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November 19

November 19, 1932 – The Silly Symphony Babes in the Woods is Released to Theaters

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“Once upon a time a story was told about fairies and goblins and witches who are bold…”

On November 19, 1932, the Silly Symphony Babes in the Woods was released to theaters. It was based on the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel. The short was directed by Burt Gillett.

The short begins with two children wander into the woods on a summer’s day, and are terrified by the strange sights they see. As they hurry along, they hear a strange noise, and look through the trees to find where the elves live. The children are welcomes with open arms, and the elves begin to play a merry song and dance around the children. Just as the celebration begins, the shadow of the Witch circles overhead, and the elves try to hide the children in their home. However, the witch offers the children a ride on her broom, and they accept without knowing the danger. They head to her candy house and start eating as much as they can, but once she gets them inside, she traps them in with the other children she had turned into lizards and bats. The two get caught in a spider web, and she turns the boy into a spider before she chains him up. She prepares to change the girl into rat when an arrow knocks the bottle of potion out of her hand. As the witch goes to see who fired the arrow, she traps the girl in a compartment under the floor. The elves trick the witch into leaving the house, and the boy saves the girl from the compartment, knocking over a bottle and turning back into a boy in the process. While the witch is occupied, the children go around turning all the other creatures back into children, and they all flee the house, pulling out her cauldron with them. The witch is pulled from her broom and lands in her cauldron, which was filled with a potion to turn things to stone. In the end, this story explains the origins of the mysterious Old Witch Rock in the woods.

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