As Halloween is just around the corner (Boo!); Disney has released an interesting look at how an animated short helped evolve American culture to cherish the once overlooked holiday:

Quote Originally Posted by Disney Parks & Resorts

Halloween is a relatively recent development in the American experience overall.

“Trick or Treat” observances of Halloween had actually carried into the United States from immigrant cultures during the 18th and 19th centuries, according to Halloween history authority Lesley Bannatyne. The key element in early Halloweens was mischief—elaborate and often destructive practical jokes were common—which educational and community leaders attempted to curtail in the early part of the 20th century.

The development of current Halloween observances actually shares a cultural timeline with Disneyland itself. Bannatyne observes, “The effort to restrain and recast the holiday continued after World War II, as adults moved Halloween celebrations indoors and away from destructive tricks, and gave the holiday over to younger and younger children.

“The first magazine articles detailing ‘trick or treat’ in the United States appeared in The American Home in the late 1930s. Radio programs…and TV shows aimed at families…put the idea of trick-or-treating in front of a national audience. The 1952 Donald Duck cartoon Trick or Treat reached millions via movie screens and TV.”

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This popular appetite for a renewed fashion of Halloween celebration was immediately observed by the commercial world. Bannatyne says, “…food companies…quickly took notice and got into the candy business…Halloween candy and costume profits hit $300 million in 1965 and kept rising. Trick-or-treating—child-oriented and ideal for the emerging suburbs that housed a generation of Baby Boomers—became synonymous with Halloween.”