I love a good family Halloween movie. Something that's not too scary for little ones, but still something absorbing enough for adults. There are actually three of these movies now as the third, "Halloweentown High" came out in 2004 and it's too bad that Disney didn't release all three together.
The basic premise is that there is an alternate world from our own where it is always Halloween called, of course, Halloweentown. Aggie Cromwell (the radiant Debbie Reynolds) is a powerful witch as is her daughter Gwen (Judith Hoag). Aggie wants to train Gwen's daughter Marnie (Kimberly Brown) to use her powers before she loses them when she turns 13. This results in a big argument between Aggy and Gwen. Aggy returns to Halloweentown but Marnie and her two siblings Dylan and Sophie secretly follow her. Once there they learn about a dark force threatening Halloween town and only the combined power of all the Cromwell women, including Mom Gwen can stop it.
In the sequel, virtually the entire Main cast returns as Marnie has now become more proficient with her powers and as we learned at the end of the first film it turns out that the younger siblings also have developing powers of their own. This time their old foe Kalabar is back to wreak havoc and try to turn the people of our normal world into monsters.
The special effects and makeup in these films are above average, especially for made-for-tv films. All of the denizens of Halloween town are monsters of some sort and could be a tad scary for little ones but probably not too much. Kimberly Brown really develops as an actress and holds her own with the veteran Debbie Reynolds. Judith Hoag gets to do a bit more in this sequel as well.
All in all these are pretty good films, good family fun.
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