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Which Witch Is Which (1984)
Who Are the Real Wild Animals?
I know, it's Thanksgiving time and I'm reviewing a Halloween special. What of it? It's the last day of October in the Chucklewood Forest (and everywhere else for that matter) and adorable cubs Buttons and Rusty sit in a tree and watch some children playing with their dog, when suddenly a mean old woman dressed as a witch yells at them to stop having fun. Well, the dog's Frisbee gets tossed right at Rusty, knocking him out of the tree, causing he and Buttons to run away. The witch, Mabel, phones Ranger Jones and reports wild animals on the attack, but Jonesy laughs it off. He knows the anthropomorphic animals in his forest are harmless. Soon enough, Rusty and Buttons make it to his cabin, and he tells them about the holiday of Halloween while preparing for the big party he was hosting that evening, and then sends the cubs on their way, because it's a humans-only party. Humans and wild animals don't mix...or so he says. Meanwhile at the cave, the worried parents find their cubs haven't come home yet, so Abner and George go out to look for them. At the trailer park, a Boris and Natasha-esq duo, Lenny and Lulu, are planning something nefarious for the evening while everybody is at the ranger's Halloween the party. What could it be? What else, robberies.
Lenny dresses as a bear, and as soon as Abner and George spot him, they assume he's Buttons and give chase. But when the little bear removes his head to reveal a person underneath, the flummoxed fathers head for the hills. Boy, will they be in dutch with Bridgette and Rosie when they get home. So as the ranger's party takes off, Lenny and Lulu loot Mabel's shop and attempt to steal a van. They're spotted by Buttons and Rusty, who assume they're a bear and a "fox with a funny hat." The robbers are chased away by the van's owner, Sam, and the cubs pick up the witch's hat and bear mask they dropped, deciding to do a little trick or treating of their own. So the two robbers attempt to flee in their RV, only it won't go, so they decide to steal another car. They snatch the van they tried taking before, not knowing Rusty and Buttons were hiding in the back. Sam called in to Ranger Jones to report the stolen van and that kids dressed as a bear and a fox were the perpetrators. We pause for a music break while the ranger heads out to sort this mess. I'm serious, we get an interlude of dancing pumpkins, ghosts and witches, and it's where the title of our special comes from. So Jonesy in his jeep, with stowaways George and Abner set out looking for the cubs, and quickly run into the stolen van. After a brief car chase, the van crashes and the crooks are apprehended. As for Rusty and Buttons, well, that fox just couldn't let well enough alone and attempted to trick-or-treat an old gopher... only to discover it was really a skunk. But it's once again George and Abner who get the worst of the situation.
While not as memorable or as good as The Christmas Tree Train, Which Witch is Which is definitely a good Halloween special. All the great characters are back, getting into all sorts of mischief. This time the kids' fathers get in on the action. George and Abner, those lovable buffoons. And this time, we get a couple of villains added to the story, but they're about as harmless as the animals. If you love Buttons and Rusty, and honestly, how can you not, then I definitely recommend WWIW. It's not as fast paced as Christmas Tree Train, so there's some room for character building, which I think is a nice touch. Though much like CTT, there's a lot of running around, but at least they stop and catch their breath now and then. I also like that Mabel Thorne character and how bi- polar she was. One minute a mean, no-nonsense, no-fun crone and then a thoughtful, kindly woman who was concerned about the children. As I said before, good character building. Check this one out around Halloween or whenever, you'll have a good time.
The Turkey Caper (1985)
Turkeys, Turkeys Everywhere!
As we prepare to give thanks on this blessed holiday, let's check in with our favorite little critters in the Chucklewood Forest. To prepare for the long winter, George and Abner are busy building storage cabinets to store food. Buttons and Rusty offer their help, but Abner assures them the men have it under control, but they end up hammering themselves instead of the wood, so the cubs slip out via their toy chest escape route and look for something to do. Rusty suggests checking out an old cabin which Buttons fears is haunted. Relax, kid, this is a Thanksgiving special, not Halloween. You'll be fine. Along the way, they run into two wild turkeys, Marty and Priscilla, who accompany the kids to the cabin. In it, they find a bunch of old junk, including a book about pilgrims. They decide Ranger Jones would know a thing or two about these people with funny hats, so they leave, Buttons and Rusty say goodbye to Marty and Priscilla who can't leave Wild Turkey Valley, and are nearly mowed down by a truck that almost caused Jonesy to have a car accident earlier. Eh, just some loggers making a supply run probably. So the cubs show Jonesy the book, which is about the very first Thanksgiving. As he reads it, the kids become so bored that they fall asleep and dream about themselves in the days of the pilgrims. When going out to pick turnips for supper, Pilgrim Buttons and Rusty meet a young Indian brave who at first they fear, but when they become lost in the woods in a blizzard, the boy brings them to his cave, and thus, when the cubs' folks find them, peace is made between the Indians and the pilgrims and they all have a big celebration. Yep, that's really how it happened.
