I could have sworn I already did a review of this.
I distinctly remember, and that's something I cannot often say nowadays, of watching both Halloweentown 1 and 2 with the intent of writing a review. But I never did, and that was 3 odd years ago. So what do I think of such a fondly remembered Halloween classic for no doubt not just my generation but others as well? I did like it, yes it's very much a movie of it's time, yes you can poke fun at it a number of ways, yes it's not great, but it has a charm of it's own. For a Disney channel original movie from the 90s it has quite good production values, with prosthetics, and masks, and animatronics oh my, which I didn't fully expect upon rewatching. The cast I think did very well, I mean of course you have Debbie Reynolds and can I just take the moment to say God bless her, cause she never looked down on the role or thought it a waste of time but enjoyed every moment of it and was always happy to play the part in future installments. But even the kid actors do mighty good and are given good and kinda real dialogue, sibling rivalry is easy to write for certain folks, and they treat it seriously thus making it more enjoyable. Even the mom I thought was going to be a stick in the mud the whole time but Judith Hoag gets a fair portion of screen time and actually does something other than nag or worry. It doesn't have the deepest of plots but the way it's executed is why it works, concerning three children who inadvertently discover their loving grandma is indeed a witch and follow her back to the eponymous town as they encounter monsters and ghouls while an evil plot stirs in the background. And the film has good pacing, while it takes about 25 minutes until they actually get to Halloweentown by the time the conflict comes up it still has ample time to resolve it. Nothing feels rushed or half-assed, and to be perfectly honest I would only change one aspect of the film which is only really a slight readjusting to the plot. I personally felt all the various gatherings of the potion to save everyone should have come before the villain was actually revealed, to further have that tension and not to feel like a montage of funny moments after a big emotional push for our heroes. That's just me of course, and it doesn't by any stretch hurt the movie at all it's just something I noted. But all in all it's entertaining and fun, I can easily see why this became a Halloween tradition for many kids and growing adults year after year. I give it 3 stars, 7/10, and I think next week it's gonna be a bloody affair.