Trick or Treat (1952 film)

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Trick or Treat
Donald Duck series
Trick or Treat (1952).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jack Hannah
Produced by Walt Disney
Story by Ralph Wright
Voices by June Foray
Clarence Nash
The Mellowmen
Music by Paul J. Smith
Animation by Volus Jones
Bill Justice
George Kreisl
Don Lusk
Dan MacManus (effects)
Layouts by Yale Gracey
Backgrounds by Yale Gracey
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date(s)
  • October 10, 1952 (1952-10-10)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 8 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Preceded by Uncle Donald's Ants
Followed by Don's Fountain of Youth

Trick or Treat is a 1952 animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The cartoon, which takes place on Halloween night, follows a series of pranks between Donald Duck and his nephews with Witch Hazel. The film was directed by Jack Hannah and features the voices of Clarence Nash as Donald and his nephews, and June Foray as Hazel. The film introduced the song "Trick or Treat for Halloween" which was written by Paul J. Smith and performed by The Mellowmen.[1][2]


The film opens with the song "Trick or Treat for Halloween", the lyrics of which tell the film's moral – one must be generous on Halloween or face trouble.

One Halloween night, Witch Hazel observes Huey, Duey, and Louie trick-or-treating. When the trio go to their uncle Donald Duck's house, Donald pranks the boys by giving them firecrackers instead of candy, and dumping a bucket of water on their heads. Afterwards, Hazel finds the boys and tries to encourage them. When she discovers that they believe in witches, she decides to help them.

Hazel at first goes to Donald's house to ask him for treats for the boys herself, but Donald pranks her as well with a bucket of water, not believing she is a real witch. Later, in a scene paying homage to Shakespeare's Macbeth, Hazel and the nephews concoct a magic potion, adding somewhat more whimsical ingredients than the Three Witches in Macbeth. After testing the potion, Hazel fills an insecticide duster (similar in appearance to a Flit gun) and returns to Donald's house.

When Donald sees that the potion will magically bring inanimate objects to life, he immediately gives in and agrees to treat his nephews. However, when Hazel refers to him as a pushover, he changes his mind. Donald locks his pantry and swallows the key. Hazel then uses the potion on Donald's feet and commands them to kick out the key, causing Donald to perform a crazy dance. When the key is kicked out, Donald throws it under the pantry door. Hazel sprays Donald's feet again and orders them to smash the door down with Donald. After a couple unsuccessful attempts, Donald finally breaks down the pantry door and is left unconscious on the floor.

In the end, Huey, Duey, and Louie collect their treats and Hazel departs. A final shot shows an enchanted Jack-o'-lantern suddenly pop onto the screen saying "Boo!" to the viewers before smiling.


The cover of Donald Duck #26 featuring "Trick or Treat"

A print adaptation by Carl Barks was published simultaneously in the Donald Duck comic book. Barks was given a storyboard of the film by Ralph Wright while production of the film was still in progress. Barks was asked to create a 32-page comic adaptation, yet Barks did not believe he had enough material. In the end he wound up making a lot of his own material, even creating new characters such as Smorgie the Bad.

When the final product was sent to the publisher, Barks' segment with Smorgie was rejected, and the story was cut to 27 pages. To fill out the rest of the comic book, Barks created an additional story called "Hobblin' Gobblins." The original story was later restored with the publication of the Carl Barks Library.[3]

Disneyland Records also produced an audio adaptation that was narrated by Ginny Tyler who also voices Witch Hazel. This version was 12 minutes long and also included a song and story from the Haunted Mansion Disneyland attraction.[4]



  1. ^ Trick or Treat at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ Trick or Treat' at The Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts
  3. ^ Trick or Treat With Donald Duck at Mouse Planet
  4. ^ Adaptation on Disneyland Records