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Monday, October 18, 2010

Movie #14: Halloweentown (1998)

"Being normal is vastly overrated."

This made-for-TV special has become a Halloween tradition for many people. There is very little in it to worry about, and is suitable for just about every member of the family. About the only thing I found objectionable was tweens giving attitudes and sneaking out of the house.


  • Rating: TV-PG

  • Minimum Recommended Age: 6.5 (Common Sense Media: "On for ages 7 and up", Kaboose: "Ages 6 and up)

  • Quality Rating: 60% (Common Sense Media: 3 stars)

  • Number of Lists Recommend: 5

  • Sex/Violence/Profanity:
    From IMDB:
    At the end a witch kisses a goblin on the cheek. A creature known as "The bad thing" is dressed in a dark cloak and has a scary with mask and appearance. He appears to the Cromwells in a cauldron and in an abandoned movie theater where several creatures have been frozen by the bad thing. A few of the monsters have scary appearances, though most are depicted as normal people and are not mean or scary.

    From Common Sense Media:
    Non-graphic scenes in which the good witches battle the evil warlock using their magic powers; an intense but non-graphic scene in which the mean warlock zaps two of the main characters into a zombie-like state.

  • Main Child Character Age: 12

  • Running Time: 85 minutes

  • What does it have to do with Halloween? You're kidding, right?


Join Marnie, Dylan, and Sophie Piper in their first out of many adventures! On Halloween, while Marnie is arguing with her mother Gwen, the kids' grandmother Aggie comes to visit. Aggie wants to start Marnie's witch training before her 13th birthday or Marnie will lose her powers forever. But there is another reason for Aggie's visit. Something dark & evil is growing in Halloweentown & Aggie wants help to defeat it. While Aggie & Gwen are arguing, Aggie uses magic which Marnie observes. After Aggie leaves to return to Halloweentown, Marnie, Dylan and, unknown to Marnie and Dylan, Sophie follow her onto the return bus. Soon afterwards, Gwen follows the children to Halloweentown. While there, Aggie & Gwen are attacked by the dark force in a movie theater. Marnie, Dylan & Sophie race to get the ingredients to activate Merlin's Wand to stop the evil.

Watch Out For

From Common Sense Media:
Parents need to know that this made-for-TV movie contains some mildly scary scenes involving a nasty warlock who's just as scary to look at as he is to listen to; his reptilian-like face and bellowing, angry voice are a frightful combination. In the most intense scene, the evil warlock zaps Mom and Grandma in front of the kids, who are forced to leave their loved ones behind in order to save themselves. The quaint village of Halloweentown is populated with mildly scary-looking creatures of all sorts. On more than one occasion, the main character (who's 13 years old) breaks her mother's rules, and there are a few brief scenes in which family members argue (one mother-daughter squabble is quite realistic and may distress younger kids).

Talk About It

From Common Sense Media:
* Families can talk about how the Cromwell family grows closer together as the movie progresses, and why.
* Why did the mom want to shield her kids from their magical heritage and special powers?
* Why did the main character argue with her mom, and break her mom's rules?
* What makes the evil warlock a "bad guy"?
* Who's your favorite magical character from books, TV, or movies?


"Halloweentown" and its sequels are part of Disney Channel's Wiz-tober programming. See the sidebar for dates and times.

Watch It


Anonymous said...

Why doesn't halloweentown have a grocery store called pumpkinmagic.

Unknown said...

What is the broom salesman name?

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