Halloweentown (TV Movie 1998) Poster

(1998 TV Movie)

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7/10
The Cromwells United Can Never Be Defeated
bkoganbing5 April 2010
Debbie Reynolds is one of those actresses who have grown old gracefully and continue to work because of it. Debbie was 66 when she made the first of the Halloweentown movies for Disney Studios and is now playing what she is in real life, a grandmother.

But not every grandmother is a witch. Agnes Moorehead became a grandmother when she was on Bewitched, but Agnes certainly did not have the concern for her community that Debbie has.

That community is Halloweentown, a place in another dimension where the witches and goblins and all kinds of other creatures have gone. It was created because humans couldn't live in the same mortal world with them and were forever trying to destroy them. But some get out like Judith Hoag who is Debbie's daughter who marry a mortal like Samantha did and raise some kids who've got the potential for being witches.

So Hoag's kids one fine Halloween discover their roots and decide that they'd like to visit grandma where she lives in Halloweentown. But when they get there Halloweentown is in turmoil because a most powerful warlock Robin Thomas wants to bring back all the otherworldly creatures into the human world which he'd like to rule with their help.

Debbie's family the Cromwells never figured on a working vacation, but when the Cromwell family stands together, the best warlock in the universe isn't up to the challenge.

Halloweentown was out before Harry Potter made witchcraft popular and its proved to be one of the Magic Kingdom's best franchises. Debbie is one vital senior citizen, she actually looks younger here than she did made up as a senior citizen towards the end of How The West Was Won.

Halloweentown is nice family entertainment and no need to wait until October to see it.
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6/10
good for little kids
SnoopyStyle26 August 2018
13 year old Marnie Piper is tired of her mother Gwen (Judith Hoag)'s strict rules against going out on Halloween. The youngest one, Sophie, wants to go trick or treating. Middle child Dylan is a rule follower. After a visit from grandma Aggie Cromwell (Debbie Reynolds), the kids follow her onto the magic bus back to Halloweentown. The town was created to seperate the magical beings from human mortals. Aggie has been battling an unseen evil in town. The Cromwells are a family of powerful witches but the kids' mother have tried very hard to keep them from developing their witch powers. Luke is a bratty teen and Kalabar is the mayor of Halloweentown.

This is really for little kids. It's not even for tween girls. It's a little too silly for that. There is nothing scary except for really young kids. The acting is fine for a kiddie movie. Mostly, the Halloweentown looks a little cheap which is fine for little kids and they can see themselves as one of the kids on an adventure.
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7/10
Halloweentown!
BandSAboutMovies23 July 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Marnie Piper can't understand why her mother Gwen won't allow her and her siblings Dylan and Sophie to celebrate Halloween. It turns out that both Gwen and her mother Aggie are witches, despite the fact that Gwen yearns to live the life of a mortal. Now, Aggie is intent on training Marnie as a witch and informs her of where she lives, Halloweentown.

Halloweentown is a place where witches, warlocks, vampires, trolls, ogres, zombies, werewolves, mummies, ghosts, pumpkin heads, skeletons, goblins and humanoids with varying numbers of body parts have decided to escape from the fear of humans and create their own alternate universe.

Aggie wants to teach Marnie how to become a witch before she turns 13 and can't use her powers. She's also worried that people in Halloweentown have been disappearing. As she goes home on a magic bus, Marnie and Dylan sneak on board.

That's when they run afoul of Kalabar, a man that used to date Gwen and is still jealous that she chose to marry a human. Luckily, the family comes together and it's decided that Aggie will spend more time in our world and Marnie will train to be a witch, which is good news, because Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge would follow four years later. It was directed by Mary Lambert - yes, the same person who made Pet Sematary.

