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Halloweentown, on Disney Channel

Disney Movies; Halloween Specials.net; IMDb; TV Tango; TV Tropes; Wikipedia
wikis: Disney; Disney Channel; Halloween Specials; Halloweentown; Made for TV Movie
streaming sites: Amazon; Disney+; Google Play; iTunes; YouTube

Caution: spoilers.

13-year-old Marnie Piper (Kimberly J. Brown) loves weird stuff, and she's always been upset that her mother, Gwen (Judith Hoag, whom I know from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), never let her or her siblings go out on Halloween. Her younger brother, Dylan, doesn't believe in magic or anything like that, he's more interested in science. But the youngest sibling, Sophie, seems to be more like Marnie. Then the kids' grandmother, Aggie Cromwell (Debbie Reynolds), shows up to visit for a few hours, and while she dotes on the kids, she argues with Gwen somewhat. Gwen just wants to be normal, and let her kids have a normal life, so she doesn't want her mother telling them the truth about where the Cromwells come from. But Aggie does read the kids a bedtime story about a place called Halloweentown. Later, Marnie eavesdrops on a conversation her mother is having with her grandmother. Aggie's upset that Gwen hasn't trained Marnie as a witch, and because this is her 13th Halloween, Marnie's potential powers will be gone forever. However, the main reason she's come to visit is because there's something strange going on back home, with people's personalities changing and then the people just disappear. She wants Gwen to help her investigate, but Gwen doesn't believe there's anything really sinister going on. Then Marnie and Dylan sneak aboard the strange bus that takes Aggie back home, and they find themselves in Halloweentown, which is full of all sorts of monsters and magical creatures and witches and whatnot. They also find that Sophie has followed them onto the bus.

When they're looking around, they lose sight of their grandmother, but they meet the mayor, a warlock named Kalabar, who gets a cab (driven by a skeleton named Benny) to take them to Aggie's house. She's surprised but happy to see the children, who decide to help her fight whatever evil force is up to no good in Halloweentown, and of course Marnie wants to start training to become a witch. But Kalabar wants Aggie to give him some time to deal with whatever's going on, because it could be too dangerous for the kids. Then Gwen shows up to take the kids home. However, they're stuck in town for awhile, because of a problem with the bus. Meanwhile, it turns out that Kalabar and Gwen used to be a couple. There's also a teenager named Luke who works for the villain, and he lures Aggie to a closed movie theater, where the creatures who have been disappearing are frozen in time. When Gwen and the kids follow Aggie, the villain freezes Aggie and Gwen, and the kids have to find a way to save them and all of Halloweentown, on their own.

Luke, meanwhile, turns against the villain, who he says had promised once he obtained a powerful talisman that is in Aggie's possession, he would let her go. Since he didn't, Luke has decided to help Marnie, though she doesn't trust him at first. The villain finally appears to all the creatures of Halloweentown, saying he wants them all to return to their bygone days of glory. As Aggie had told the kids earlier, there was a time humans and magical creatures lived together, until the humans turned against them, and so they decided to create their own, separate world (though of course, humans still have some traditions, on Halloween, which are based on the ways of magical creatures). The villain feels that Halloweentown is a kind of exile, and he wants it to end. He also wants to rule both worlds. And he reveals his true identity, which anyone watching the movie should have guessed long ago. And of course, he's eventually defeated, and Aggie goes to live with her daughter and grandkids in the mortal world.

Welp, it's a kind of silly movie, not all that great, but it's still enjoyable enough, I guess. I mean, if you're in the right frame of mind for watching it. And, uh, I dunno what else to say.

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