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Mill Creek Entertainment Acquires Leach-Rankin Holiday Specials

Home entertainment giant to release animated family holiday specials ‘Witch’s Night Out’ and ‘The Gift of Winter,’ featuring the voice talents of Gilda Radner, Catherine O’Hara and Dan Aykroyd.

'Witch’s Night Out '

Home entertainment giant Mill Creek Entertainment has acquired the DVD rights to the animated TV specials Witch’s Night Out and The Gift of Winter. Produced by Toronto-based animation producer Leach-Rankin Productions, both movies feature the voice talent of Gilda Radner alongside Catherine O’Hara in Witch’s Night Out and Dan Aykroyd in The Gift of Winter.

Witch's Night Out was created by John Leach and Isobel Jean Rankin in 1978 as a follow-up to the 1974 Christmas TV special The Gift of Winter. Though originally made for Canadian TV, both holiday specials -- featuring many of the same characters as well as the same imaginative but simple character design and style -- were also broadcast in the United States.

Witch's Night Out explains the true meaning of Halloween and the joy of wearing costumes, while The Gift of Winter provides a delightful, imaginative explanation for the origin of snow.

A treat for the whole family to enjoy, Witch’s Night Out will be available in time for Halloween on September 16th. In addition to the movie, the newly transferred DVD will include the Witch’s Night Out comic book and ten additional Halloween cartoons for only $9.98 MSRP.

The Gift of Winter, a delightful story for the holiday season and Dan Aykroyd's first screen credit, will include the documentary The Making of The Gift of Winter and ten additional holiday cartoons. The Gift of Winter releases on October 21, 2014 for $9.98 MSRP.

Leach, now working under the name Jonathan Rogers, was the creative force behind the 1982 music video for George Clinton’s “Atomic Dog,” among many other notable projects including animated inserts for Sesame Street. He recently teamed with Los Angeles-based animator James Cross to form Cross/Rogers with the intent of developing new properties based on the characters from Witch’s Night Out and The Gift of Winter.

Learn more about Witch’s Night Out and The Gift of Winter at and

John Leach/Jonathan Rogers and Jean Rankin

Source: Cross/Rogers

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.