Director Duwayne Dunham was an editor at Lucasfilm and directed three episodes of Twin Peaks before making Halloweentown. A name you may recognize in the credits belongs to Alfred Sole, the production designer, who is better known for directing Alice, Sweet Alice.
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8/10
A Halloween classic!
Calicodreamin29 October 2020
An absolute classic for anyone who grew up in the prime of 90s/2000s Disney originals. Endlessly rewatchable, great concept, and full of good and slightly cheesy acting. Being normal is vastly overrated.
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1/10
I'm not sure what I was expecting...
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews29 October 2005
... but it must have been more than what I got. I know this is a children's film, but that doesn't mean it has to be bad(certainly not this bad). I don't recall when I last watched such a poorly produced film... if I ever have. The plot is nonsensical babble. The pacing is non-existent. The characters are empty, paper-thin clichés. The acting is incredibly poor and overdone, though I guess the actors had such bad material to work with, they couldn't have done much better. The effects are hideous, with little to no attempt made to hide how they are achieved. The costumes and make-up are just pathetic... no effort is made to hide where the masks end, and most of it is just so see-through that even children, I'm talking small ones, will be able to tell. The writing is quite poor; I could never figure out if Halloweentown is supposed to be the direct opposite of our world(what with the always closed cinema), or everyone who lived there were monsters. The world, fascinating as it may seem to very small children was, as another reviewer also points out much more competently presented in The Nightmare Before Christmas. The humor is painfully unfunny, and jokes are repeated ad nauseum. The tone is childish at best, and half of the actors even look like they're ashamed to be doing the film. The script, oh dear, the script... what the heck is the 'highschool sweetheart' cliché doing in a children's film? How many 7-year-olds even know what that is? I'd guess it was an attempt at drawing in the older crowd as well(give the parents something to enjoy), but when the film is this poor, how many people above the age of 10 will watch? How many below, for that matter? I'm sorry, but this is just so far below average that it astounds me that it spawned two sequels. Avoid at all costs. I recommend this only to kids who are incredibly easy to please. And even they should be allowed to watch something of higher quality. 1/10
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8/10
Could be the best Halloween movie ever. Seriously
A_Different_Drummer2 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
There is a wonderful scene toward the end of the one-of-a-kind TV series DEAD LIKE ME where the main character uses Halloween, the day when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest, to contact her family.

It is a pretty good scene.

And one of the best twists on the Halloween theme I have seen.

This is another great twist on the October holiday.

Yes, it is Disney-sweet (DUH!) but in measured doses, and made that much more interesting by a great cast and the incomparable Debbie Reynolds.

Reynolds who was in her late 60s when this was filmed just takes the fantastical plot, puts it onto her back, and carries the movie right through to to finish.

In the annals of film her grandmotherly Aggie Cromwell may well go down in history tied nose-to-nose with Julie Andrews' Mary Poppins as the best relative any child could possibly hope to have.
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4/10
I feel like nostalgia paints this as better than it is for some of you...
matthewssilverhammer19 October 2020
There's a fun universe here with decent BONES (ya see? Because spooky?) for plot, but man did it miss a few key ingredients along the way: a compelling story, effective humor, likable characters. Seriously, this family is insufferable; I truly couldn't decide who I liked less: the bratty kids, the pushover mom, or the arrogant grandmother. And the climax is hilariously corny & anti-climactic. I feel like I would've loved this as a kid...though my 7-year-old couldn't have lost interest quicker, so what do I know?
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8/10
Very cute, I love halloween...
RosanaBotafogo10 October 2021
Very cute, I love halloween, I love children's movies about witches, all very cute and charming, you can't help but love, witches are timeless and their movies never get old... Let's marathon the other 3 sequences...
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7/10
Fun Halloween film
lisafordeay25 October 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Halloweentown is a 1998 fantasy movie starring Kimberely J Brown and Debbie Reynolds . It tells the story of a young girl named Marnie who discovers that she is a witch just like her mother and her grandmother. Of course things happen in Halloweentown as an evil mayor named Kalibar is up to no good.

