Friday, August 22, 2014

The Halloween Tree

Today is Ray Bradbury's birthday, so here is a little insight into one of my favorite projects from one of my favorite authors.

In 1972, author Ray Bradbury wrote a book called The Halloween Tree. The story revolves around a group of friends who go on a journey to save their friend and end up learning about the history of Halloween along the way. The concept is ingenious and, as a result, it is still very popular amongst fans of Bradbury and lovers of Halloween.

The Halloween Tree was originally a screenplay that Bradbury was working on with famous animator, Chuck Jones. This version never came to pass, unfortunately. However, twenty odd years later, Hanna-Barbera teamed up with Bradbury for an adaptation of his story. Bradbury wrote and narrated this TV special that aired in October 1993. Slightly changing the story, the special won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing. That's not at all surprising.

Over the next couple of years, the special was released on VHS several times then disappeared. Yet, it was not released on DVD until 2012, the same year that Bradbury passed away. While the timing is certainly unfortunate, it was a nice tribute to finally have it released. The special is also available digitally on Amazon.

In 2005, a very special  version of The Halloween Tree was released with Bradbury's preferred version of the story and including the manuscript for the original Chuck Jones incarnation and the Hanna-Barbera script. This version is signed and limited and fetches over $100 per copy.

I, for one, am glad that The Halloween Tree lives on to this day in various fashions. This Halloween give it a read or watch the special. Because if you're looking for something to instantly jump start your Halloween season, it's this.

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