Liking the idea of having a Thanksgiving celebration, Rusty and Buttons head off to invite Marty and Priscilla, but unfortunately...remember that truck? They weren't loggers, they were turkey trappers! Working quick, the kids manage to free their friends and the rest of the turkeys and hide them in the food storage crates in their cave. They're soon discovered by Abner who chases them all around the cave, and then out of it. Thankfully, they run into Buttons and Rusty, who bring them all back to the cave and explain the situation to their baffled parents, but uh oh. Here come those men in the truck. No, it's alright, it's only Jonesy...followed by those two men. It turns out, they're not turkey trappers after all, but they're from the Wildlife Preservation Society who had come to move the turkeys to a valley that had a more ample supply of food. So the turkeys willingly went with the men as Buttons and Rusty said farewell to Marty and Priscilla, and the next day, the whole gang gathered at Jonesy's to celebrate the day of thanks.
Well, I think Rangers Jones said it best when he said, "those cubs. You gotta love'em." Buttons and Rusty are adorable, and so are there little adventures. I grew up with The Christmas Tree Train, I saw Which Witch is Which once or twice, and this year, I discovered The Turkey Caper, though I still think the Christmas one is superior. As for the Turkey Caper, it keeps you guessing, and it isn't as fast paced as Christmas Tree Train, which I think is a plus. More character building time. I was disappointed in the revelation that the sinister looking hunters were actually good guys. I was thinking this was going to be another adventure story where Rusty and Buttons travel far away, and have to save the turkeys from a processing plant or something. But it works fine the way it is. Plenty of humorous moments, cute moments, this special is very entertaining. I recommend it. Not very many Thanksgiving specials, aside from Charlie Brown's. So if you love that little bear and fox then, again, I recommend checking out The Turkey Caper and have a happy Thanksgiving.
The Live Ghost (1934)
Haunted Hijinks on the High Seas.
Captain Long shuffles into the local tavern, looking for a crew to sail with, but none of the barflies want to set foot on his ship, fearing that it's "haunted." Walking along the doc, the captain sees Stan and Ollie fishing. They work over at the fish market, and today is their day off. The captain asks them if they'd like to make some easy money, by way of Shanghaiing him a crew from that tavern, a $1.00 a head. Stan and Ollie agree to this bargain and set about their task, by having Stan go in with a bag full of eggs, daring the men that they can't put one in their mouth without breaking it. They manage to do so, but a pop on the chin breaks the egg and the enraged drunk chases Stan outside where Ollie waits with a frying pan to clunk him. The ploy works numerous times, giving the captain a hull full of groggy drunks, until Ollie decides he should be the one to go in and fish them out. The egg trick doesn't go quite as planned, and Stan ends up not only clunking the guy, but also Ollie, and the captain, who then clunks him back.
When Stan and Ollie regain consciousness, they find themselves shanghaied as well, and the crew is acrimonious with them, but the captain warns them not to lay a finger on his "friends" until they go ashore. He also warns the crew to never mention ghosts to him, lest he twist their heads around 180 degrees. As a result, Stan and Ollie remain on board the ship for the ten times that they dock. The captain orders a drunken sailor to remain on the ship with them, but he sneaks off the ship anyway, placing a trunk in his bed. When deciding to turn in themselves, Stan finds a revolver and it accidentally misfires, hitting the trunk. Fearing they've killed the man, Stan and Ollie go off to get a sack to throw him off the ship before the others returned. Meanwhile, the drunken sailor fell into a vat of whitewash before he staggered back onto the ship and slipped into his bed, just as Stan and Ollie slip him into a sack and toss him overboard. Unfortunately, the water didn't wash off the whitewash, so when he climbed back aboard, they assumed he was a ghost and freak out like children. When the captain gets back, they tell him of their ghost sighting, and he fulfills his earlier promise of twisting their heads from north to south.
