Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Horror Off...Halloween Night, A Disney Halloween (1983)

"Mo-o-om! I'll bring in the other boxes
Sometimes the little kiddies need a treat come Halloween night. Some because they're too young to Trick or Treat. Some because they get home and need something to watch as they count their candy horde.

And what is the easier choice of amusement for the kiddies to start relaxing with than Disney. Disney the opiate of the minors.

One interesting choice from a day long past is A Disney Halloween. It was shown in 1983. I've seen it also called Disney's Halloween Treat. It may be that at different times it's been shown over the years that the name changed. "Disney Halloween Treat" seems to be the title of the song that plays at the start of the special, so it may have stuck, but I don't know. And who cares along as we get a nice dose of Mickey and his friends, right?

Okay, actually it seems this special combines the Disney's Halloween Treat from the previous year with the older Disney's Greatest Villains. And I think I know why I prefer this one. It adds the Magic Mirror as a character. But we'll get to him

Like many Disney series at the time (though this was while they were showing on CBS), we open with an introduction Michael Eisner, head of Disney who was trying to play the role Walt Disney used to play. (If you've read my Mr. Boogedy and Bride of Boogedy reviews, you've seen examples of his openings from back then.) This time around the people at Disney are getting ready for a Halloween party. Mickey and Minnie stop by to show off their costumes.

Then Goofy comes in to show the costume he's been working on for a month.

And into the special!

This is a clip show, taking spooky and interesting bits from various shows, and a few old shorts. It means we skip to the good parts, and have a nice companion for our night's sugar high.

The opening is a mix of sights. Many that will be shown in the various parts of the show. All around, it is a nice set of clips and a creepy fun song. You could almost just listen to that 40 seconds all night, and have some dreams.

We also get some nice shots of The Haunted Mansion from back in the day.

Looking at the title screen, I thought something was wrong with my copy. But I think this was an actual "spooky" effect that they were going for.

The rest of the show is primarily narrated spookily by Hal Douglas. The exception comes in the segment on villains which gets hosted by the Magic Mirror, played by Han Conried.

First up is, arguably the best part of Fantasia. "Night in Bald Mountain." We all remember it.

Next up is a good bit from The Sword in the Stone. When Merlin has a wizard's duel with Mad Madam Mim. It's a matter of ones-upsmanship in shapeshifting. Who can end up on top, or not in the other's teeth?

The next part is one I'm not familiar with. It seems to come Silly Symphonies. It's The Old Mill. A quiet old mill is full of animal life. But all is turned upside down when a storm tears through their lives.

Then comes part of "Mickey's Parrot". It's there is you long to watch Mickey running around his house with a gun, engaged in home defense.

Then we get "Donald Duck and the Gorilla"

This is followed by some surreal fun nightmare worlds. First, Pooh's nightmare in "Heffalumps and Woozles".This dream sequence blows Pink Elephants out of the water. The people who made this were clearly working through some issues. Man!

Meet Pooh's edgy new friends in the 100 Acre Forest.

"I need an adult!"

Our next nightmare is an amalgam of shorts that's called "Pluto's Judgment". Hey, have you ever wanted to see Pluto tormented? His dreams seems to have it out for him.

Looks like the Thundercats are finally dealing with their Pluto Problem.

Hey, look! A representation of the Internet judging you.

Next up we see some cats. It's from something called "The Truth About Cats". It is a nicely drawn short on cats. Some lovely cats.

Then they shift over to Lady and the Tramp and...Oh! Ahem. You know, sometimes things look different decades later...

Moving on!

Ah! Now we get to the Magic Mirror segment of the show. Now we focus for a bit on Disney's Villains.

Plus, we spend time with Magic Mirror. It's a fun face and voice. But it also scared me when I was young. The green face and that sneer. Nice work. Plus, this is Han Conried.

First we look at Hook facing Peter Pan.

And the Croc.

Next comes the Aristocats, and the kidnapping.

"Fun and Fancy Free" is clipped next, with Mickey facing Willie the Giant. Mickey, Goofy, and Donald, are penniless and hungry, so they invade a foreign land and raid it for food and gold...That is what happens.

Oh my! You know I was watching this short for this, and then the Magic Harp starts her song... It has been ages since I've watched this, but when you started the song came back to my memories like a long forgotten memory. I suddenly knew the words again. "In his right breast pocket you'll find the key..."

It's part of the fun of this mix of clips. It can excite and jump start bits of your memory, long dormant. A breath of childhood happiness

Then we get to see Kaa's efforts to eat Mowgli in The Jungle Book.

The Evil Queen then gets to enact her revenge.

And then Maleficent mocks the Prince, before he gets some magic help.

What a horrible end. Poor Maleficent.

This ends our time with Magic Mirror. He goes through a quick list of other villainesses. But when one of them starts talking shots at him, he a mirror?

Before the show closes we get a couple of Disney shorts in full.

First, the classic (to me) "Lonesome Ghost". Mickey, Donald, and Goofy chase some ghosts.

We finally end with "Trick or Treat", with Donald Duck meeting a witch.

And that closes out this special, though we do get another rendition of "Disney Halloween Treat". It's a fun collection of short pieces that are either well known and nostalgic, or new to me and quite interesting to experience. I am motivated to look some of them up sometime.

I'd like to think kids today would enjoy this at Halloween. If you would like to take a look at some of the highlights from this show, try here.

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