Halloween has always been my favorite time of year. Halloweentown was definitely a movie that I looked forward to watching every year growing up. October would come around and I would wait for the announcement to come on when Halloweentown was going to be playing. Now we are blessed with Disney Plus and I can watch the movie whenever I want to. After so many years, does Halloweentown hold up? Yeah. It’s pretty great.
Halloweentown stars Kimberly J. Brown as Marnie, a teenager who has always sensed that she was meant for something more. When she and her two siblings decide to sneak away and follow their grandmother home, they get transported to Halloweentown. A place where it is Halloween all the time. All different kinds of monsters exist and live amongst each other happily.
Marnie discovers she is a descendant of a long line of witches. When a great evil threatens the citizens of Halloweentown, Marnie and her family must band together to stop it.
What this movie does best is capture the spirit of Halloween for sure and in creative ways. Being able to see all types of creatures and monsters throughout the movie is a treat. You have a werewolf who is a barber. A vampire who is a dentist. A ghost who is into physical fitness and a yeti who just so happens to own and operates an ice cream shop. The movie is full of background characters to look out for and it makes for a fun viewing experience.
My only true complaint is that even though there are so many creative-looking characters, I do wish the setting itself was more interesting. I do understand that the citizens of Halloweentown are supposed to live more normal lives but the disadvantage with that is all the buildings and places we see look kind of boring. It would have been cool to see more colorful quirky sets. I get that this is a television film and that the budget is limited though.
There is a big theme here of trust and embracing who you are. Marnie and her mother are at each other’s throats for the majority of the movie. Marnie’s mom has hidden the truth about the family’s powers in order to protect them from whoever might try to steal them. Over time they have to be able to trust each other and work together. Embracing and not running away from who you really are is a good message to take with you.
What separates this movie from some other family films is that on top of our fun plot and creative characters, our main characters are written pretty well.
Marnie is a great lead. She is fun, energetic, and enthusiastic about learning where she comes from. Her brother Dylan and her sister Sophie are great kid characters.
Dylan is the skeptic of the group. Always with a joke about how this all can’t be happening. It is a nice balance from Marnie. He is the voice of reason. Sophie is the youngest sibling. She is full of wonder and hope. There is a recurring gag where the siblings try to make something work by using magic and things only seem to work when Sophie tries. She is possibly the strongest witch out of all of them. It’s nice to see the writers took the time to not only make creative creatures but also make the main characters interesting.
The standout of the movie is 100 percent Grandma Agatha who is played by the iconic Debbie Reynolds. She chews up every scene she is in. She is warm, inviting, and charming. She also comes off as someone you wouldn’t want to cross in a battle. You can definitely tell she had a lot of fun in this role.
Halloeweentown is a lively entertaining movie that still holds up today. The characters are unique. The score and costumes are great. The writing is clever and the acting is good, Halfway through watching, I realized there was a huge smile across my face. I realized this was because of how positively infectious the movie is. It is just a damn good time. This is a feel-good family film as well as a great starter film for kids who are looking to get into horror. Definitely grab your broom and fly on over to pay a visit to Halloweentown when you have the chance.