A Definitive Ranking Of The Best Disney Halloween Movies That You MUST Watch This October

A Definitive Ranking Of The Best Disney Halloween Movies That You MUST Watch This October

It's October, which means snuggling up with a blanket and the best Halloween movies.

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You've finally made it to October! October is a month full of fun and adventures to do now that we've officially entered fall. While going to the pumpkin patch, decorating for Halloween, and studying for midterms all sound like great adventures, cozying up with the first hot chocolate of the year and a warm blanket is a perfect way to spend a rainy day in October. And what better way to get in the Halloween spirit than a good Halloween movie. Here, you will find a ranking of the nine best Halloween movies you will watch this Halloween season.

9. "Return to Halloweentown"

Now, unfortunately, there was a recast from the original "Halloweentown" movies, but regardless, "Return to Halloweentown" will always be the perfect wrap up to the series as we get to see Marnie and her friends starting their lives away from home.

8. "Phantom of the Megaplex"

If you've ever been to an old run down the theater, you'll relate to the kids in this movie trying to discover who is recking havoc at the movie theater. SPOILER a phantom of someone that was once trapped in the theater!

7. "Halloweentown High"

In "Halloweentown High," you'll get to enjoy the adventures of Marnie and her friends navigating everyone's favorite place, high school! There will be plenty of twists and turns along the way to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole movie.

6. "Twitches Too"

The Twitches return for this sequel to the original movie. In "Twitches Too," you'll get to see the twins return in their college years still battling the darkness and still trying to save the world. If you loved the first movie, you'll surely love being reunited with these twin witches.

5. "Hocus Pocus"

If you haven't heard of "Hocus Pocus", you're really missing out. "Hocus Pocus" is a Halloween classic that not only features three witty witches, but you also get to enjoy an immortal cat making appearances every once in a while.

4. "The Nightmare Before Christmas"

"The Nightmare Before Christmas" is the perfect mix of the two best holidays! Check out this movie as October begins to wind down to get you in the Christmas spirit while still holding onto the last bits of spookiness that October has to offer.

3. "Haunted Mansion"

Ghosts, secrets, and mysterious characters all come together to form this Halloween movie. You won't be disappointed watching Eddie Murphy and his film family explore in the "Haunted Mansion."

2. "Twitches"

Tia and Tamera unite their newly discovered powers to escape the darkness and save their mother. This Halloween great has the magic and laughs that will put you in the spooky spirit.

1. "Halloweentown"

A Halloween classic! This movie combines all of the greatest parts of Halloween. It has spells, witches, monsters, skeletons, and of course a giant pumpkin. There's nothing else that even competes for the number one spot.

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On Newt Scamander And Autistic Representation

Newt Scamander is a hero for neurodivergent viewers -- so how come it's easier for other viewers to accept magic exists than that fact?
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I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I went to go see "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them". In truth, I had accepted that the Harry Potter franchise was over years ago; I thought it seemed silly to create a whole new series within the same universe. However, when it came out I felt a bit more excited about it, and a week later I finally went with my mother to go see it.

Newt Scamander, the main character of the movie, is odd. Most people seem to agree that his first appearance is jarring. He gets off a boat in New York City and is ushered through customs, where a gruff worker begins to question him about the suitcase he had brought with him. Newt won’t meet the worker’s eyes. He’s a bit distant, voice soft and mannerisms peculiar. For a moment, I wondered how any director would possibly allow that sort of acting to pass through. But by the time the next scene rolled around, it hit me -- oh! Newt’s autistic!

Autistic representation in media is not discussed, even though it is quite a pertinent issue. When it comes to autistic characters, the only one that personally springs to mind is Raymond Babbit from the 1988 movie "Rain Man". There’s already been plenty of discourse about that movie, with the main criticism being that it relies on stereotypes, including autistic savantism, which is a rather rare occurrence.

It’s estimated that 1% of the world population has autism, which ends up being about 74,000,000 people worldwide. Despite that staggeringly large number, general education on autism is absent. Autistic people remain terrifyingly isolated, starting in childhood, where teachers lack proper training on how to help autistic students succeed to the best of their abilities and children bully them for something out of their control. Few people speak out on the abuse directed towards autistic individuals and how their autism manifests in themselves. Instead, autism is seen as behavioral issue, or a disability that causes many allistic* people to view those with it as subhuman, or as an insult (and if you’ve never seen it used as an insult, I’m so, so glad you’ve never had to experience the misery that is scrolling through a YouTube comment section).

I bring all this up only to mention that joy that I felt when I realized that Newt, whether intentionally or not, behaved very much like a person on the autism spectrum would. In a world where people are constantly punished for their autism, or tendencies from other things that might mirror autism (whether that be anxiety disorders, learning disabilities, giftedness, related conditions and disorders, or just personality quirks), it was quite refreshing to see a main character who embodied that and was not shamed for it.

