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Thirteen-year old Marnie Piper (Kimberly Brown) has always been fascinated by the strange and unusual, but for some reason her mother, Gwen (Judith Hoag), disapproves. Marnie would love to go out for Halloween, but her mother makes her and her siblings Sophie (Emily Roeske) and Dylan (Joey Zimmerman) stay home every year. Her only explanation is that "there are things about Halloween you don't understand."

Then Marnie's grandmother Agatha (Debbie Reynolds) shows up, and reads Marnie and her siblings a book titled Halloweentown. Marnie is entranced by the thoughts of Halloweentown. Later, Marnie sneaks downstairs to overhear her mom and grandmother discussing Marnie's future. Grandma Aggie wants to train Marnie as a witch; Gwen wants nothing of the sort. Grandma Aggie also says something is wrong in Halloweentown, and that she could use Gwen's help, but Gwen refuses to help.

Eager at the thoughts of being trained as a witch, Marnie follows Grandma Aggie back to Halloweentown... and so do Sophie and Dylan. There, they must stop the evil Kalabar from taking over Halloweentown.

So far, three sequels have been made: Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge, Halloweentown High and Return to Halloweentown.


This film quadrology has examples of:

  • Academy of Adventure: Witch College in Return to Halloweentown.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Scarlet, Sage, and Sapphire.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Natalie the troll in Halloweentown High has bright pink skin, a lot of pink hair, and a kind of large nose. Other than that, she looks pretty human.
  • Alpha Bitch: Three in Return To Halloweentown - Scarlet, Sage, and Sapphire.
  • Ambiguously Gay: The werewolf barber in the first movie.
  • Another Dimension: Where Halloweentown is located.
  • Artifact of Doom: Well, it's not inherently evil, but you know what they say about absolute power.
  • Artistic License History: In Halloweentown High, Grandma Aggie says that Shakespeare offered her a role in the original production of one of his plays. In Shakespeare's day, there were no female actors - all of the roles were played by men.
  • Ascended Extra: A mild version. Ethan (Lucas Grabeel) was a warlock in Halloweentown High who was more of a rival for Marnie (but wasn't on screen any more than any other magical creature), but in the fourth movie, he becomes a love interest for Marnie, probably due to Lucas Grabeel's starring role in High School Musical.
  • Becoming the Costume: The villain's plot in the second movie.
  • Better as Friends: Dylan and Natalie. Because they find each other to be too ugly
  • Bigger on the Inside: Grandma Aggie's bag.
  • Butt Monkey: Dylan.
  • Broken Masquerade: Originally, Halloweentown was created to keep supernatural creatures safe from humans. At the end of the third film, humans (or at least the students and faculty at Marnie's school) find out about Halloweentown and its inhabitants. In the fourth film, it's stated that some of Halloweentown's citizens are going to college on Earth.
  • Brother Chuck: Luke was never seen or mentioned after the second film.
    • It's really striking since given his age he could've easily been featured in the third movie or given a mention.
  • Cheerful Child: Sophie, contrasting with Dylan's cynicism.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Scarlet, Sage, and Sapphire in Return to Halloweentown.
  • Conflict Ball: Gwen, Gwen, Gwen, why do you hate magic so? Why would it be so terrible if Marnie went out trick-or-treating?
    • Aesop Amnesia: And Gwen, would you please make up your mind whether you like magic now or not?
    • Possibly lampshaded when Gwen uses magic for a trivial thing in the third movie (as opposed to in emergencies, which is what she did in the previous two movies), and remarks "Remind me why I don't like magic again?"
    • Dylan is just as bad with this, but given his Butt Monkey status, it's somewhat more appropriate, since it causes him no end of grief.
  • Conspicuous CG: the handbag in the third movie
  • Continuity Nod: In the second film, there's a bottle of werewolf hair in Grandma Aggie's room. Marnie says that getting it "wasn't easy."
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Mainly in the third film, where everyone has a different color of magic. Marnie's is blue, Grandma Aggie's is pink, and of course, the Big Bad's is red.
  • Cool Gate: The portal to Halloweentown.
  • Crystal Ball: Grandma Aggie uses one to see how things are going in Halloweentown in Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge.
  • Cute Monster Girl: There are a few.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dylan
  • Defanged Horrors: To the point where most werewolves are vegetarian, apparently.
  • Demoted to Extra: Grandma Aggie in Return to Halloweentown, though a younger version of the character does factor into the plot.
    • Sophie in Halloweentown High.
  • Does Not Like Magic: Gwen and Dylan.
  • Eternal English: The Halloween town of from 1,000 years pre-series uses the same kind of english as present.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Kalabar in the first film and Silias Sinister in the fourth.
  • Evil Plan: Kalibar in the first film, his son in the second, the Dominion in the third and fourth films. All of them except the second were Take Over the World plans.
  • Eye of Newt: The potion used to power the talisman used to get rid of the Big Bad in the first film requires the hair of a werewolf, a vampire's fang, and a drop of ghost sweat.
  • Fantastic Racism: Mostly in Halloweentown High.
  • Flat Earth Atheist: Dylan in the first movie refuses to believe in witches, ghosts, werewolves, and the like, even when he's in Halloweentown, insisting he's dreaming. He gets better in the next film
  • Flying Broomstick: sold by a zombie who talks like Elvis
  • Foe Yay: It seems Kal shares his father's taste in Cromwell witches.
    • Actually, this seems to be a recurring theme in the films. In the first we have Gwen and Kalabar, in the second there's Marnie and Cal. The third film sets it up like it's going to be Marnie's love interest, Cody, but it is in fact Aggie and Principal Flannigan (who turns out to be one of the Knights). The final installment, as of yet anyway, has Dylan falling for the Sinister sisters.
