‘Halloweentown’ is built on longing for the call – The Daily Evergreen
The movie perfectly captures’ 90s Disney, the spirit of Halloween
“Halloweentown” by Duwayne Dunham, with Debbie Reynolds, Kimberly J. Brown and Judith Hoag, first premiered on Disney Channel in October 1998.
The film has been a staple of the Halloween season in households across the country for nearly two decades now. Having never been part of my own family’s seasonal collection, I decided to watch it for the first time this year at 19. years and see what I missed.
The film follows 13-year-old Marnie Piper, played by Brown, and her mother and grandmother, played by Hoag and Reynolds, respectively.
Marnie’s mother, Gwen, has always been overprotective of her and her siblings, especially when it comes to Halloween. On a particular Halloween party involving a visit from her grandmother Aggie, Marnie discovers that her mother has been so protective because their family is actually witches, and Gwen intended to keep this a secret. children so that they can live normal lives.
Marnie and her younger siblings, Dylan and Sophie, embark on an adventure in their mother and grandmother’s hometown, Halloweentown, where the witches and ghouls of the world live a suburban life. It’s full of magic, family ties and, of course, a lot of scary fun.
While I fully understand the appeal of such a movie and can appreciate it as a glorious holdover from Disney from the 1990s, watching “Halloweentown” for the first time at my age was disappointing to say the least.
In order to truly appreciate the cheesy lines and silly costumes at my age, you really have to walk into the movie with a special nostalgic affection for this Disney Channel era.
That being said, the movie is truly the epitome of that era, in the best possible way. It perfectly captures the awkwardness and whimsy of the Disney Channel Golden Age.
It also sums up everything that was so great about Halloween when you were a kid, without being too much cheesy about it – the costumes, the tricks and the fun.
While they might get lost in some references, “Halloweentown” would even make a great film for today’s young audiences. Besides being full of positive messages about family, heritage and community, the charm of classic Halloween gadgets is absolutely timeless.
However, for a modest college student like myself who doesn’t have that pre-existing affection for the Disney Channel classics and doesn’t have kids to instill a love for the spooky season, “Halloweentown” just didn’t hit the nail on the head. .
I’ll admit it, just because it wasn’t my cup of tea doesn’t mean I’m going to call it a flop – not even close. There is intrinsic value in films like “Halloweentown” that timelessly captures the holiday spirit while serving as living time capsules for very vivid and memorable periods in modern history.
Even though it’s a bit cheesy, the costumes are a bit silly, and the plot is a bit childish, it is quite clear why “Halloweentown” has stood the test of time. It’s a heartwarming classic with a lot of charm.
(Plus, Debbie Reynolds is an absolute delight.)
If you’re looking for a soft and light watch to kick off this Halloween, “Halloweentown” may very well be the movie for you, as long as you go there enjoying it as a true product of its time.