Halloweentown (film series)
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by Paul Bernbaum
|Starring||Kimberly J. Brown |
|Distributed by||Disney Channel|
Halloweentown is a series of four fantasy films released as Disney Channel Original Movies: Halloweentown (1998), Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge (2001), Halloweentown High (2004), and Return to Halloweentown (2006).
Halloweentown proposes that fantasy beings such as witches, warlocks, vampires, werewolves, mummies, ghosts, trolls, ogres, zombies, pumpkin heads (a race of people with jack-o'-lanterns for heads), skeletons, goblins, humanoids with varying numbers of heads, humanoids with varying numbers of limbs, and humanoids with varying numbers of sensory organs are real, but have separated themselves from Earth's history to escape humans' fear and persecution. These characters created their own community, "Halloweentown," a thousand years ago in an alternate universe.
Travel between Halloweentown and the ordinary, historical world (which Halloweentown residents call "The Mortal World") is only possible with magical aid, and only at regulated times (on Halloween), until the portal seals at midnight. In the second film, they permanently open the portal between the Mortal World and Halloweentown, and events of the third film breach the gap even more.
It is stated that many of the traditions of Halloween in the Mortal World are parallels based on regular traditions in Halloweentown. An example of this is how mortals wear costumes that mimic the creatures of Halloweentown, and are often depicted as being more frightening than they are naturally. In Halloweentown, the residents dress up every day, and most are much friendlier than humans generally depict them.
Although magic is present in many of the details of daily life of Halloweentown, it appears that only a limited number of persons actually practice or control magic. These people are mainly human, and are called witches (female) and warlocks (male). These beings appear human, but possess some sort of biological extra-sensory ability that allows them to harness magic unlike their "mortal" counterparts. Magic is also hereditary in their families.
The Halloweentown movies concern episodes in the lives of the Cromwell–Piper family. The family matriarch, Agatha Cromwell, has been a pillar of Halloweentown society for centuries. Her daughter, Gwen Piper, married a mortal and chose to leave Halloweentown for a life in the Mortal World. At the time of the movies, she is apparently widowed. She has decided to raise her three children (Marnie, Dylan and Sophie) apart from magic, and thus rejects contact with Halloweentown and the influence of her mother.
|Title||U.S. release date||Director||Screenwriters||Story by||Producer(s)|
|Halloweentown||October 17, 1998||Duwayne Dunham||Paul Bernbaum
and Jon Cooksey & Ali Matheson
|Paul Bernbaum||Ron Mitchell and Brian Pogue|
|Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge||October 12, 2001||Mary Lambert||Jon Cooksey & Ali Matheson||Peter Lhotka|
|Halloweentown High||October 8, 2004||Mark A.Z. Dippé||Dan Berendsen||Don Schain|
|Return to Halloweentown||October 20, 2006||David S. Jackson||Max Enscoe & Annie DeYoung |
and Juliet Giglio & Keith Giglio
Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge (2001)
Two years after the first film, an angry warlock named Kal (Daniel Kountz) has stolen a magic spell book and plans to turn everyone into the costume they're wearing at midnight on Halloween.
Halloweentown High (2004)
Two years after the second film, Marnie Piper (Kimberly J. Brown) organizes a student exchange program between her mortal school and Halloweentown High. The first students to participate in this program are a witch named Cassie (Eliana Reyes), a warlock named Ethan Dalloway (Lucas Grabeel), a troll named Natalie (Olesya Rulin), and an ogre named Chester (Clayton Taylor).
Return to Halloweentown (2006)
In the fourth film, Marnie Piper (Sara Paxton) arrives at the Halloweentown University, known to everyone as Witch U. The teachers have been waiting for her arrival to fulfill a prophecy.