  • Foreign Queasine: A reference is made to maggot cookies in Halloweentown High, and the college cafeteria serves some rather odd-looking dishes in Return To Halloweentown.
  • Golem: One made of frogs, no less. Until he's disassembled, he appears to be a normal human.
  • Halloween Special
  • Halloweentown: Well, natch.
  • Heel Face Turn: Luke in the first film and the school principal in the third.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Dylan, especially in the fourth film.
    • In the first film, he says he doesn't understand why anyone would go trick or treating, when there's a perfectly good nature documentary on TV...
  • Homage: In Return To Halloweentown, Marnie tries various methods to open a locked box, including wiggling her nose and crossing her arms and nodding her head.
  • Identical Grandson: Marnie looks just like her grandmother when she was young.
  • Incoming Ham: Oh, Kalabar...
  • Knight Templar: The Knights of the Iron Dagger were created solely to exterminate magical creatures for the purpose of protecting humans. One of them raises a ruckus in the third film.
  • Made for TV Movie: All have premiered on the Disney Channel. The original was such a surprise hit that it started off the "Movie-a-Month" series that the channel ran for several years.
  • Magic Mirror: Witches can use any reflective surface to communicate with each other. Also, witches' mirrors (which are usually used for communication) can be used to imprison people.
  • Masquerade: Halloweentown is kept a secret from humans until the end of the third film.
  • More Than Mind Control: The aforementioned Libbys use magic to enhance Dylan's infatuation with them in the fourth film, making him into their veritable slave.
  • Mundane Utility: Dylan only uses magic for one thing: speed-reading.
  • Mythology Gag: The title for Return to Halloweentown was based on the original name of the script for Halloweentown II.
    • In the first Halloweentown movie, Aggie mentions that she installed the Halloweentown Pumpkin herself. In "Return to Halloweentown," after Marnie goes back in time and meets her grandmother, she tells her that she's got something Aggie will need...and summons up the Pumpkin. When Marnie leaves, Aggie calmly asks the guards to take the Pumpkin outside
  • Nay Theist: Gwen and Dylan, who seem to have something against using magic for no reason. Both seem to waffle in and out of a love/hate relationship with it.
  • Never Trust a Title: Kalabar doesn't actually appear in Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge. His son, Kal, is the villain. Halloweentown High is actually about a bunch of kids from Halloweentown temporarily enrolling in a human school, not the other way around. In fact, Halloweentown is not shown at all in the third movie. Not once.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Marnie. In the first movie she excidetly asks if the spell her grandmother will cast will "bring forth the powers of darkness?" When Aggie says it won't, Marnie is visibly dissapointed.
  • Obviously Evil: Every villain.
  • The Ogre: Chester in Halloweentown High.
  • The Other Darrin: Marnie's actress was replaced in the fourth movie.
  • Our Genies Are Different: In the fourth movie, one of the college students is a genie who lives in a lamp, but it doesn't appear that she's obligated to grant wishes to anyone. When her lamp gets destroyed, Marnie offers to share her dorm with her.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: So different that some are vegetarians.
  • Powers as Programs
  • Progressively Prettier: In the first film, Luke was not an attractive goblin. In the second film, his prosthetics were toned down drastically, ostensibly to keep him believable as a Ship Tease for Marnie.
  • Put on a Bus: Sophie in Return to Halloweentown.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: Splendora and Marnie in Return To Halloweentown.
  • Retcon: Ethan's father was portrayed as a standalone Big Bad in the third movie, but the fourth movie had Ethan claiming that he was actually a part of that film's Big Bad group, the Dominion.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: Mostly robes, but Marnie wears a robe and hat in the second movie.
  • San Dimas Time
  • Shallow Love Interest: Cody in Halloweentown High.
  • Ship Tease: Marnie and Luke in the first two films, Dylan and Natalie in the third.
  • Spell Book: Grandma Aggie has one.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": In the credits and closed captions of the first film, Kalabar's name was spelled "Calabar". The second film changed the C to a K, and IMDb lists the character as "Kalabar".
    • It's speculated by many fans that the reasoning for spelling the sequel's title with a 'K' rather than a 'C' is because the person giving the 'revenge' isn't actually Calabar... it was Kal (possibly short for Kalabar with a 'K'). Either that, or it's just Fan Wank.
  • Stable Time Loop
  • Stepford Smiler: Kalabar.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Professor Perrywinkle for Grandma Aggie.
  • They Look Like Us Now
  • Time Travel: In the 2nd and 4th movies.
  • Up the Real Rabbit Hole: Marnie refers to her home dimension (that's the one you and I live in) as the "real world" in the second film.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Kal in the second film has a big one at the end.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Sophie in Halloweentown High. She was in the beginning of the film, but when the three left for school, she appeared in maybe one other scene. She didn't even get to do any magic or get involved with the fact that her family's powers could be taken away.
  • Witch Species
  • Wizards Live Longer: Unless they've had their powers removed. How long do they live? Well, Grandma Aggie was a young woman 1,000 years ago.
  • Wolf Man: In the first movie, a werewolf works as a barber. In the third, one of the transfer students from Halloweentown is a werewolf.
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