I wonder if it was the captain's plan all along to shanghai Stan and Ollie, even if Stan hadn't clunked him. I'm sure it was, as the man seemed pretty underhanded. As far as a critique, this one is really good. With Laurel and Hardy, you can seldom go wrong. This one is pretty funny and it even has a few creepy moments. Perfect to watch around the Halloween season. Other good spooky Laurel and Hardy shorts include Oliver the Eighth, The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case and Dirty Work, which were included with The Live Ghost on a video collection. So I definitely recommend The Live Ghost, still a funny romp after 80 years.
Dinosaurs: When Food Goes Bad (1991)
Old Food Never Dies, It Just Goes Bad.
Baby is teething, as evidenced by all the broken spoons. His little chompers are so tender, he cartoonishly flips out if they are disturbed. Thankfully, Fran has the solution: Numb Gum, which numbs both pain and speech. Hopefully that will make things less hectic for the evening as she and Earl have plans to go out to dinner. So while the Casanova prepares himself, Charlene comes in and bugs him for $10, which he quickly refuses. However, when Robbie requests the same amount, it's granted, on the grounds that Robbie did chores to earn it and that he's older than Charlene. As for dinner plans, it turns out Ethyl has a date and can't babysit, so Charlene jumps at the chance to earn money and show she's responsible. However, her parents deny her and leave Robbie in charge. Again, because he's the oldest. So after Fran gives Baby another squirt of Numb Gum and sets it on the counter by Earl's atomizer, they lecture Robbie on what to do in case of emergency and leave him the number of the restaurant, but warn him not to call. An impatient Earl grabs what he thinks is his atomizer and they head off. Once the parents are gone, Robbie plans to cut out and leave Charlene in charge, however it will cost him half the babysitting money. He reluctantly agrees and heads off to Goofy Golf to pick up chicks. With Charlene in charge, she bounds and gags Baby and reads him Goldilocks and the Three Herbivores, then she goes to yammer on the phone to her girlfriend. Baby manages to break free of his bonds, when suddenly he hears a voice calling him from the refrigerator, begging to be let out. Big mistake. Baby opens the fridge and unleashes a whacked-out gang of leftovers, lead by the demented General Chow.
The spoiled food kidnap Baby and hold Charlene hostage, as Chow goes on about the plight of being a leftover, left in isolation in the cheese bin. However, they scatter when Robbie comes home. He sees the mess and freaks out. Not because of the mess, but because this would reflect on poor responsibility on his part, and that "Mom and Dad really like the baby." He and Charlene split up and search the house, when suddenly they're both captured by Chow and his army. By the way, did you notice that one of his minions is a Grapdelight? Also, Chow has a pet cabbage who, unlike the rest of the food stuffs, isn't sentient. Anyway, Chow reads off a list of demands Robbie and Charlene must satisfy, lest they never see Baby again. Demands such as jogging outfits, a comprehensive health plan, a helicopter and their own cartoon show. Charlene readily agrees to the preposterous demands, having a trick up her sleeve. But in an effort to escape, Robbie destroys Chow's cabbage. As a result, the Sinclair kids were about to become food chow. Charlene suggests eating the Baby first... trick up her sleeve, remember? She encourages them to pinch his little cheeks. Oh, yeah! So Baby goes ballistic and throws the crazed food all over the place. Defeated by their secret weapon, the food cleans up the mess they made in the kitchen and General Chow declares Charlene a worthy opponent, then they retreat back to the fridge, saying old food never dies, it just goes BAD. Then, Earl and Fran come home to a clean house, their dinner date having been spoiled when Earl sprayed himself with Numb Gum by mistake. So all was well, Charlene got half the babysitting money and was seen as responsible in her parents' eyes.
This episode is both funny and creepy at the same time. They did an excellent job at dark comedy and this is a very good one to watch around Halloween, along with Little Boy Boo from Season 3. I guess the moral of our story is, don't leave leftovers too long or else they may turn on you? And I guess not to judge somebody too harshly because of their age? So does Charlene become more responsible from hereon out? Eh, not really. Anyway, When Food Goes Bad is a very good episode, funny, well written, directed and acted, I definitely recommend checking it out.
