Witch Hazel is a fictional character appearing in Disney-related media. She first appeared in the 1952 Donald Duck cartoon Trick or Treat, where she helps Huey, Dewey, and Louie get candy from Donald.
Witch Hazel is a kind, eccentric, and cunning witch. She is mischievous and compassionate as she wants to help Huey, Dewey, and Louie when they received a rather mean trick instead of candy from Donald and sought to help the boys, especially when she first tried asking for candy and got the same trick played on her.
Hazel is willing to use any spell she has to teach someone as stingy as Donald a lesson and will even hurt them somewhat to make sure she gets her point across. She loves Halloween and its traditions, having true Halloween Spirit, if not embodying it.
Powers and abilities
Hazel is a witch and has power over witchcraft and black magic, mostly enchanting things to come alive, move in accordance of her will or even have a life of their own.
Hazel accomplishes this with a witch's brew she makes in a cauldron of swamp water, the ingredients including (but not limited to) "eye of needle, tongue of shoe, hand of clock that points at two, neck of bottle, tail of coat, and whiskers from a billy goat."
Hazel uses a sprayer that contains her potion to enchant and animate what she wants, sometimes accompanying the spraying with a spell to describe exactly what actions she wants her enchanted subjects to perform. Example: "Hocus pocus, magic shower, put his feet within my power." (Hazel used this spell to take control of Donald's legs and feet.)
The Carl Barks comic adaptation of the short has her brew also utilized to concoct a shapeshifting spell, which she uses to try and seduce Donald in the form of a beautiful duck to get candy, as well as summon a pet ogre named Smorgasbord or "Smorgie", whose multiple stretching limbs come into play to try and steal the candy.
Witch Hazel first appears riding her living broomstick, Beelzebub, as she gets into the spirit of Halloween, scaring bats and a black cat. She then sees Huey, Dewey, and Louie, each dressed up for Halloween as they go out Trick-or-treating. When the triplets are given a mean trick rather than a treat from their Uncle Donald, she takes pity on them and tells the boys that she saw the entire thing. When the boys express their joy at seeing a real witch, she is happy and decides to help them.
Hazel initially tries to ask for candy from Donald herself, but thinking that she was just another kid dressed in a costume, he gives her a trick as well, enraging her. With the kids' help, she brews a magic potion that has the power to animate whatever she wants to move and act according to her will. She starts off with a demonstration by animating wooden posts into ghosts and a jack-o-lantern to scare Donald. Stubbornly, Donald locks up his treats in his pantry and swallows the key. Undeterred, Hazel uses her potion and a spell to enchant Donald's feet and make him dance and hurt himself at the same time until finally forcing him to ram the pantry door down, enabling Donald's nephews to get his treats.
Duty done and with Halloween almost over, Hazel fondly bids Huey, Dewey, and Louie farewell as she rides Beelzebub off into the moonlight.
Witch Hazel appears as the one who casts a spell on the pulp fiction books of Donald to play a trick on him. This sequence serves as an introduction, as well as an explanation, for the events of the preexisting cartoon Duck Pimples.
Witch Hazel makes a brief cameo appearance during the final scene of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, seen from the back amongst the crowd of Toons.
She appears in the background among the various villains in the special Mickey's House of Villains. Her debuted short cartoon was also featured at the start of the film.
After few stories with Donald in 1950 (Il dottor Paperus, parody of Goethe's Faust) and 1952 (Paperino e l'aspirapolvere fatato), Hazel has become a very popular character In Italy - where the character is known as Nocciola (full name Nocciola Vildibranda Crapomena, born in The Witch Country in 817BCE) - thanks to the cartoonist Luciano Bottaro and the writer Carlo Chiedi.
Starting from the 1960 Bottaro-Chiedi's story Pippo e la fattucchiera (Goofy and the sorceress), Italian comic authors have developed Hazel as a sorceress sending from the Witch Country to restore the faith in magic among the normal people, especially Goofy! Unfortunately for the witch, Goofy absolutely refuses to recognize that magic is real, believing instead that real magic is the same as regular trick magic, and that those claiming to be magicians (including Hazel) are crazy. This leads to several amusing adventures where Hazel uses every spell in the book to try to convince Goofy of the existence of "real" magic, despite continued failure.
Hazel's Italian cycle of stories has ended in 2005 with Pippo e la corona delle streghe (Goofy and the Witches Crown, written and illustrated by Bottaro), where Goofy finally signed a declaration where he recognizes Hazel as a witch. But after Hazel's departure, he shows his true feeling saying "At the last, small actions make the people happy... Like the lovely old Hazel, who thinks to be a witch".
- During the mid-1950s, Chuck Jones created a similarly-named witch character for Looney Tunes at Warner Bros., who first debuted in the Bugs Bunny cartoon Bewitched Bunny. Unlike Disney's version of the Witch Hazel character which is a good witch, the Looney Tunes version of Witch Hazel is a more villainous witch. This character was also voiced by June Foray (although in her debut cartoon Bea Benaderet voiced the character due to June Foray's unavailability at the time).
- A bird character also named Witch Hazel voiced by Selma Blair appears in the DuckTales (2017) episode "The Trickening!". In this depiction, she is one of several classic monsters who inhabit a haunted house.