Check it out this Halloween.
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7/10
Nice!
doomedmac6 December 2020
I really liked this movie for what it was; a really cheesy DCOM. It's a good time.
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9/10
Happy Halloween.. Literally?
mirosuionitsaki223 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I've heard of Christmas Movies, Easter Movies, but I have never heard of a Halloween movie. Well, maybe a horror movie marathon on Halloween, but not a movie specifically about Halloween and the joy of it. This movie is all about Halloween town. It's the only Halloweentown movie I like. Everything else well.. the characters are older and they should change the characters.

Anyways, this movie brought a little joy to the Halloween holiday. Happy ending too. That's odd. I remember watching this movie, I don't remember if it was on 1998 or another time the Disney Channel played this movie. But I remember watching it. This movie is great if you get bored out of your mind waiting for someone to knock on your door so you can give them candy, or if you are having a Halloween party with children and you can play this movie.

I recommend this movie for everyone who loves Halloween. If you hate candy, who cares. This movie isn't about candy. It's about strange Halloween monsters that look like the masks and costumes you see children wear to your door waiting for you to say, "Aww, cute" and you give them their Halloween treat.
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7/10
Great Halloween Family Film.
RhapsodyReviews28 October 2019
Review: 'Halloweentown' is a family-Halloween film directed by Duwayne Dunham. So, this might not be the best quality film in the sense that it is a Made-for-TV movie and was only ever shown on the Disney Channel. Though the movie has a beautiful story that I strongly believe everybody who watches it can get behind. The film focuses on Marnie (Kimberly J. Brown) a 13-year-old learns she's a witch, discovers a secret portal, and is transported to Halloweentown with her grandmother (Debbie Reynolds). A magical place where ghosts and ghouls, witches and werewolves live apart from the human world. But she soon finds herself battling wicked warlocks, evil curses, and endless surprises. The child acting in this movie is horrid, yes, and the acting all around really isn't bringing any standout performances. Although I do think that Kimberly J. Brown does play a great Marnie and brings a lot of heart to the movie. The story has a lot of potential, revolving around a secret world, family drama about an ancient lineage of witches, and more. Unfortunately, the movie doesn't even run for a full 90 minutes and most of it is spent introducing our characters, their relationships, and showing off Halloweentown itself. We don't get a whole lot of incite on the villain and what his motives are to go back to the mortal world aside form him being bored with Halloweentown, which I didn't buy into. Overall, this is a movie I watch every Halloween with my family. It has something for everybody with it being heart, humor and maybe some scares if you're a young child. 3.5/5
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7/10
Cute...
fearfulofspiders11 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this when I was much younger, and it was a very satisfying little movie. Even for a boy, it was pretty entertaining to watch, even if some of the story's elements seem similar to that of the Harry Potter books. The acting is nicely done, thanks to fine direction, and a screenplay that can format good sentences for such young actors. The special effects that are used, though not a lot, are the standard low-budget ones you could find in dozens of made-for-TV movies. The story is simple, and the foreshadowing comes off a tad too obvious, though the younger audience will be fooled by who Kalabar is. Overall, it's a film I enjoyed, and your children should too. It's simple, cute, and there's nothing vulgar or horrifying, so it is completely safe. I highly recommend it to children ten and under.
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8/10
Disney Channel's Halloween Tradition
TheMysteriousReviewer19 October 2021
Halloweentown is in my opinion, one of the better films from Disney Channel. It brings the concept of a world of Halloween to life with a lot of details put into such as witches, vampires, wolves, monsters and more. I liked how the movie would represent the difference of real-life and fantasy worlds by using Aggie's family as an example, which would give us a lot of character development. And the villain is pretty entertaining. Well it is one of Disney Channel's better films, but not quite from best. Because the costumes can be cheesy and there can be some characters that are either a smart aleck or kind of despicable at first. But the issues cannot take away from being an enjoyable Halloween film. I would say it's a good choice for a Halloween tradition. I must say that this movie was worth for Halloween time.