Halloween Is Grinch Night (1977)
Tonight's the Night!
What started out as another peaceful evening in Whoville quickly took a turn for disaster. For you see, the sour sweet wind was creeping in, causing all the alarmed citizens to rush in doors and lock themselves in tight. Why, you may wonder? Well, the sour sweet wind starts a chain reaction, for when that wind starts howling, that causes the Gree Grumps to start growling, which causes Puncker's Pond to runkle and grunkle, which disturbs the Hacken-kraks who start yowling, and all this dreadful noise irritates a certain angry green guy known as the Grinch atop Mount Crumpet. He sees this as the perfect opportunity to ride into two and wreak untold havoc upon Whoville and its stalwart citizens. He sends his dog Max to fetch his "paraphernelia wagon." You see, this version of the Grinch knows the black arts, for not only can he make his own eyebrows fly off his face, but he's got a giant wagon full of strange creatures that will be helping him celebrate his Grinch Night Ball. So down the mountain they go, Max pulling the wagon and the Grinch snapping his whip at him, the dog begins to rethink his life choices and laments winding up the slave of "this grinchy old crock." So on his way to Whoville, the Grinch has some fun running over flowers and terrorizing an endangered species of Wuzzy Woozoo, which ends with him getting tossed in a brickle bush.
Meanwhile, in Whoville, despite being told to stay in doors, a young boy named Ukariah suddenly had to go to the euphemism, but on his way out, the wind was so strong is carried him right out of the yard. He's blown up the side of the mountain where he comes across Max and assumes he's a lost puppy. That's when Ukariah meets the Grinch face to face, though at first he doesn't believe he is who he is, which raises the Grinch's ire even further. He gives him a "$2.00 treatment" by flying his eyebrows around to a weird chant, then tells Ukariah to get lost and goes along his way. The boy found he couldn't let that weirdo wreak his havoc on Whoville, so raced down the mountain to try and stop him again, but no luck. On the second try, Ukariah bravely confronted the Grinch and dared him to show him what he's got, and so that evil green hermit unleashed his paraphernalia wagon, giving Ukariah a real spooks' tour. Every weird, bizarre and unspeakable creature from the dark recesses of Dr. Seuss' imagination came at him full force. When it was all over, the boy noticed that the sour sweet wind was dying down, which simultaneously stopped all the other noisy creatures that caused the Grinch from prowling. Defeated, the Grinch orders Max to take him home, but the dogs blows him a raspberry and decides to go home with Ukariah. So Whoville was safe once again, Ukariah went home to his grandparents with his new friend Max, and the Grinch alone had to haul that wagon back up the hill. But he knew the wind would be back some day, and when it does, he'll be back. Some day. Ha ha ha.
The title always struck me as a bit odd, as this special really doesn't focus on the holiday of Halloween, though an alternate title is simply It's Grinch Night. Either way, if you watch this, you're guaranteed a fun night. Great story, great animation, great voice acting, and especially fantastic music. The songs are catchy, the creature designs are imaginative, this was just an all-around excellent animated special. I don't think it's in canon with How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and if it is, this is a prequel as he doesn't reform in the end. Now something that struck me as funny while I watched this, when Ukariah goes missing, his grandparents just keep calling his name from the house, rather than go look for him. I guess Grinch Night is so horrific that they wouldn't even go out to search for their own grandson. But anyway, definitely give this Dr. Seuss classic a look. The fun and frolic will soon commence. I wouldn't miss a special like this for six dollars and sixty cents.
Garfield in Disguise (1985)
Tricks and Plenty of Treats.
