There have been a lot of great Disney Channel movies over the years. From Zenon to The Cheetah Girls to High School Musical, Disney Channel has given us so many classic movies we'll never forget. But one series of films that will always be near and dear to my heart is the Halloweentown Disney Channel movies. Imagine, a town where it's Halloween all the time. Where there's witches and goblins and your cab driver is a skeleton. On the one hand it kind of sounds scary, but the cool thing about Halloweentown is everyone's pretty chill, which is what made it so much fun.
What really made the movies great, however, was the Cromwell witches. Marnie was so sassy and snarky, Dylan was the nerd and completely adorkable, and little Sophie had an undeniable belief in magic and their family powers. And who could forget Debbie Reynolds, playing the perfect grandma. Aggie dropped wisdom and spells all in the same breath, plus she made cookies. Even the mom was pretty awesome when she finally let herself use her powers and be the boss witch she was always meant to be.
As much as I absolutely loved these movies there's only one that's truly my favorite. In order from not-so-great to "I'll watch this every time it's on air", here's a definitive ranking for all the Halloweentown films.
'Return to Halloweentown'
Sorry, Sara Paxton but Kimberly J. Brown will always be Marnie Piper to me. It's always awkward when a show or movie franchise tries to replace a character, but it's even worse when it's the main character.
Marnie and Dylan were at Witch University and Marnie had to save everyone by going back in time to see one of her ancestors to get a necklace. Also, there were prejudices between the other creatures and witches of Halloweentown that caused conflict. Honestly, there was just a lot going on and not a lot of it made sense.
In an effort to bring together her mortal world and the Halloweentown world, Marnie brought a few Halloweentown teens to her mortal high school. Although this movie had it's moments (Grandma Aggie teaching and flirting was hilarious) the plot just wasn't as interesting as the first two films. This movie was less about the magic and more about relationships and betrayals. The biggest risk Marnie faced was losing her family's magic and the villain wasn't all that scary or surprising. Overall it was a cute film, but not very exciting.
The first Halloweentown was brilliant. Marnie was the perfect rebellious adolescent with a good heart that just loved weird things. Dylan was dorky and misunderstood, and Sophie was so sweet and adorable. This movie was all about discovering who you really are and the power that lives inside you, quite literally. Seeing all the Cromwells hold hands in the end to combine their power and take down Kalabar still makes me cry happy tears.
Halloweentown 2: Kalabar's Revenge
I know you're probably wondering how I could possibly put Halloweentown 2 in the number one slot. The answer is simple: the kids grew up and started running things. Halloweentown was cute and admittedly a bit scary, especially with that whole movie theater scene, but in the sequel, all the Cromwell kids knew what they were. Marnie was practicing magic, Dylan was still hating on magic, and Sophie wasn't just the little kid sister tagging along anymore. Also, no offense to the OG Kalabar, but his son's evil schemes were way better than his. Kal Jr. was calculating, manipulative, and pulled double duty in the mortal world and Halloweentown.
Plus, in this movie Marnie really stepped up. It was the Cromwell kids that pretty much save the day all on their own, creating their own spell to open the portal between worlds. Then, when Marnie snatched back the book of spells from Kal like a boss, that was so kick ass. And even though the whole Kal being Kalabar's son thing was totally obvious, the fact that Kal's "dad" wasn't even human was a great twist. This movie stepped things up, making the kids more adult without all the romantic high school drama we got in the third movie.