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1/10
I was disappointed
andrewmerritt-3165225 November 2019
That was disappointing; I can't believe I said that. Halloweentown is a Disney Channel original movie starring Kimberly J. Brown and the late Debbie Reynolds. Kimberley J. Brown stars as Marnie, who just wants to have fun on Halloween, but her mom forbids it. But accidentally learning from her grandma that it's her destiny to become a witch, she decides to head to Halloweentown to begin her training. Now I saw this when it first came out, but I don't remember much of it, so I decided to explore this movie and relieve my childhood. And after that I became disappointed as though I just been punched in the stomach. I wanted to like this, I really did, but it was so bad and terrible. The jokes fall flat and they enter in the wrong moment and the wrong time, that it became a headache. I know that this is a Disney Channel movie and that it's supposed to target young audiences, but at least add some level of danger and drama to this. It doesn't have to be like intense that only adults can handle, just give it some intensity, but in small doses so that it balances out between the kids and adults. When we first see Halloweentown, it was like seeing a Wizard of Oz movie, but they don't explore it much. I wanted to learn more about Halloweentown, but they missed the opportunity and the producers or whoever rushed it so they could move onto the next scene. I have a love hate relationship with the running time. I wish this were longer so we could explore more of Halloweentown and the history of it. It does explain it, but it's very rushed that you're left scratching your head wondering what just happened. But I don't want this to be long, because the longer the running time the more annoying it's going to get. In conclusion I enjoy Disney Channel movies I enjoyed as a kid and as an adult, but this one is a big fat disappointment.
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10/10
Halloween classic
francoischristana10 August 2021
Every October, my family & I watch the Halloweentown series. In this movie, on Halloween day, Marnie beg her mom to let her go trick or treating but her mother refused stating it's dangerous, grandmother Aggie comes to the mortal world unannounced to reveal she is a witch and start Marnie witching lessons so she won't lose her magic, but her mother Gwen is against it because she wants her children to have a normal life. As Aggie was leaving back to Halloweentown, Marnie, Dylan & Sophie follow her. It's such a cool fantasy world I understand why Marnie is obsessed, I wish they would use this as a theme at Halloween Horror Nights.
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2/10
Cheesily Overrated
kill-the-boxtrolls26 October 2009
This movie was bad and overrated I felt very disappointed and really embarrassed on how much people love this movie, but this was very boring, silly, absurd and ridiculous. I didn't really like this movie it was very cute and a bit funny, but the humor in it didn't catch my giggles the acting was okay, the script was pretty poor and the directors did a very poor job for the film. Sorry Halloweentown and 1998 movie fans but this was just too bad and the story was just very weak and lame. I did not really like this at all it was very boring and I don't care about the wicked stuff or this review, but I just didn't really like it so I'm not going to say many stuff for this I just didn't really like it, it is about 3 kids going around saving Halloween but clever enough? Well, expectedly poor or whatever that means.-_-
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7/10
Takes a while to get going
Blazehgehg20 October 2018
I like Halloween, so I tend to check out Halloween movies, even ones made for kids, and something a lot of people have a lot of nostalgia for is Halloweentown. Conceptually, Halloweentown is a breath of fresh air amidst most kid-focused Halloween movies, all of which usually fall in to a few narrow categories (Halloween is ending forever, kids accidentally raised the undead, monsters come out for one night and befriend the children, etc.).

The story has a lot of potential, revolving around a secret world, an ancient lineage of witches, and more. Unfortunately, the movie doesn't even run for a full 90 minutes and most of it is spent on table setting, by introducing our characters, their relationships, and showing off Halloweentown itself. It's not until the last 20 minutes that the movie's villain finally gets introduced, giving the lacking plot some much-needed forward momentum.