Early morning of October 31, Garfield receives a very rude awakening by the Binky the Clown show, trying to get the viewers to do exercises, lest they become lazy and meaningless. However, some good news does come out of that cacophonous clown as mentions trick or treating, which instantly gets Garfield excited about the bag full of candy he'll no doubt acquire that night. He even decides to bring Odie along so he'll get twice as much candy, and he might even share a piece with him. So now it was up to the attic to find a proper costume among the sea of junk Jon had never thrown away. After a song and dance of what he should be, Garfield comes across the perfect costumes for he and his canine companion: pirates. Garfield is Orange Beard and Odie is his first mate, Odie the Stupid. So after Orange Beard scarfs down Jon's lasagna, they hit the streets in search of treats... as well as a few tricks, as some of the trick or treaters turn out to be real ghouls, ghosts and monsters. Well, I guess they like candy too. So Garfield and Odie get quite a haul, but the greedy cat decides he wants more. Pointing to some houses across the river, he suggests they go over there and get even more candy. They board an old row boat and head down stream. They venture off course because Odie the Stupid threw the oars overboard.
Eventually they reach land ho. A spooky old house with cool lightning effects. They investigate and find a fire in the fireplace, so they go inside to warm themselves when suddenly, they come across a scary looking old man who warns them of an inherent danger that would befall them all. It seems 100 years ago that night a group of real pirates were forced to bury their treasure on that very island, and they swore that they would return in 100 years to reclaim it, even if it meant coming back from the dead, at the stroke of midnight. Feeling they've heard quite enough, Garfield and Odie attempt to leave, when suddenly they find the old man had gone. Looking outside, they see him row away in their rowboat. Now they were stuck with no boat, no candy, dead pirates on the way...unless... when 12 o'clock struck and no ghosts showed up, they assumed they were safe. That's when the gleaming ghost ship arrived and the pirate ghosts came ashore. Garfield and Odie are discovered and the ghosts give chase. Their only option was to swim for it, but unfortunately, Garfield found out too late that he couldn't swim. Thankfully Odie managed to drag him all the way back to shore where, as luck would have it, the row boat with their bags of candy stood waiting. They return home in triumph, glad the night of chaos was finally over, and to show his appreciation, Garfield reluctantly allows Odie to keep his bag of candy. Then he relaxes by the TV, but when he finds out the only thing on are pirate flicks, he decides to hit the hay.
If you're a fan of classic Garfield cartoons, this is definitely one to see. Perfect to watch around the Halloween season. This was 3 years before Garfield & Friends premiered, which was a brilliant staple of Saturday mornings for years to come. The animation is standard, and pretty good for it's time, especially the look of the old man, whose voice really fit him. In fact, all the voice acting was great. The story was fun, the songs were catchy. Kids and adults will definitely enjoy this spooky little romp.
M*A*S*H: Abyssinia, Henry (1975)
Henry Blake, We Hardly Knew Ya.
Another long, noisy O.R. session, in which Trapper, Hawkeye and Father Mulcahy show off their knowledge of showtunes, Frank yelling at them to shut up and Henry yelling at everybody to shut up, the monotony was quickly broken up by some good news. Radar came in with news of Henry's discharge. He'd gotten all his "points" (which hasn't been in existence since World War II) and he'll be going home. Needless to say, Henry Blake was a very happy man and everybody was happy for him. Frank and Hot Lips were happy too, mainly because Frank would finally be taking command of the 4077th, even though his promotion and assignment hadn't come through yet, he still thought it best to count his chickens before they hatch. So as Henry packs up his office, he comes across a few old treasures, such as a previously misplaced jar of mayonnaise he'd accused some chaplain of stealing, and a picture of he and Radar together when he removed his appendix. The two take some time to reflect on all they'd been through, not fully expressing their feelings in words, but rather tokens: an en-scripted shell casing from Radar and a vintage rectal thermometer from Henry. After that, he's able to call the family in Bloomington to give them a heads up that he's on his way home. The call doesn't last long, unfortunately, but they got the message.
The following night, Hawkeye, Trapper, Henry and Radar go to Rosie's and get juiced, and after Henry goes out to use the little boy's tree, the gang bring out a surprise they'd prepared for him: a brand new pinstripe suit custom made in Seoul, and an unofficial discharge ceremony, taking away his rank of lieutenant colonel and naming him Mister Dr. Henry Blake once again. Next morning, Frank has everybody fall in formation, already starting to run the place as if it were an army camp. Henry trotted out of his tent in his brand new suit to say goodbye to everybody, especially his friends, then he plants a big smacker right on Hot Lips' lips and they all follow him up to his chopper. Before he can board, he sees Radar standing at attention and giving him a salute. Henry tells him to behave himself or else he'll come back and kick his butt before giving him a big bear hug and boarding his chopper. Everybody waved until Henry disappeared over the hills. So now he's on his way home, back to his family, back to his practice. All is well once again... or is it? A few days later during another O.R. session, a crestfallen Radar comes in and delivers news that Henry's plane was shot down over the sea of Japan and that there were no survivors. The room grew quiet, minus an instrument drop, as the sudden and harsh realization that their good friend and colleague never made it home and was gone. Before the credits, we get a montage of "Henry's greatest hits," showing various moments in the show where he acts like a goofball, having fun with his friends, just showing Lt. Colonel Henry Blake as the man he really was.