I feel this is particularly highlighted near the beginning of the film, where one of the characters try to reassure Newt that someone out there probably likes him. “No, not really, I’m annoying,” Newt responds. It was a sentiment that hit me hard, a mindset that I had been stuck in since childhood after multiple kids made it very well known to me that they didn’t like my obsessive, nerdy, awkward nature, which only kept me trapped in my own bubble with very few friends. However, despite Newt saying that about himself, the other characters of the movie didn’t find him annoying or generally unlikable. They befriended him with ease. The fact that he functioned so differently didn’t push them away. Instead, it ended up drawing them together.

Leaving the theater, an image of a child like Newt going to see that movie popped into my mind. If I, a college student, could feel a bit better about myself after seeing Newt, I couldn’t imagine what Newt would do for an autistic child obsessed with animals and the Harry Potter universe.

Critics and reviews, to me at least, don’t quite understand that Newt is a champion for neurodivergent* viewers. They’re quick to blame it on bad writing or bad acting, and even quicker to accept a universe where magic and fantastic beasts are real but a person that mirrors the hallmark symptoms of autism is not. And that’s really what troubles me: if a character with a condition, disorder, or disability does not have their condition, disorder, or disability blatantly named and they’re not visibly suffering from it, they go from being an acceptable and intriguing character to a bad one. This, in turn, only reflects the fetishization of disabled and neurodivergent people in media, and reinforces the idea that people with these things are a spectacle to be observed and cured of, rather than a normal human being that has something a bit different about them. Think about it: when was the last time you saw a disabled and/or neurodivergent character that was the focus of a story that wasn’t about their condition?

Whether Newt actually has autism or some other neurodivergent condition or is just a bit peculiar, whether you love the movie or hate it, whether you love Eddie Redmayne or hate him, one thing is very clear: there needs to be more representation of people like Newt. Many people, including myself, fell in love with him instantly when they saw themselves reflected in Newt. The backlash for characters who behave oddly, when not in a charming, whimsical way, or a rogue, antisocial way, needs to end. I, for one, am quite ready for a world full of Newt Scamanders. When will everyone else be?

*Explanation on the terms "allistic" and "neurodivergent"

Cover Image Credit: NJ

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Movies For Everyone In 2019

Enjoy 2019 with your friends at these upcoming movies

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2019 is expected to be a huge year for movies across all genres. So whether you're a fan of horror or comedy or action, there is bound to be something made for you. While there are hundreds of movies scheduled to be released next year, here are a few of the top names for anyone to enjoy.

Avengers 4 (Untitled)

Release Date: April 26, 2019

Starting with the obvious here. The fourth installment of the Avenger's franchise is one of the most highly anticipated movies in recent memory. Though we know very little about the sequel to Infinity War right now, the excitement surrounding it is real. No matter if you are a hardcore Marvel fan or watching your first superhero movie, you won't go wrong here.

Toy Story 4

Release Date: June 21, 2019

Another series on its fourth installment, Toy Story has people of all ages buzzing with excitement. In this upcoming film, a new character, "Forky", joins Woody, Jessie and Buzz in their adventures. The first promo for the movie was just released, advertising the new character in comedic form and teasing fans with the small bit of a trailer. While Toy Story 4 is classified as children's movie, let's be real - it's Toy Story and likely won't disappoint fans of any age.

Aladdin

Release Date: May 24, 2019

Continuing the recent trend of beloved Disney classics getting live-action reboots is Aladdin. It will be easy to get sucked into a whole new world when you see Princess Jasmine and Aladdin flying through the real night skies, and bringing the man himself, Will Smith, in to play the Genie should add even more to the movie. The early trailers for this movie look flat out amazing, with the CGI and cinematography pleasing the eye in every way imaginable.

Space Jam 2

Release Date: TBA

This one is admittedly aimed more towards the sports fans out there, but Space Jam is a fun movie for the family. Starring Lebron James, Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Toons crew, Space Jam 2 will attempt to build on the last movie that starred Michael Jordan. Maybe, just maybe, this movie will also bring to an end the debate about who the real GOAT of basketball is: Jordan or Lebron?

IT: Chapter Two

Release Date: September 6th, 2019

A choice for any horror movie lovers out there. The Stephen King story made its way into pop culture years ago and last year burst back onto the scene when the movie was remade with new technology for new screens. The movie fared well with fans and because of this, we can count down the days until Pennywise returns to sewage drains near you.

The Lion King

Release Date: July 19, 2019

Back to Disney again, I know. But how can you not be infatuated with this cast? Seth Rogen, Donald Glover and Beyonce just to name a few of the names that got together to make this apparent masterpiece of a remake. The music should be out of this world with Glover and Beyonce, and that should be enough to bring this movie near the top of the box office.

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