In order to honor two of a betch’s most sacred holidays—Halloween and #TBT—we’re taking a look back at one of the Disney Channel Original Movies’ most classic flicks: Halloweentown. On the surface, Halloweentown is a simple film which uses Einstein’s string theory to propose a world in which there are two parallel universes, existing side by side—one where it is Halloween all the time, and one where it is only sometimes Halloween. If you dig deeper however, you will find that Halloweentown is a deeply fraught coming of age saga in which relationships are tested, alliances are formed, and three children’s live are forever altered.
Let’s dive into it, shall we?
We open on Marnie Cromwell, age thirteen, who is doing a very good job a being a piece of shit to her hot mom. Marnie and her bangs want one thing: to be able to go out with her friends on Halloween. Hot mom, for whatever reason, never lets Marnie, her shitty brother Dylan, and her little sister, Fake Matilda go trick or treating which blows for Marnie because basically the only thing we know about Marnie’s character at this point is that she fucking loves Halloween.
Hot Mom ominously tells Marnie there are “things about Halloween that you don’t understand.” Cut to an empty street corner where a public bus full of passengers is careening out of the heavens toward earth. After an impressive display of 1998s finest green screenery, out of the bus descends an elderly woman and her magic purse. Is this what Hot Mom was talking about?
Cut back to the Cromwell household where Off-Brand Matilda is manifesting hard and very nearly summons a cookie before being interrupted by the old woman, who we now find out is her Grandma Aggie. The children all gather round and, like any good grandchildren, immediately demand that they be presented with presents.
Over the next few minutes, the rules of this weird universe are laid out for us. They are as follows: Hot Mom is a witch from a parallel universe called Halloweentown in which every day it is Halloween. She moved to our one-Halloween-per-year universe after meeting Marnie’s dad, who is not totally not a wizard but is totally dead now. Hot Mom, who has lived both in a world where it is Halloween every day and a world where it is not Halloween every day, has decided that having it be not Halloween everyday is better and has decided her children will not be witches or warlocks themselves. It is also Marnie’s 13th Halloween, which is significant because if she does not do some witchery before it is over she will lose her powers forever. Also weird shit has been happening in Halloweentown lately and Grandma wants Hot Mom to help.
Marnie is eavesdropping and overhears all of this and is like, “Halloweentown, here I come!” Fast forward two minutes and Marnie, Lame Brother, and Fake Matilda are all on the midnight bus to Halloweentown along with Grandma Aggie (who doesn’t know they are there), a Frankenstein, two witches, and the classic halloween character: Demon Who Sounds Like Rodney Dangerfield.
After landing in Halloweentown, the kids exit the bus, note that the pumpkin in Halloweentown Square looks shittier than they’d imagined, and we are immediately introduced to the mayor, who I’m happy to report is kind of hot, like a 7 perhaps. Mayor 7 does a little magic and gets full-on hard when the kids mention they are the children of Hot Mom, who he clearly dated in the past. Then Mayor 7 then pops the kids into a cab driven by a skeleton and they are off to Grandma Aggie’s. On the ride over, Cab Driving Skeleton introduces us to Luke, a local shady bro who recently got plastic surgery from a shadow creature and thinks he’s hot shit. He and Marnie make meaningful eye contact.
Grandma A is stoked to see the kids and shows them all around her crazy-ass house, where she casually looks into her magic fortune-telling cauldron and sees what appears to be Satan himself in Halloweentown’s future and declares “The worst is yet to come!” Again, this is all very casual. Grandma then reveals 2 very important details to the children: 1) that she intends to fight Satan using her Merlin’s Talisman, which she keeps in the kitchen and 2) how to use the talisman (fill it up with potion and say a spell).
Back in the mortal world, Hot Mom has finally realized her children are missing. She. Is. Pissed.
Grandma takes the kids around, showing them all the weird-ass freaks who live in town, and they run into Mayor 7. Grandma A pulls him aside to be like “Hey I have information about a Satan that might be attacking Halloweentown” and he’s like “Honestly Aggie let me handle this,” Then they buy a broomstick from a zombie that acts like Elvis.
Luke now reappears out of nowhere and begins aggressively hitting on Marnie. He describes himself as “The Big Cheese” and Marnie wrecks him with this devastating comeback: “You know, I was hungry, but then I smelled something stinky. It must have been the big cheese.”
Luke. Is. Pissed. And alludes to being in the league with Satan.
Finally, Hot Mom shows up and is like, “Time’s fucking up, children,” and drags their asses back to the bus, only to find out from the two-headed bus driver that it has been delayed. But not so fucking fast, because Mayor 7 is BACK and he wants to fuuuuck. Stiff as a board, he tells Hot Mom and the kids he can help them with a bus after dealing with a very important matter delivered to him by his secretary who is half woman, half pincushion. Meanwhile, shitty Luke and Grandma Aggie are talkin’ Satan, and he offers to show her where he lives. Hot Mom and co follow them.
As it turns out, Satan lives in a local abandoned movie theater and he turns Grandma A and Hot Mom to stone. The kids escape and are like, “it’s on,” and start collecting the various ingredients needed to fill up the talisman. Unfortunately for them, once they make the potion Marnie’s dumb ass can’t remember the spell. Luckily Bargain Barrel Matilda (who has proven to be a way better witch than her older sister so far) actually does remember the spell so they take it out to the town square where Satan has already begun his hostile takeover of Halloweentown.
We now finally find out what it is that Satan wants, which is to leave Halloweentown and re-take over the mortal world. Then a lot of shit starts happening very quickly. First, Satan reveals that he is actually Mayor 7 and everyone is like “omg!” Next, Luke, who is good now, distracts Mayor 7 so Marnie can put the talisman inside the fucked-up pumpkin from the beginning of the movie. Third, Kalabar (Mayor 7’s real name) freezes Marnie with his freeze hands, causing her to almost die but then not die and get the talisman into the pumpkin anyway. Then just when you think shit is cool and all the movie theater people are awake Kalabar shows the fuck back up and all the Cromwells have to use their collective powers to hum until he explodes.
And the day is saved! Everything is fine and—HOLY FUCK LUKE’S PLASTIC SURGERY REVERSED AND NOW HE’S FUCKING HIDEOUS! AHH! Jesus Marnie get the fuck out of th—OH MY GOD MARNIE IS LITERALLY INTO IT WTF.
Marnie being turned on by a troll person is the cue to the adults that it is time to GTFO. Hideous Luke gets a new job as a bus driver and the entire Cromwell clan, even Grandma A, hop in and head back into the mortal world where they will lie dormant until they are called upon 3 years later to commit the travesty that was Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge.