald The Lucky Rabbit was snatched away by the distributor, the character of Mickey Mouse sprung into Walt's imagination, ensuring Disney's immortality. The happy arrival of sound technology made Mickey's screen debut, STEAMBOAT WILLIE (1928), a tremendous audience success with its use of synchronized music. The SILLY SYMPHONIES soon appeared, and Walt's growing crew of marvelously talented animators were quickly conquering new territory with full color, illusions of depth and radical advancements in personality development, an arena in which Walt's genius was unbeatable. Mickey's feisty, naughty behavior had captured millions of fans, but he was soon to be joined by other animated companions: temperamental Donald Duck, intellectually-challenged Goofy and energetic Pluto. All this was in preparation for Walt's grandest dream - feature length animated films. Against a storm of naysayers, Walt persevered and over the next decades delighted children of all ages with the adventures of Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi & Peter Pan. Walt never forgot that his fortunes were all started by a mouse, or that childlike simplicity of message and lots of hard work always pay off.
I love it when Hazel casts a magic spell on Donald's feet and he starts dancing around; also making him kick out the pantry key he swallowed. I also love the title song too. So anyway, it's another Halloween classic.
If there is anything at all dated about the short (and this is a big maybe), it is the use of the devil costume. Although Halloween has probably gotten more gory and creepy since this cartoon came out, I feel like actual devil imagery has decreased and perhaps become even taboo.
This cartoon short contains a catchy Halloween song and some funny moments. Donald as usual gets the brunt of the bad luck, but, at least the nephews weren't bratty or very annoying in this one. A good one for Halloween and a good one for the kids.
This short opens with Witch Hazel (voiced by June Foray) scaring the daylights out of various critters. Her broom almost steals the short. Hazel spots Huey, Dewey and Louie trick or treating and on their way to Uncle Donald's house. Donald being Donald, what they get is all trick and no treat.
Hazel doesn't care for this and goes down to comfort the boys, who have absolutely no problems with seeing a real witch on a flying broomstick. She tries to reason with Donald, which fails miserably, so she uses here wand to haunt him. Donald surrenders at first, then becomes obstinate, locking up the pantry and swallowing the key. Big mistake.
The rest of the cartoon is Donald suffering from his own folly. It's fascinating that at no point do his nephews sympathize with him or try to get Hazel to go easy on him. It speaks volumes for their family dynamic. The cartoon ends with Donald's comeuppance.
This short is available on the Chronological Donald Duck, Volume Four Disney Treasures DVD set and is well worth finding. Most Highly recommended.
Back at her cauldron, Hazel stirs up a little bubble, bubble, toil and trouble to get revenge on a certain cocky duck. She fills an atomizer with it and together with the boys flies off on her broomstick to really put on a show. So, what does Witch Hazel's brew do? Eh, what doesn't it do? It makes things come alive and fly all over the place and even makes ghosts sing. Donald quickly forks over the goods, until Hazel happened to call him a pigeon, in which case he locked the pantry and ate the key. This meant war. Hazel sprayed Donald's feet, turning them blue, which caused him to kick his own butt and square dance all over the house. He manages to cough up the key, but he kicks it under the pantry door. So, Hazel gives his feet another spray, this time turning them purple and forcing Donald to charge the door. With a good running start, he plowed right into the door, and the kids looted all his eats. With that, Witch Hazel flies away into the night, amidst the chorus of the cartoon's theme song.
This one is a certified classic. I think all Halloween fans and Donald Duck fans have seen this cartoon and will agree how terrific it is. From it, we get not only entertainment, but we learn a few lessons: don't be a jerk on Halloween, and don't doubt a witch, no matter how cartoony she seems. Not much else I can say about this cartoon, except that it's very well made, it's funny, children and adults will all get a kick out of it (pun intended. This Halloween, please check it out. By the way, there was also a Witch Hazel in a couple Bugs Bunny cartoons. I don't think the characters are related, I think they just liked doing a take on witch hazel.
Nevertheless, this cartoon does have a nice Disney feel to it. It has its own special song with singing ghosts and a floating pumpkin. I also found it interesting to learn that June Foray, who did the voice of Witch Hazel in this cartoon, also did the voice for Witch Hazel in a Warner Brothers cartoon. It seems like Disney couldn't get a copyright on the name Witch Hazel because it refers to an alcohol rub.
With that little tidbit of info, I still have to say that I didn't care too much for this cartoon. I can't remember many funny moments except when Hazel puts a spell on Donald's feet, but that's about it. It's still a decent Disney cartoon, but it's definitely not my favorite.
My IMDb Rating: 6/10
The film begins with a cute witch flying down to get a look of the trick or treaters. She is shocked when she sees Huey, Dewey and Louie tormented by cruel Uncle Donald and she decides to help them. While not one of the best or most amazing shorts (the animation is fair to average), it's enjoyable and had some nice songs.
By the way, the voice for the witch is June Foray--who ALSO did the voice of the Warner Brothers witch--also named Hazel! Beelzebub nice song