Trick or Treat is a 1952 American 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.
It introduced the song “Trick or Treat for Halloween” which was written by Mack David, Al Hoffman, and Jerry Livingston and performed by The Mellowmen.
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 decides to prank the boys (giving them a “trick” instead of a treat).
So instead of giving them candy, he intentionally puts firecrackers in their bags, then pulls a string that dumps a bucket of water on their heads. After Donald bids farewell to the boys, the discouraged nephews go and sit on the curb.
But Hazel, who was watching the drama unfold, approaches the boys and tries to encourage them. When she discovers that they believe in witches, she offers to help them get their treats from Donald after all…
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.
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. He made up some 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 had to create an additional story called “Hobblin’ Gobblins.”
Disneyland Records also produced an audio adaptation that was narrated by Ginny Tyler who also voices Witch Hazel. This version was twelve minutes long and also included a song and story from the Haunted Mansion Disneyland attraction.