|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: