Positive Films & TV

Positive Films & TV

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Halloween Tree

The Halloween Tree is a 1993 made-for-TV movie based on a 1972 novel. I thought I would write about it since we are in the Halloween season, and finding non-horror, non-gross, non-scary, non-upsetting Halloween stuff is actually rather difficult.

The movie is basically about 4 friends on a magical quest to learn about the origins of Halloween, and common themes seen in the celebration of it. The origin of the mummy is explored by visiting ancient Egypt. The origin of the witch is explored by visiting ancient druids and seeing Celtic practices and traditions. The origin of the monster is explored by visiting Notre Dame as it is being built, and the concepts of gargoyles, demons and evil spirits. And, finally, the origin of the skeleton as a symbol is explored by visiting Mexico's Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

The movie is a fantasy romp which (in typical children's movies fashion) is done as if by magic, but at the end we are given the impression that it was all a dream, or just the kids imaginations as they listened to the teachings of Mr. Moundshroud (the antagonist/teacher in the story).

Parents should note, there IS a somewhat dark theme in the movie in that one of the friends of the 4 children is sick and the kids fear he may die (he doesn't). The subject of death and dying is a central theme in the movie, but it isn't focused on in a way that young children should really be upset. Older children may ask pointed questions, though.

On the whole, I like the movie and find it light enough to watch without being depressed (which is tough to do with a Halloween movie!). It comes off as something they might show in school during a slow day, more like an educational video with a bit of fantasy thrown in to try to make the educational aspect hidden.  If you are looking for a family-friendly cartoon to watch for Halloween, you could do worse than The Halloween Tree.

No comments:

Post a Comment