Short films and other media
In 2020, Disney Channel ran a short titled Halloweentown As Told By Chibi. This continues the trend started by Big Hero 6: The Series shorts spin-off Big Chibi 6 The Shorts and continued with Amphibia and Phineas and Ferb as Chibi Tiny Tales. The first short, released September 28, 2020, simplifies the plot of the first Halloweentown. A second one titled Haircut was released on October 11, 2020, followed by a third titled First Date Fright on October 18, 2020.
In 2007, Disney produced the book “Tales From Halloweentown: The Witch’s Amulet”. It is heavily based on the fourth installment in the franchise, “Return to Halloweentown”. The ending of the book leaves plenty of room for a sequel.
Cast and characters
|Halloweentown High||Return to Halloweentown|
|Aggie Cromwell||Debbie Reynolds||Debbie Reynolds|
|Marnie Piper||Kimberly J. Brown||Sara Paxton|
|Gwen Piper||Judith Hoag|
|Dylan Piper||Joey Zimmerman|
|Sophie Piper||Emily Roeske|
|Luke||Phillip Van Dyke|
|Benny||Rino Romano||Richard Side||Uncredited|
|Harriet||Judith M. Ford|
|Ethan Dalloway||Lucas Grabeel|
|Edgar Dalloway||Michael Flynn|
|Principal Phil Flanagan||Clifton Davis|
|Pete||Todd Michael Schwartzman|
|Silas Sinister||Keone Young|
|Chancellor Goodwin||Leslie Wing|
|Professor Precilla Persimmon Periwinkle||Millicent Martin|
|Dr. Grogg||Scott Stevenson|
|Burp-Urp-Snurt-Pfsfsfsfst III||Christopher Miller|
Additional crew and production details
|Halloweentown||Mark Mothersbaugh||Michael Slovis||Martin Nicholson||Disney Channel Original Movies,
Buena Vista Television
|Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge||Tony Westman||Sharon L. Ross||Disney Channel Original Movies,
Just Singer Entertainment
Buena Vista International,
Disney–ABC Domestic Television
|Halloweentown High||Kenneth Burgomaster||Bob Seaman||Terry Blythe||Disney Channel Original Movies,
Just Singer Entertainment,
Reel FX Creative Studios
Disney-ABC Domestic Television
|Return to Halloweentown||Denis Maloney||Mike Grant||Disney Channel Original Movies,
Just Singer Entertainment
Disney-ABC Domestic Television,
Walt Disney Television
|Film||Ratings (in millions)|
|Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge||6.1|
|Return to Halloweentown||7.5|
- "Halloweentown As Told By Chibi 🎃 | Chibi Tiny Tales | Halloweentown | Disney Channel Animation". YouTube. Disney Channel. September 28, 2020. Retrieved October 2, 2020.
- "Haircut 💇♀️ | Chibi Tiny Tales | Halloweentown | Disney Channel Animation". YouTube. Disney Channel. October 11, 2020. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
- "First Date Fright 😱 | Chibi Tiny Tales | Halloweentown | Disney Channel Animation". YouTube. Disney Channel. October 18, 2020. Retrieved October 18, 2020.
- Denise Martin (October 23, 2006). "Disney bewitches young aud". Variety. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- Stacey Grant (March 7, 2016). "What Is The Best Disney Channel Original Movie of All Time? Vote Now". MTV News. MTV. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- Janice Rhoshalle (November 14, 2004). "When 'No Sex' Really Sells". Multichannel News. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
Over those five showings, Halloweentown High delivered 22.6 million viewers, including 6.1 million for its premiere.
- Matthew Dort (December 2, 2004). "Guest Column: State of the Disney Channel". laughingplace.com. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- Kimberly Nordyke (October 24, 2006). "'Halloweentown' draws big audience". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
- Anthony Crupi (October 24, 2006). "Disney Beats ESPN to Lead Cable Ratings". AdWeek. Archived from the original on November 12, 2007.
- Mike Reynolds (October 30, 2015). "Disney Gets 'Halloweentown' Treat". Multichannel News. Archived from the original on November 26, 2006.