Most of the cast is colorful and fun, and the makeup effects for the monsters are great. Most of them are just rubber masks, but for a place called "Halloweentown" it's fitting that the place would look like a costume shop exploded. Not all characters are welcome, though, such as the little brother, Dylan. He's a total skeptic and a huge know-it-all, basically the worst kind of person you'd find on the internet, and he spends all of Halloweentown trying to come up with excuses as to why magic and monsters aren't real. Not a single person in the movie seems to like him, not even his own family, and it's a sentiment I also echo. Halloweentown would be better without that nerd trying to "um, actually" away all the fun.

It'd also be a better movie with a better soundtrack. The music used throughout Halloweentown is what gives it most of its corny, "90's Saturday Morning" flair. It's bouncy and cartoony, but in a way that just makes the movie feel cheap. The idea of "music for a kids movie" doesn't mean it has to sound so dopey.

But still, for its target audience, it's probably good enough. It's definitely more about looking at funny costumes and a silly world where Halloween is forever. Though there is a potential for a deeper story here, the narrative feels more like something that was added out of bare necessity than anything else. And for younger viewers, that's fine. There just isn't tons here for anyone older than, say, 14.
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The Witches Brew up a good holiday movie!
the_moody_youngest25 October 2006
This is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen! The acting was excellent, the plot was TOTALLY original, Marnie and Dylan were hilarious, and Sophie was just adorable! Debbie Renolds did fabulous as Agatha Cromwell, the Grandma of Marnie, Dylan, and Sophie, and Gwen's mother. Debbie plays a witch from Halloweentown, and her granddaughter, Marnie Cromwell, comes to Halloweentown with her brother Dylan, and her cute little sister, Sophie to begin her witch training. And Marnie must work to save Halloweentown from the evil... not telling! Just watch the movie and you'll find out. Benny was also a great lovable character that entertained me. Enjoy this film because it is so excellent!

10/10
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3/10
Halloweentown
spencergauldin29 October 2020
Great Disney Halloween movie to watch with small children and even to feel some nostalgia if you grew up with the movie. Of course it's cheap 90s effects and subpar story isn't for those serious movie goers. But heck, it's good nostalgia for my age group and it's for the kids.
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7/10
Still Great...
briceharlan12 October 2018
Seriously, this movie is still good. I grew up on this movie, and recently watched it again. It still made me smile more than I imagined, and cringe less than I thought. Love it.
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10/10
Classic gem
peterghawi26 October 2019
This and Hocus Pocus will likely be the greatest Halloween movies of all time. Some disney movies are just that great.
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Disney tv movie
Cheajk29 September 2021
At some point while watching it I thought it must be a Disney movie, and yep. Feels like a typical Disney tv movie.

Glad people get so much out of it. I didn't find much for myself. Thought it was very generic and underwhelming. Poor writing, poor acting (all around, not just kid acting). I thought the sets and costumes were nice though.

I can't see where the rave reviews are coming from; I guess if you watched it as a kid.. or like Disney tv movies? They seem insultingly simple and low effort, even for the target audience.

I think kids would like the friendly costumes, the bus scene, and the montage of collections.. but aside from that, a lot of this movie is just filler and feels hollow. Seems scary for kids too. Maybe there's a narrow age of like 7-9 when it works.
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not exactly good
adam111726 October 2001
I love Halloween movies and specials. Love 'em. But this one is not what I'd call good. I could blame the overacting, but it may not be the actors fault; they could only do so much with the sloppily written dialogue. The notion of a place like Halloweentown was much better done in "The Nightmare Before Christmas," and the plot was cookie-cutter at best. There are some awful Halloween specials out there, and this is, admittedly, better than a lot of them. But it's not among the greats of the genre. Younger kids might like it, of course. I suppose I shouldn't complain, seeing as how it's for them, not me.
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10/10
Best seasonal movie
citydogz4514 October 2021
Halloweentown is such a feel good film that has shaped so many's childhood. Is it the best blockbuster? No, that doesn't matter because it keeps you entertained and is a just shut your brain off fun.
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