Clouds scud in off the Pacific to add another shroud to the darkness already covering the Lower Mainland. The costumed kids have all gone home to nestle amid their hordes of candy and dream sugar overdrive dreams of how much more they’ll eat tomorrow and what they’ll dress as next year, but there’s one last treat to be given out this Hallowe’en night, friends. Not too long ago, I was poking about on Youtube searching for whatever old shows crossed my mind, when I stumbled upon a find I had always hoped for but never really expected to discover: “The Halloween Tree”. I was already in university when this holiday special first hit the air in ’93, but I was immediately drawn to it like a kid to a jack o’lantern-lit house and though it hasn’t been aired in years (thanks to whoever out there managed to tape it during one of its showings and upload it!), it’s still one of my favourites. The show benefits from Ray Bradbury himself doing the narration; not only does he put a lot of feeling into it (you’d expect that from the guy who wrote the story), but he’s also got that great wise-old-Mr.-Owl-type voice that’s perfect for telling a tale like this. Kudos as well to Leonard Nimoy for his delightfully malevolently creaky voice as Mr. Moundshroud. And though slightly different than Bradbury’s original book of the same name, the best part about this animated special is that it captures all of the magic and wonder I felt as a child on Hallowe’en. In fact I still feel that way today during the season. In Bradbury’s words: “… the greatest night of the year. Better than Easter. Better than Christmas. Halloween.”
And so, for your enjoyment, trick-or-treaters, here is “The Halloween Tree”.