Witch's Night Out

Witch's Night Out
Genre Animated Halloween special
Written by John Leach
Isobel Jean Rankin
Directed by John Leach
Starring Gilda Radner
Bob Church
John Leach
Naomi Leach
Tony Molesworth
Catherine O'Hara
Fiona Reid
Gerry Salsberg
Theme music composer Peter Rochon
Country of origin Canada
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) John Leach
Editor(s) Sharon Lackie
Production company(s) Leach/Rankin Productions
Original network CBC Television
Original release October 27, 1978
Followed by www.witchsnightout.com

Witch's Night Out is a Canadian animated television Halloween special that premiered on NBC October 27, 1978. Produced in a Toronto studio, it was the sequel to the 1974 special The Gift of Winter with the vocal talents from Dan Aykroyd and Valri Bromfield. It featured the voices of Fiona Reid as Nicely and Catherine O'Hara as Malicious, with Gilda Radner as the titular witch.

Like the earlier special, Witch's Night Out was produced by Jonathan Rogers (formerly known as John Leach) and Jean Rankin for NBC. It later aired on Fox and the Disney Channel every year from 1983 to the late 1990s. This cartoon film was released on videotape August 5, 1986 by Family Home Entertainment and PPI Entertainment in the late 90's.

The film was resurrected once again by the original creator Jonathan Rogers and Animation Director Jimmy Cross and together with a new remastered film they formed Cross/Rogers and released it to Mill Creek Entertainment and This TV Network and in 2016 it's on HULU and Shout TV.

Mill Creek Entertainment released this cartoon along with ten more classic Halloween-themed cartoons on DVD September 16, 2014. The Gift of Winter had its DVD release a month later from that same company.


Jim Dooley, a composer and songwriter who works regularly in TV, has acquired the musical theater rights to “Witch’s Night Out,” a 1978 animated special that starred the voices of Gilda Radner and Catherine O’Hara.

Dooley’s Queens and Kings Inc. aims to develop the property into an Off Broadway-scale family musical with a Halloween theme. He’ll work with director Rye Mullis, the director of three editions of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, to develop the show.

The Canadian animated special “Witch’s Night Out” centers on two kids who enlist the help of a witch, played by Radner, to achieve some truly monstrous Halloween costumes, and follows the chaos that ensues when the witch accidentally loses her magic wand. Produced by Jonathan Rogers with partner Jean Rankin and originally airing on NBC, the special ran annually on the Disney Channel and Fox between 1983 and 1993, and last year was released as part of Mill Creek Entertainment’s Halloween DVD collection with Cross/Rogers Jimmy Cross and Jonathan Rogers.

Dooley currently composes the score for TNT drama “The Last Ship,” and has worked in the past on shows including “Pushing Daisies.” He also wrote the music for the Oscar-nominated short “Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare.”

No timeline for the stage version of “Witch’s Night Out” has yet been set.


The Story takes place in ANYTOWN. The plot involves a depressed witch who is 'summoned' by a pair of children, named Small and Tender, who are upset at not being able to scare anyone on Halloween. The witch turns them into a werewolf and ghost (previously their Halloween costumes), and their babysitter Bazooey into a Frankenstein's monster. The witch then takes them to the Halloween party-in-progress at her isolated mansion on the edge of town. However, the citizens of the town get offended at the thought of real monsters in their town, and form a mob, under the leadership of the straight-laced 'Goodly'. The witch loses her magic wand, which gets attached to a woman named Malicious, and is unable to turn Bazooey and the kids back to humans. The group of supernatural beings is chased through the town and forest by the mob, eventually losing them. Malicious and her partner, Rotten, misuse the wand's powers, which causes a lot of damage to the town, but also summons the witch and the kids to their location. Regaining her wand, the witch uses its power to turn Malicious and Rotten into monsters, while turning the Frankenstein, ghost and werewolf back into Bazooey, Tender and Small. Eventually, the witch uses her powers to restore everything to normal, showing the town that she isn't evil. The town quickly accepts the witch, and she starts turning people into what they want to be for Halloween.

A disco song entitled "Witch Magic" was sung in this film.

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