Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Donald Duck: "Trick Or Treat"

 Premiered October 10, 1952

"When ghosts and goblins by the score ring the bell on your front door,  you'd better not be stingy or your nightmares will come true ..." -  The Mellomen singing the "Trick or Treat" song featured in the cartoon

Special  Halloween Donald opening

Soaped window title card

This Halloween short opens with Witch Hazel (June Foray) going for a Halloween joyride around a small American town.    She flies around on her broomstick  "Beelzeebub" ringing church bells and frightening bats and a black cat.

Anywhere (Duckburg?) U.S.A. 
Hazel is startled herself when a jack o'lantern appears over a fence.   She is delighted to see Huey, Dewy & Louie (Clarence "Ducky" Nash)  in full Halloween regalia dressed as a Witch, Ghost and Devil.   They are out trick-or-treating and Hazel watches them go up to their Uncle Donald's house in search of treats.

Huey, Dewy & Louie out trick or treating

Donald Duck (also voiced by Clarence "Ducky" Nash) is relaxing inside when he hears the doorbell ring.   He realizes that it must be his nephews and decides to play a trick  on them.

Donald Duck at home with Halloween treats
Rather than give them candy and goodies,  he puts firecrackers in the boys' trick-or-treat bags and douses them with water!

Donald is enjoying the "trick" aspect of Halloween rather too much
Witch Hazel feels sorry for Huey, Dewy & Louie and introduces herself to the boys, who are excited to meet a real witch.   "Oh joy! Thou do believeth in witches!"  says Hazel,  "Just for that, I'll help thee get thy candy!"   She tries to get Donald to get into the Halloween treat giving spirit.   Donald is unmoved and repeats his water dousing trick on Hazel.  

Hazel asks nicely 

Witch Hazel is mad now and she enlists the boys' aid in brewing a potion that will make Donald cough up the  goodies.

Witch Hazel brewing up trouble for Donald Duck
She recites an incantation that begins in a familiar vein "Double double toil and trouble ..."  but takes a turn for the unexpected, "eye of needle, tongue of shoe, hand of clock that points at two ..."

"This is the real thing, you know.  Right out of Shakespeare!" 
The result is a potion that is LOADED with Halloween magic.  The boys' jack o'lantern becomes animate and the fence posts become ghosts and march towards Donald's house.

"Every post is a ghost, if you've got a witch's brew ..."

Donald realizes it may have been unwise to annoy Witch Hazel

Donald realizes he may have made a miscalculation about things and rushes over to his goodie cupboard to make good with the Halloween treats. Witch Hazel brags to the boys that Donald has turned out to be "a pushover."

"A pushover?!?"
Donald is annoyed at Hazel's assessment of him.  He shuts the cupboard, locks the door and swallows the key to keep anyone from getting treats.

Halloween hijinks and hilarity ensue as Witch Hazel uses additional potion to try to make Donald give up the Halloween treats.   If you cannot remember what happens,  you should see if you can find a copy of this short to watch.  It is available on several DVD compilations.

RigbyMel says:

Full disclosure:  It's probably impossible for me to be objective about this short.  It's one of my all-time favorites.  I am a big Donald Duck fan - even if he is kind of mean in this short.

I have many fond memories of watching this on various Disney Halloween programs when I was growing up,  but I think my first acquaintance with it was via an LP record that had the soundtrack of the cartoon (with a little bit of narration) on one side and the story of The Haunted Mansion on the other side.   I'd listen to the Donald Duck side and giggle and then flip it over and scare myself silly with the Haunted Mansion side.    Here's a photo of the album jacket I found via the magic of the internet:

The front of the "Trick or Treat" LP 
And yes, it did come with cardboard Halloween masks!

In addition to the great voice acting by Clarence Nash and June Foray,  there is a vocal appearance by the inimitable Thurl Ravenscroft who sings the fun "Trick or Treat" song that pops up throughout the cartoon as part of the Mellomen.   Mr. Ravenscroft is perhaps best known as the voice of Tony The Tiger, spokescharacter for Frosted Flakes, but he was kind of omnipresent in the voice-over world in general because of his awesome bass voice.

This short is a delight and I don't feel like it is Halloween until I've seen this at least once.   I highly recommend checking this out (or revisiting it) if you get the chance.    It is available as a bonus feature of the DVD of The Black Cauldron and on The Chronological Donald Volume 4.  Hopefully, Disney will put this and other shorts out on Blu-Ray in the not too distant future.

My rating:
4 Jack O'Lanterns


bga said...

My very favorite of all time Halloween song is "Trick or Treat"!

Trésors Disney said...

love this donald duck short !
Happy halloween !

RigbyMel said...

It's one of my very favorites, Trésors Disney. Happy Halloween to you too!