You know, I’m one of those people who really get into the Hallowe’eny spirit of things. It’s just one of my favourite times of year, and it never fails to make me smile. Yes, this includes loving those cheesy movies that get repeated every year at this time without fail. The Disney Channel is really good for doing this; repeating their seasonal original movies. And, like me, many lovers of Hallowe’en already know the perfect DCOM series to watch whenever it’s the witching season.
Yup, Halloweentown. Aired between 1998 and 2006, the Halloweentown series proposes that all those monsters and spooky people we associate with Halloween are in fact entirely real, having seperated themselves from mortals due to our tendency to burn things we’re a bit scared of. They moved dimensions, and called their new home Halloweentown. Once a year – Halloween – travel between there and the mortal relam is possible, but only once a year.
The lead of this series of films is Marnie Piper (Kimberly J. Brown for the first three movies, Sara Paxton for the fourth). Marnie is a lover of all things weird, and adores Halloween. Her mother Gwen is cautious around all things magic, and not normal, a habit which Marnie’s brother Dylan has picked up. Youngest sister Sophie appears to be following in Marnie’s footsteps, which will no doubt please their grandmother – Aggie Cromwell, played by Debbie Reynolds.
See, Aggie is a witch. So is Gwen, and as we find out early on in the first movie, so are her kids. The kids sneak back to Halloweentown with their Grandmother, against their Mum’s wishes, and end up having to help save the town from a great evil that is looking to take it over. For the next movie, rinse and repeat the plot to an extent, the third brings monster teens into the human world for high school, and the fourth takes Marnie off to university.
These movies are … well cheesy fun comes to mind but that tends to be a given with any of the good Disney Channel Original Movies. No, what these movies really are is memorable. It’s a given that they happen to be good – there’s many, myself included, who will happily sit down to watch them every year – but being memorable can be slightly more important in the scheme of things. Well, at least when is memorable for good reason.
Marnie is the spunky lead of our movies, and she’s really an enjoyable character to get behind. Opinionated, loud, has enough self confidence to like what she wants to like regardless of what others think… Pretty much the type of character you want to expose to younger children. Plus it does count in their favour that she’s a female off saving the day.
Not on her own though. See, one of the big things about these movies is the recurring theme of family being important. The Cromwells are a powerful magic line, but that magic is stronger still when they work together. Arguably, between Marnie, Gwen, and Aggie we have the classic Maiden, Mother, Crone trio but I don’t know if that’s hitting a little over the heads of the intended audience. Those old enough will get a kick out of it though.
I know, I know dear Wanderers, I’m rambling. But chances are, if you’ve heard of these movies, you’ll know what makes them so good, and so much fun to rewatch. And if you haven’t heard of them, all I can really do is recommend you go and try to watch them and come to your own conclusion. I know, very passive of me, but sometimes you just can’t entirely explain your love for a fandom, Wanderers, and in those cases, the best thing you can do is squee, point, and hope that the person on the other end will at least sit and check it out.
Now, where is my broom…?
Z. McAspurren (wonders why magical university isn’t a more used idea)