Witch's Night Out is a Halloween-themed Canadian animated television special. It first aired on NBC in the United States on October 27, 1978. It was written by John Leach and Isobel Jean Rankin and directed by John Leach. It features the voice talents of Catherine O'Hara as Malicious and Gilda Radner as the titular witch. It is a sequel to the 1974 animated TV special The Gift of Winter.
The special's title character is a witch who enjoys frightening people. She is, however, not truly wicked and does not intend to do any real harm. On Halloween night, she hears two children make a wish to be changed into scary creatures. She uses her wand to transform the children and their babysitter for the evening. The three soon find out that being frightening is not much fun after all and what to be changed back. The witch then finds that she has lost her wand.
Witch's Night Out was released on VHS in 1986. It is included in a DVD of Halloween-themed cartoons which was released by Mill Creek Entertainment on September 16, 2014.
On the morning of the last day of October, a boy named Small and his sister Tender are excitedly running around, wearing masks. They say that nobody will recognize them when they wear their masks that evening, that they frighten everybody and that they love Halloween. A man named Rotten and a woman named Malicious appear. They say that they hate Halloween and dismiss it as being just for children. A man named Goodly and a woman named Nicely disagree with them. They agree that wearing costumes at Halloween is just for children but believe that the holiday can be celebrated by adults too. Goodly, Nicely, Malicious and Rotten decide to organize a Halloween party for all of the town's adults. Nicely suggests making the party's venue look like a haunted house. Goodly suggests holding the party in the abandoned house on the edge of town that is rumored to genuinely be haunted. He and Rotten go to inspect the building.
Unknown to Goodly and Nicely, the house is not abandoned but is the home of a witch and her fluffy white cat. The witch is unhappy. Her magic powers were once highly in demand, she says that she used to be asked to change princes into frogs several times a day, but it has been a long time since anyone requested her services. Goodly and Rotten enter her house. She overhears them planning the party. She is delighted that people will be coming to her house. She plans to scare them by doing things such as changing the party food into lizards and spiders.
Small and Tender go out trick-or-treating. They are disappointed that, although they wear masks, everybody recognizes them and nobody is frightened by them. The two children return home. Their parents are at the town Halloween party so a young man named Bazooey babysits for them. He offers to read them a scary Halloween story but they say they have had enough of Halloween and want to hear a story about a fairy godmother instead. At the end of the story, Small and Tender say that they wish they had a fairy godmother who could magically make them frighten people on Halloween. Small wishes that he could be a real werewolf and Tender wishes that she could be a real ghost.
The witch is about to frighten all the guests at the Halloween party when she hears Small and Tender's wishes from the other side of town. She flies over to their house. She waves her magic wand and grants the children's wishes by changing them into a werewolf and a ghost. Bazooey protests but the witch shows him that she can easily change the children back again with another wave of her wand. She asks Bazooey what he would like to be for Halloween. He says that he would like to be Frankenstein's monster. The witch waves her wand and makes his wish come true. The witch takes Small, Tender and Bazooey back to her house to frighten the party guests.
At the witch's house, all of the guests quickly run away in terror at the sight of the frightening creatures. They trample over the witch in their rush to leave the house. Bazooey, Small and Tender are disappointed that the party has ended so soon and decide that they do not want to be scary any more. The witch agrees to change them back but finds that one of the party guests has taken her wand. She, Small, Tender and Bazooey go out to look for it.
The townspeople begin to feel ashamed of themselves for having run away from the monsters. Nicely suggests rehabilitating the monsters so that they can reenter society. Goodly misunderstands her and calls on the townspeople to attack the monsters. The witch, Small, Tender and Bazooey are spotted by the angry mob. The four head to the hills above the town for safety.
Rotten discovers that he has the magic wand. He and Malicious try, without success, to conjure up large amounts of money. From the hills above town, the witch can see the light coming from her wand. She, Small, Tender and Bazooey go to recover it. Rotten and Malicious call out to the mob that they have found the monsters. The witch briefly changes Rotten and Malicious into monsters which are captured by the mob instead.
The witch reveals that the two monsters are really Rotten and Malicious and that the werewolf, ghost and Frankenstein's monster are Small, Tender and Bazooey. She tells the townspeople that Halloween night is a special night when everybody can be whatever they want to be. She shows that she can use her magical powers to transform everyone for the night. Nicely says that she wants to be a vampire. Goodly says that he wants to be Attila the Hun. Malicious says that she wants to be a fairy princess. Rotten says that he wants to be "the answer to a mother's prayer" and is changed into a priest. All of the magically transformed people go back to the witch's house to continue the Halloween party.