By Joshie Jaxon
Happy Halloween, geek fans! Before Marvel vs DC, Playstation vs Xbox, and even before Spy vs Spy, there was Warner Bros vs Disney. Unlike the other examples, where I have a clear favorite, I’m at a draw on these two. I’ve loved Disney shorts, and the Looney Tunes for as long as I can remember. I have several Disney Treasures and Looney Tunes Golden collections. I’m a fan for life, and why wouldn’t I be? These cartoons are able to stand the test of time, even though they were made before tv, cell phones, and internet were a thing. It’s good ol’ fashioned quality humor like Walt used to make. Today’s post is Donald’s Halloween adventure. Let the geeks begin!
We open on a city. We can see a bell tower, backlit by the full moon, naturally. We hear a witch laughing as she flies through the sky. Based on the clock in the tower, we know it’s midnight. The witch scares the bats hiding in the belfry, and rings the bell, cackling the whole time. Then she approaches a black cat, raises her hat, and scares it. This witch knows how to party. She hops along the fence, stopping at a pumpkin. It turns, and is a Jack-o-lantern. This time she’s the one who gets scared. She and her broom hide behind a tree.
She watches as the pumpkin moves on the head of Louie, who is dressed as a ghost. Huey is a red devil, and Dewey is dressed as himself, but with a small witch hat and broom. As we established, it’s midnight. Why are these three still out trick or treating? They ring the bell, and Donald knows it’s them from his living room chair. Why is he still up waiting on trick or treaters? Where is his brother/sister to keep their kids in line? Anyhow, Donald moves his candy bowl, grabs the firecrackers behind it, and heads for the door. He greets his nephews, and they say their standard “trick or treat”. He puts something in each of their bags, and they thank him. For once, they didn’t start this. The firecrackers go off, and destroy their candy bags. It spooks the witch and her broom, Beelzebub, too. Donald laughs as the kids look upset. Personally, I’m a prankster, but you don’t mess with kids, let alone family, on Halloween. To add insult to injury, Donald gives them their trick too, and pulls a bucket of water down on the boys. He tells them so long, and leaves them to walk home. Alone. At midnight. With a witch in town.
Speaking of, she saw the whole thing. She approaches Huey, Dewey, and Louie. They can’t believe they’re seeing a real witch. She’s so excited that they believe in witches, she’s going to help them get candy from their uncle. She goes back to Donald’s and rings the bell. She introduces herself as Hazel, Witch Hazel, that is. Side note, on my Looney Tunes set, they freely admit they ripped of the name Witch Hazel from this cartoon, but since it’s also a plant, no one could prove it. Anyhow, Donald pulls on her nose, douses her with water too, and closes the door while laughing. Good thing they aren’t in Oz, she’d be dead. She tells the boys that Donald’s more stubborn than she thought. Time for the big guns. Cut to boiling caldron. Witch Hazel recites her spell while the boys grab ingredients. Double double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble. Eye of needle, tongue of shoe, hand of clock that points at two. She tells Huey this is the real thing, right out of Shakespeare. Neck of bottle, tail of coat, and whiskers from a billy goat. Hazel tastes the concoction, and has a suitable toon-style reaction. She tells the boys it’s loaded, and fills a bug sprayer with the brew. They all gather on Beelzebub and fly off to Donald’s.
Donald is snacking out of his pantry. He hears Hazel laughing, and rushes to the window, to see his nephews riding on a broom. Time for a musical number. There’s a voiceover song as Hazel starts animating objects. She starts with a pumpkin, which moans in Donald’s face. Next, she enchants a paintbrush to paint Donald’s house green. It gets him in the process. She turns a post into a ghost. They all come up the walkway, singing the last bit of the song. When ghosts and goblins by the score, ring the bell on your front door, you better not be stingy or your nightmares will come true. They ring the bell and disappear. Hazel flies handle first into Donald and pins him to the pantry door asking if he’s gonna treat or not. He says yes ma’am, and starts filling his arms. Hazel tells the kids that he’s a pushover. Donald takes objection to that, and puts all the goodies back. Then he locks the pantry door. He lives alone. Who is he trying to keep out of there? Daisy, when she visits? Anyhow, he defiantly swallows the key in front of Hazel. Time for an irresistible force to meet an immovable object.
Hazel has been itching to cast a spell on Donald. Beelzebub holds Donald up by his collar, as Hazel sprays his feet with her brew. Hocus pocus, magic shower, put his feet within my power! Donald’s feet turn blue, so we the audience know they’re enchanted. Hazel orders his feet to kick the key out of him. We hear drums playing the beat as the feet make contact with his ass.
Hazel uses her broom as a banjo and starts singing. Dance with your feet just as fast as you can, flipping like a flapjack in a pan. Hopping and lumping like a flea on a griddle. The key for the door is the key to the vittles. Do si do now mind the rules, with your old flat feet just kickin like new. Promenade way out west, that’s where the cactus grown the best. Now swing down south and turn on the heat. End the dance and take your seat. During all of this, Donald has kicked the key out, and re-caught it with his mouth a few times, despite also being poked in the ass by a very happy cactus. He finally sits right by the fire, gets burned, and spits the key across the floor.
Donald gets to it before Hazel does, and throws it under the very door it’s supposed to open. Now he’s made old Hazel mad. She sprays him with more potion, and casts a spell that’s double grim. She orders Donald’s feet to smash the door down, with him. Donald rams head first into the door several times, but it doesn’t break. Things were built to last back then. She sprays him again while saying it hurts her more than it does him. Yeah, didn’t buy that as a kid, and I don’t buy it now. She orders him to get a mile or two of steam on his next run. Donald runs balls out, cause he doesn’t wear pants, get it? Anyhow, this time he hits the door and it smashes. Donald is dazed on the floor, as Beelzebub starts sweeping up treats. The boys shout hooray for Uncle Donald, as they take his food. Hey, Hazel did all the work, he was just a tool. Hazel tells Beelzebub they need to go, it’s nearly dawn. She flies away telling the kids goodbye. They say goodbye to her as well. At nearly dawn. After Halloween night. With a witch as their only supervision. Ah, the fifties.