Very little else I can say about this episode. It's very well done, well acted, written, directed, everything. That was a very ballsy move on the producers' part to kill off a major character in a comedy show, but I commend them for their efforts. This was not only McLean Stevenson's final episode, but Wayne Rogers' as well, and he was treated far worse by the producers and network than Stevenson was. Trapper didn't even get a goodbye episode, he'd already left at the start of Season 4. A lot of people have mixed feelings about this episode, whether or not you think it was a good idea to kill off Henry in such a way or not, you have to admit they did it in a pretty decent fashion. I definitely recommend this episode, and as for Season 3 in general, it has some good episodes like Officer of the Day, Adam's Rib, Life with Father, Springtime, Mad Dogs and Servicemen and O.R., it also had it's share of pure crap like White Gold, House Arrest, Alcoholics Unanimous, Payday and Big Mac. Henry may have been a buffoon of a commander, but he was a good doctor and a great character, one of my favorites.
M*A*S*H: House Arrest (1975)
This is one of the worst episodes of the series, so I'm going to try hard to review it without completely blowing a gasket. It all began when Hot Lips was all aflutter for a visiting colonel, and a female colonel at that. She kept fumbling up in O.R., so Hawkeye sends her out. They get into an argument in the scrub room, and she tells Frank to do something about it. What can he do? Well, he childishly takes a towel and snaps Hawkeye with it. Now, Hawkeye could have been a man and ignored this, figuring this simpleton isn't worth any kind of retaliation, but no, instead he rears back and punches him. Right away, he and Trapper deny any assault took place, but Frank still wants a court martial. Henry is reluctant, because of the paperwork and having to actually do his job and all, but Frank insists, and while the papers are drawn up, Hawkeye is placed under house arrest, which he absolutely adores. Father Mulcahy brings him a prisoners-of-war care-package and the cook makes him a genuine steak to thank him for hitting Burns.
Colonel Reese eventually shows up. She isn't the model of perfection Hot Lips was hoping for, but rather a wise-cracking, flirtatious shrew who takes quite a shine to Frank. By the way, before I continue, there's a subplot about Radar buying altered pants and elevator shoes because he's tired of all the height insults he gets. I think this would have been a more appropriate A plot instead of a B, but I'm not the idiots who wrote this. So anyway, they decide to show the movie in the Swamp so Hawkeye can see it, and everybody crowds in the tent, while Frank goes to look to Hot Lips and instead finds Reese in her tent. The colonel flirts with Burns and promises big things for him, and so they get into the throes of intimacy, but when Hot Lips walks in on them, this happens: Colonel Reese screams "Rape!" This gets everyone's attention, particularly Trapper being excited about going to a rape. So now the bitch colonel wants to file charges on Frank for no reason and Hot Lips lies about the scrub room incident, so now Hawkeye is found innocent and Frank is under house arrest.
Oh, House Arrest, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways: 1) Horrible script by Jim Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum. Whoever said they were the show's best writers doesn't know his ass from his elbow. I could've written a better script than this. 2) Horrible direction by Hy Averback. 3) Horrible acting. Everybody phoned this one in, especially Mary Wickes. 4) Horrible all-around idea. For the love of God, why did they think this was a good idea?! Frank Burns getting punched, not that didn't deserve it, then Hawkeye going under house arrest and everybody treating him like a victim, then this Colonel Reese bitch coming in and accusing Frank of rape, getting him in trouble for no reason! This blows my mind on so many levels. I HATE this episode! I HATE, HATE, HATE it with a fiery passion and I advise all M*A*S*H fans to avoid it. If you like this or thought it was funny, you're sick. This was the meanest, most unfair display I have ever seen. So what if Frank is a Class-A dick, he was still treated unfairly here. Viewers, again, stay away from this garbage! It will make you very angry and curse the day you first laid eyes on it. I can't put into words how acrimonious it's made me. Screw you, House Arrest!
