Before I review this fantastic movie I want to point out my opinion on it's rating. Even though the official video release did not contain an actual rating, the fact that it was displayed countless times on Cartoon Network (and still is today) suggests the creators believed it was appropriate to be viewed by young children. I do not agree with their decision but I will not argue and start bad mouthing them or the movie because I found it incredibly fascinating.
The very first time I watched The Halloween Tree I was fairly young myself and can honestly say I was somewhat disturbed by the harsh reality featured on screen. Although some would argue it's a good lesson to be learnt by watching this movie, I never found it too exciting to be learning about such things at that point in time. However, the fact that I enjoyed watching it so much suggests I could never degrade it for anything as it's one of my favourite movies to watch on Halloween night with or without company. I used to constantly check the tv guide to see what day and time it was airing so that I wouldn't miss a second of it, I loved it that much. Still, my love of this movie stands tall and strong as it's one of those that you watch and never ever forget. Something about it captures your heart and you're completely captivated by everything that's going on, you can barely pull your eyes away from the screen.
A general summary of this movie would read as follows; It was routine that on every Halloween five best friends would get together, dress up in their favourite costumes and go trick or treating. However, after putting on their outfits and meeting up at the usual place, only four of them were present. Believing it to be nothing but a sly trick as the missing friend would never miss his favourite holiday, they head over to his house on the edge of town. Stricken by the sight of an ambulance outside their friends house, they cause a fuss and learn that he must have an operation to remove his appendix otherwise he would not survive. Panicking and feeling utterly distraught, they refuse to go on with their Halloween rituals until their friend tells them to go on without him and that he would be alright. As they proceed to go trick or treating without their dear friend by their side, they come across and old mansion that looks incredibly frightening and takes them long enough to knock on the door. The four friends then encounter an equally as old and scary looking man wearing a vampires cape and what they think is a goblins nose. From this point on, the strange man leads the children through a vast amount of decades and cultures so that they may explore and find out the true meaning of Halloween and why we celebrate it today. On this journey they wind up finding the soul of their beloved friend and chase him through every time and culture they visit, trying to rescue him and bring him back to the world of the living.