John Leach (1978)

Happy Halloween!

Hobo Moon Cartoons aims to preserve the beloved Halloween classics of yesteryear for future generations to enjoy!

Witch’s Night Out is a Canadian Halloween cartoon that premiered on October 27, 1978, which is, coincidentally, also my birthday. It was produced in a Toronto studio and featured the voices of Fiona Reid as Nicely and Catherine O’Hara as Malicious, with Gilda Radner as the titular witch.

Witch’s Night Out was produced on 35mm film by Jonathan Rogers (formerly known as John Leach) and Jean Rankin.

A depressed witch is summoned by a pair of children, named Small and Tender, who are upset at not being able to scare anyone on Halloween. The witch turns them into a werewolf and ghost (previously their Halloween costumes), and their babysitter Bazooey into Frankenstein’s monster. The witch then takes them to the Halloween party-in-progress at her isolated mansion on the edge of town. However, the citizens of the town get offended at the thought of real monsters in their town, and form a mob, under the leadership of the strait-laced Goodly. The witch loses her magic wand, which gets attached to a woman named Malicious, and is unable to turn Bazooey and the kids back to humans. The group of supernatural beings is chased through the town and forest by the mob, eventually losing them. Malicious and her partner, Rotten, misuse the wand’s powers, which causes a lot of damage to the town, but also summons the witch and the kids to their location. Regaining her wand, the witch uses its power to turn Malicious and Rotten into monsters (though she turns them back soon after), while turning the Frankenstein monster, ghost and werewolf back into Bazooey, Tender and Small. Eventually, the witch uses her powers to restore everything to normal, showing the town that she is not evil. The town quickly accepts the witch, and she starts turning people into what they want to be for Halloween.

A disco song entitled Witch Magic was sung in this film.

Ub Iwerks (1929)

Happy Halloween!

Hobo Moon Cartoons aims to preserve the beloved Halloween classics of yesteryear for future generations to enjoy!

The Skeleton Dance is a 1929 Silly Symphony animated short subject produced and directed by Walt Disney and animated by Ub Iwerks. In the film, four human skeletons dance and make music around a spooky graveyard — a modern film example of medieval European “danse macabre” imagery.
It was the first entry in the Silly Symphony series.

The origins for The Skeleton Dance can be traced to mid-1928, when Walt Disney was on his way to New York to arrange a distribution deal for his new Mickey Mouse cartoons and to record the soundtrack for his first sound cartoon, Steamboat Willie. During a stopover in Kansas City, Disney paid a visit to his old acquaintance Carl Stalling, then an organist at the Isis Theatre, to compose scores for his first two Mickey shorts, Plane Crazy and The Gallopin’ Gaucho. While there, Stalling proposed to Disney a series of “musical novelty” cartoons combining music and animation, which would become the genesis for the Silly Symphony series, and pitched an idea about skeletons dancing in a graveyard. Stalling would eventually join Disney’s studio as staff composer. Animation on The Skeleton Dance began in January 1929, with Ub Iwerks animating the majority of the film in almost six weeks.