Release Date : October 10, 1952
Running Time : 8:14
"I did Witch Hazel as a short at Disney. She was a very funny character
that I created the voice for. And Chuck Jones loved it so much that he called
me over to Warner Bros. to do her again. I went over there and they said,
'You're going to do Witch Hazel.' And I thought, how in hell are they doing
to do that? Disney owns it, and they're so litigious. But we did it. Chuck
just went ahead and did it! So I asked him, just a couple years ago, 'How
the heck did you ever do that and get away with it, taking a character out
from under Disney's nose?' And he said, 'Because it was an alcohol rub!
He didn't own the name!' So Disney couldn't capitalize on that, or stop
Chuck because it was already a copyrighted name."
The two characters are quite different, however. Consider switching the
two roles and think how things might have changed. The "Disney Hazel" would
probably have wanted to help Hansel and Gretel (in "Bewitched Bunny") while
the "Warners Hazel" would have been overjoyed at the thought of preparing
(Note : I have received a report of a third "Witch Hazel" character who
shows up in a "Tom and Jerry" short, but I've yet to be able to verify this
In this cartoon, Tom is told off by the mistress of the house for making
a mess. Tom reads an advert in the paper advertising for a Witches cat.
He has the fright of the life riding along with her on her broom, but when
said broom is left unsupervised, he decides to take it for a spin. Tom comes
back to angry Witch who bangs Tom up and down who is clinging to her broom,
it turns out Tom's dreaming and it's the mistress trying to wake up Tom
and get him off her broom. Tom has a little fun by mimicking the actions
he did on the witch's broom to get it going in the dream on a real broom,
and low and behold, it takes him to the moon!
There are no vocal credits (like all H-B TaJ shorts) despite there being
tow speaking female characters. Also the Witch is not called by name, so
she may or may not be called Hazel. Maybe her name is on a letter box or
in the advert Tom reads in the paper. CN don't air this cartoon very often
(which is strange since this one doesn't have Mammy, the black maid in it),
but when I next see it I keep an eye out for anything with the word "Hazel"
Carl Barks also did a Dell comic--Donald Duck number 28--on this cartoon.
It has the distinction of being one of the most censored comicbook stories.
He added a crazy looking one-eyed creature which the editors thought to
be too scary for little kids. They removed all the panels featuring this
Also, little Golden Books released a book called Donald Duck and the
Witch. Witch Hazel was also featured, but the story was different. The nephews
thought they saw a witch, but Donald said they were seeing things. The nephews
find Witch Hazel, and she pulls some pranks on Donald to get him to believe
in witches. At the end of the story, Donald, the nephews, and Witch Hazel
all sit down to enjoy a fall harvest feast. The book has some very beautiful
It's directed by legendary Disney Animator Jack Hannah (not to be confused
with the animal guy that you always see on talk shows).
It features a song throughout the film sung by Elvis back-up singers
"The Mellomen," who you'll recognize from their many contributions to Disneyland/Disneyworld
attraction songs (including the Haunted Mansion), not to mention the popular
"Ballad of Davey Crockett."
Witch Hazel, the strangely hillbilly witch character, is voiced by June
Foray (who provided the voice of Natasha Fatale and Rocket J. Squirrel on
the Rocky and Bullwinkle show. The character of Witch Hazel would pop up
in Warner Bros. cartoons also voiced by Foray - no relation.
The background art on this short is really simple, but SO surreal. Kind
of like the "Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" backgrounds. I think my childhood
memories of Halloween were pretty much shaped by the tone of this short.
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