The Witch Who Turned Pink (1989)

This obscurity has been identified thanks to user comments on the post about Long Lost Specials. Details on it are hard to find - it's not even listed at the IMDB. Most sites list it as being from 1991, though the credits say 1989. Watching it now, you can see why it faded into obscurity. The animation here is a notch about that of The Great Bear Scare, but just a notch. The script has its moments, but not very many of them. However, I'm surprised it didn't simply achieve cult status as "the one where the witch farts to get her broom off the ground."


I didn't see this one in 1989 - I don't think I would have wanted to sit through it. I was 11 that year, and this special was probably intended for pre-schoolers. It has that sort of vibe about it, owing parly to the keyboard and xylophone score. The Owl Narrator dominates the story and gives it a sort of "Reading Rainbow" feel.

The story concerns Jennifer, a green witch who was especially known for her green thumb - "her garden made her the most famous witch in all of witchdom." But the local pumpkins, who are a regular bunch of Goodfellas, don't like anything green (they sing a doo-wop song about it that occasionally morphs into a rap, for some reason - I guess that by 1991 you didn't see many street gangs singing doo wop on street corners - we as a nation were poorer for it). The pumpkins hatch a plot to turn poor Jennifer pink, and do just that. Jennifer is horrified to look "like a big piece of bubblegum" and flies off for help.

I should probably note that when she takes off on her broom, she does so by hitting a food pedal, like on a motorcycle. But it looks (and sounds) for all the world like world like she's launching the thing by farting really hard. (Scroll to the 4:15 mark in the second youtube clip if ya don't believe me). Had I seen this as a kid, that's probably what I'd remember the most. I can imagine them wheeling the TV into my kindergarten class to show us this one if we were good, like they did with Reading Rainbow, and we would have all grown up believing that witches get their brooms off the ground by cutting the cheese.


She goes to see Sherman the Shaman, who talks like Miracle Max from The Princess Bride and sort of looks like a grown-up, gray haired version of those things Professor Coldheart turned kids into in The Care Bears and the Land Without Feelings. He helps liven up the special, but can't help Jennifer.

The owl informs that the local witches that, since the moon is made of green cheese, she can turn green again by flying past the moon. It works. And that's the story. I gotta admit, the ending really did take me by surprise - I was SURE there was going to be a lesson about how it's okay to be pink in there someplace.


The Witch Who Turned Pink was clearly made on a very, very low budget - you can see where they cut corners all over the place. The script could have been a lot snappier, but it also could have been a whole lot worse (I especially like the mathematical formula that includes "Pumpkin Pi R Squared"). You can make cartoons for pre-schoolers and still be very funny - see The Pumpkin Who Couldn't Smile, for instance. This isn't nearly so funny or creative as that one, but I imagine younger kids probably enjoyed it. Especially the ones who've been wondering how to get a broom off the ground.


The VHS is long out of print, but a "filmed-off-the-tv-screen" version is now on youtube:

13 comments:

judy said...

There are so many things about Halloween which I didnt know! Check how much you know!!

GaryBoz said...

When you mentioned the rapping pumpkins, I remembered seeing this one a long time ago. I gotta admit it was painful to watch this time. Good find though!

Mike said...

This is probably one of my favorite Halloween movies. We have it on a VHS with a bunch of other Halloween shows recorded back in the early 90's. We have watched that tape every Halloween since then. Actually the first bit of it is clipped on out copy so I was thrilled to find it on Youtube and actually be able to see those first two minutes of "missing footage". The Pumkin Song is Awesome! It isn't really Halloween without the Witch Who Turned Pink. I might just go watch it right now to get into the holiday spirit.

StevenMcflyjr said...

I forgot all about this one. I have this if anyone would like to get it, just get ahold of me or ask John to!

TaraLittle said...

PLEASE if anyone has this, please post it somewhere...this was oneof my favorites as a kid and the only place i have been able to find this movie is on amazon.com and who ever is selling it wants $1,000 for it :( and the youtube links dont work anymore

STEVE said...

PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAASE post this on youtube!!!!!!!!!

Kersten said...

WHY aren't the clips up anymore ? :(

C-Man said...

GO JENNY!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I would like to apologize. About 3-4 years ago, I uploaded 3 videos of "The Witch Who Turned Pink." I deleted them shortly after for no reason, and then saw that this website was advertizing it. Because I deleted the source, your website is not as successful. I reloaded it onto my channel and would like to share it with you. Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I would like to apologize. About 3-4 years ago, I uploaded 3 videos of "The Witch Who Turned Pink." I deleted them shortly after for no reason, and then saw that this website was advertizing it. Because I deleted the source, your website is not as successful. I reloaded it onto my channel and would like to share it with you. Best of luck!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EeMHHN1doY

Adam Selzer said...

Thanks, anon!

Kimberly Herold said...

Noooo, the new link doesn't work! I once recorded the Pumpkin song from this special on a cassette tape over and over again (on both sides) from taping the song off the television. Never knew what this special was until now, but I remember the song in minute detail!!!

Garyboz said...

This on is growing on me lol.

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