Spooks and Magic is a live-action special hosting clips, some of them animated; the fourth episode of Season 1 of The Mouse Factory, it was written by Jack Hanrahan, Tom Dagenais and Ted Berman, and directed by Ward Kimball. The episode's host was Phyllis Diller, playing a fictionalized version of herself. Also featured were Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, several Pop-Up Ghosts, the Bicycle Banshees, Horace the Caretaker, the Lonesome Ghosts, the Black Prince, Medusa, Madam Mim, Merlin, Witch Hazel, Count Dracula, the Vultures, the Security Patrol, the Phantom Five, the See-Saw Ghosts, Snow White, Archimedes the Owl, King Arthur (in bird form), the Ballroom Dancers, Victor Geist and his Organ Banshees, the Over Four Hundred Club (including Julius Caesar), and, in their debuts, Witch Martha, Witch Goofy, Duckenstein, Mummy Diller, Daddy Diller, Uncle Harry and the Thing. The likeness of King Louie makes a cameo.
A kooky witch presents a tour of the Haunted Mansion, of which she is, at the moment, the official Ghost Host, to the point of having renamed it "Diller's Midnight Manor". After calling some termite exterminators who turn out to be Mickey, Donald and Goofy and are quickly run out of the house by the Lonesome Ghosts, Phyllis invites several other witches and monsters for a night of potion-brewing, crystal-ball-TV-watching and Duck-pranking…
- The witch Phyllis Diller is, at the moment, the Ghost Host of the Haunted Mansion, which she describes as "a retirement home for ghosts, witches, goblins and other death-of-the-party types".
- Diller gives the Mansion's Caretaker's name as "Clyde". She states that the Substitutiary Locomotion Army have become the Mansion's Security Patrol, and the Vultures its official pets; she quips that while the Patrol keeps an eye on the ground, the Vultures keep an eye on the Security Patrol.
- She identifies the ghosts at the dining table in the Mansion's Ballroom as the Over Four Hundred Club.
- Diller identifies Medusa as her aunt. She later shows movie reels of her mummy (also a literal undead mummy), daddy (a monstrous Quasimodo-style bellringer whom she therefore describes as "a real swinger") and Uncle Harry (a wolfman, described as a "lone wolf type"). She also identifies her "auntie Mim" as her favorite relative of them all and states that she inherited her hair from Mim's side of the family. All this would point towards Phyllis being extremely long-lived, which is consistent with her calling the Over Four Hundred Club “kids”.
- Diller claims that before flying broomsticks were devised, witches flew on enchanted shovels, but jokes that they abandoned this because while the take-off was okay, they "didn't dig the landings".
- Diller, as a witch, displays the ability to teleport. Her instrument of choice is a white Magic Wand, which she is seen trying to use to instantly transform people into toads. However, as it is malfunctioning, the wand instead transforms the people into other people.
- Witch hunts existed in the 18th century in England, with witch-hunters testing suspected witches through the logic-defying method of submerging them in water; if they drowned, they were innocent; if not, they were witches.
- Although Phyllis Diller claims that "every night is Halloween" at the Manor, it would appear that the film does indeed take place on Halloween, as Snow White is trick-or-treating. Furthermore, the cartoon engulfs Trick or Treat within its 1952, re-running it with a prologue sequence establishing that it is Diller who sent Witch Hazel to Duckburg. As such, the events of Spooks and Magic can definitively be dated to the 31st of October, 1952.
- The appearances of the Vultures from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and the Security Patrol from Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) are obtained through lifted footage from both films.
- After breaking a piece of furniture and blaming it on termites, Diller calls a team of exterminators who turn out to be Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. This kicks off what is in effect a rerun of Lonesome Ghosts (1937), but must be considered a separate, if similar, set of events in-universe, as Mickey, Donald and Goofy now arrive because Phyllis (as opposed to the Lonesome Ghosts) called them, and in the Haunted Mansion rather than the Old McShiver Mansion.
- Donaldo Furioso (1966) already showed Witch Hazel watching witch television using a crystal ball equipped with a TV antenna, akin to what Phyllis, Zeke Wolf, Brer Bear, Duckenstein and Count Dracula do in this episode. The concept of TV channels specific to ghosts and other creepy-crawlies was previously associated with the Haunted Mansion mythos in the comic story Coff-In! (1969).
- One of the programs they watch on the TV set in question is a "repeat of Madam Mim's famous duel with Merlin", with the footage in question coming from The Sword in the Stone (1963).
- In allusion to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), the first treat Phyllis Diller thinks to give to Snow White is "a shiny red apple". Having learned her lesson by now, Snow White politely declines, prompting Phyllis to try to transform her into a toad instead ("if you don't want a treat, here's a trick!").
Behind the scenes Edit
Spooks and Magic was broadcast in 1972. It has not, to date, been officially released on home media.