Have you ever seen The Halloween Tree? Or have you ever read it?
Originally, it is a book by Ray Bradbury, however Hanna-Barbera made it into an animated film.
It's my favorite Halloween movie. In fact it's one of my favorite movies, period.
I discovered it many years ago sitting in the emergency room waiting area at the Army hospital. Kayla was a month and a half old and John was having some sort of stomach pain (If I remember right) which prompted our visit to the ER.
The Cartoon Network was on the TV and this movie was playing.
It captured my attention and then my heart.
Its a story of friendship and of love. With some Halloween history thrown in.
It's the story of five friends who are taken on the adventure of a lifetime.
It is Halloween night and each friend is dressed for the occasion. Tom as a skeleton, Ralph as a mummy, Wally as a monster, and Jenny as a witch.
Four of the friends are chasing the spirit of the fifth friend, Pip, after they discover that he might be on his death bed with appendicitis.
They follow him to a huge old mansion and meet Moundshroud who has an ulterior motive to help the four friends find Pip. Moundshroud wants to capture his spirit in one of the pumpkins on his pumpkin tree.
Pip's spirit has stolen the pumpkin and escaped to the past, four thousand Halloweens past.
Moundshroud asks them why they are dressed the way they are dressed. They can't answer and so he initiates the chase for Pip and telling them they need to visit the old country to find out why they dress as skeletons, mummies, monsters, and witches.
The adventure begins as they fly through the air.
They land in Egypt and see the spirits trying to get into the houses on the feast of ghosts. They end up in a pyramid as the natives begin to mummify Pip. Ralph, dressed as the mummy has to save Pip.
Pip is saved but flies away again.
This time they land in England, in the dark ages, in the middle of a broom festival. They then get a lesson on why the witches were called witches. The were smart, had their 'wits' about them.
So Jenny, dressed as the witch, saves Pip this time. She does and he flies away again.
This time they are off to the French Quarry to build Notre Dame. Of course the Cathedral is missing the Gargoyles which have to be called by Wally, dressed as the monster. Pip is trapped in one of the statues and only Wally can save him.
Pip is freed from the statue and flies away. This time to Mexico on the Day of the Dead.
They see the celebrations going on but end up following Pip into the catacombs where the skeletons are. Tom, dressed as the skeleton faces his fear for Pip saying, "If we face death eyeball to eyeball, it loses it's power over us".
Pip is saved, however Moundshroud finally scoops in to capture Pip's spirit in his pumpkin.
The four friends had spent the evening pouring out their hearts to Pip. About how much they need him and how supportive he is of all of them.
So now they fear the worst for Pip. Moundshroud has his spirit captured. One at a time, they negotiate a year off the end of each of their lives to save Pip's life.
Moundshroud is touched by this, and it is enough to send them all flying home.
They arrive near Pip's house and go to see him. Pip is alive and recovering from his appendicitis. Pip being the true friend to them is appreciative of all of their sacrifices. They all wonder how he knew and he says he had some really great dreams while he was at the hospital.
Don't you love it?