Halloween is finally here. Everyone wants to know what to watch, and there are plenty of great options to choose from. Right now, VOD services from Netflix and Hulu to Amazon and more are lighting up with searches and curated suggestions related to the holiday. Among the thousands of movies, shows, TV specials, and cartoons, there is one that stands out as a forgotten Halloween classic, the cult Canadian animated TV special Witch’s Night Out.
What is Witch’s Night Out About?
Witch’s Night Out debuted on TV in 1978 and featured Gilda Radner and Catherine O’Hara. Gilda Radner voiced the titular witch who is yearning for some excitement, so she decides to throw a giant Halloween party for the whole town. Catherine O’Hara plays a mean-spirited Grinch who hates the holiday and tries to sabotage the festivities.
The story mainly focuses on a young brother and sister, named Small and Tender, who love Halloween and want nothing more than to be monsters. Tender would like to be a ghost, and her little brother wants to be a werewolf. While they are stuck at home, the Witch grants them their wish and turns them, along with their babysitter, into scary yet fun creatures.
I grew up loving this special. Witch’s Night Out runs just under 30 minutes and was a one-shot cartoon. It luckily wound up in the Halloween rotation on Fox and the Disney Channel throughout the ’80s. Creators Jonathan Rogers and Jimmy Cross recently remastered the film, and now Shout Factory TV is airing the program on their official site as a free VOD title.
Is it worth checking out?
This cartoon is light-hearted and works well for the whole family. The style of animation is fairly basic for late ’70s television, but the overall presentation is absolutely worth seeing. The message and moral of the story is about acceptance and tolerance. Witch’s Night Out is all about celebrating Halloween and the spirit of the season. Put it on your holiday queue.