Trick or Treat (1952)
Magic Feet, Do Your Stuff!
It's that magical time of year again. Halloween night. A night full of trickery, ghosts, goblins, spooks and witches, and if you don't play your cards right, you might incur their wrath. Donald Duck will learn that lesson the hard way in tonight's frightfully funny tale. At 12:00 midnight one Halloween, jovial Witch Hazel was getting into all sorts of mischief, whether it be scaring bats out of belfries or terrifying Figaro the cat. In the process, she witnesses three young ducks, Huey, Dewey and Louie in costumes doing their trick-or-treat run, starting off at their Uncle Donald's house. But this year, Donald was prepared with a little "firecracker" candy. Some, er, "pop" rocks. He gives them fireworks. Pre-lit fireworks that burst the boys' trick or treat bags...and thankfully didn't blow their hands off, then he pours a bucket of water on their heads for good measure. Seeing the whole thing, Witch Hazel steps in to try and procure candy from Donald. She gets a swift yank on the nose and a bucket of water on the head. Well, no more Miss Nice Witch.
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.
M*A*S*H: For Want of a Boot (1974)
Walking is Made for Boots.
Has there ever been something you've wanted so badly you'd go to any lengths to get it? We've all been there, and in this case, Hawkeye Pierce is already there. There's a big gaping hole in the bottom of one of his boots and he desperately needs a new pair. Amongst all the supply snafus, no new boots have surfaced, so he and Trapper go talk to the surly supply sergeant, Zale. He isn't very helpful and complains about his teeth, saying he needs bridgework. So Hawkeye and Trapper go to visit the dentist, Futterman, who is obsessed with Japan. Hawk and Trap agree to see about getting a 3-day pass from Henry if he will agree to look at Zale's teeth. Henry, meanwhile, is having a problem of his own: Major Houlihan is going to report him to General Mitchell. Why? Because Henry is a very laxed commander who doesn't follow her idea of what a commissioned officer should be. She's just a total bitch who makes her nurses' lives hell. If Henry had any guts, he'd report her instead. But anyway, Hawkeye makes a deal to get Hot Lips off Henry's back if he will approve a pass for Futterman. Will Hot Lips back off? Only if Frank gets a birthday party (with presents). Hawkeye draws the line there and decides he doesn't need boots bad enough to throw a party for Ferret Face...but a nice trample through a mud puddle quickly gets him to change his mind.
Hawkeye and Trapper ask Radar for help with the party, and he says he'll help if they get him a date with Nurse Murphy. Murphy says if they can get her a hair dryer, she'll even go out with Radar O'Reilly. Oh the irony. The only person in camp to have a hair dryer is Klinger, and he won't part with it unless the doctors can get him a Section 8. All he needs if four officers' signatures, so Hawk and Trap decide to try their luck at the party to see if Frank will be buttered up enough. So the party kicks off, Frank is happy as a clam, and then the Section 8 paper is passed before him. The big jerk vehemently refuses to sign and tears it up, thus unraveling the entire escapade! Klinger takes back his hair dryer, Murphy snubs Radar who takes back the cake thus ending the party, thus making Hot Lips go through with her report about Henry who then revokes Futterman's pass who then refuses to do Zale's bridgework who refuses to expedite Hawkeye's boots. What a bunch of A-holes. Hawkeye didn't even get points for trying! Oh well, at least until the new boots arrive, he can wear a golf bag. Fore!
This episode is one of my favorites. It's funny, it's intriguing, and I genuinely feel Hawkeye deserved new boots for everything he and Trapper went through. It shows how selfish everybody was, wanting something for something. I wonder if Father Mulcahy had been in this episode, could he have balanced everything out? This was the first of several appearances of Zelmo Zale, a surly, unlikeable supply sergeant who will get into many fights with Klinger. So anyway, if you like the show, you like Hawkeye, or even if you don't like him, this is still a great episode to check out. Had this one been made in Season 9, he would've gotten the boots, no problem. Everybody was friends by that point.