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What To Watch: The Halloween Tree

This Halloween take a trip down memory lane this Saturday with your old pal nostalgia and watch The Halloween Tree, a 1993 cartoon feature from Hanna-Barbera.

The Halloween Tree was written, directed, and narrated by Ray Bradbury. If the name sounds familiar, it should. Best known for his 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury was one the 20th century’s most influential science fiction writers, often imagining things we use today – like ATM machines and wireless headsets – long before their actual inception.

Originally a novel published in 1972, Bradbury adapted The Halloween Tree into a script for the animated feature in 1993. The script would go on to win an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program.

halloweentree_VHSThe story takes place on Halloween night as four teens search for their friend, who is mysteriously absent from this Halloween’s festivities. They encounter a strange character, Mr. Moundshroud, who leads them on a journey around the world and through time to solve the mystery of their missing friend all while exposing the origins of our many Halloween traditions.

Through beautiful prose, Bradbury takes us on both an enchanting and educational adventure through the history of one of the most recognized North American holidays. Across Egypt, Mexico, and all around Europe Bradbury weaves a tale of mummies, gargoyles, witches, and skeletons and their relativity to our modern celebrations every October 31st.

Leonard Nimoy, who voices Mr. Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud, disguises himself in an incandescently eerie tone that brings the character to life. Moundshroud is reminiscent of a classic character, one who is bewildered by youth and it’s irreverence and wishes to bestow upon the world lessons of a bygone era – sort of like my recommendation of this movie.

So whether you have kids, are a kid, or just don’t like watching scary movies, check out The Halloween Tree this week. It’s a hand-animated classic with a stellar original score that’s sure to warm your heart a bit, and if you’re my age it’ll remind you of coming home after trick-or-treating, dumping your loot on the floor in front of the TV, and watching the evening’s lineup of Halloween specials while trading candies with your siblings.

Anyone got any rockets they want to trade?