Friday, October 24, 2008
"The Halloween Tree" is based on a book written by the great science fiction and fantasy author, Ray Bradbury. He even narrates the film, using his own wonderfully descriptive phrasing. Leonard Nimoy is also featured as the voice of Mr.Moundshroud.
It is Halloween night, and four children are dressed and ready to trick or treat with their best friend, Pip. Tom is dressed as a skeleton, Jenny is dressed as a witch, Ralph is dressed as a mummy, and Wally is dressed as a monster. All are excited on this the most favorite of their holidays, Halloween. However, when they get to their meeting spot, Pip is not there. At first they think he is playing a trick on them, but when they get to his house they see an ambulance pull away and no Pip in sight.
Still half-believing it all has to be some sort of joke, the four call for their friend, and soon believe they see him running through the ravine. Following him, they come upon a large and spooky house, where they meet Mr. Moundshroud, a mysterious and frightening figure. As the sun fades and night falls, the large tree next to the house begins lighting up . . . with jack o'lanterns! Each one has a different face, and one looks exactly like Pip! Not only that, but it seems a ghostly Pip is reaching for the pumpkin. This upsets Mr. Moundshroud, who attempts to stop Pip, but to no avail, and soon both Pip and the pumpkin disappear. In order to follow Pip, the children all make a deal with Moundshroud to go with him and help him find Pip, still not understanding the connection Pip has with Moundshroud or what the importance of the pumpkin is. Along their adventures through Halloweens past, Moundshroud teaches them the meaning behind the holiday as well as the reason behind their costumes: skeleton, witch, mummy, and monster.
I give "The Halloween Tree" two paws up and a chirp, for being well-written, amusing, colorful, and for sharing the true meanings behind the Halloween season . . . meanings that are often overlooked. This is a definite must-see for beans and furries of every age.