The Disney Channel original movie “Halloweentown” shaped the Halloween traditions of an entire generation. Gathered around the television screen, countless families would enjoy a holiday classic year after year – the movie becoming an instant fall ritual after its first premiere. "Halloweentown" is a cultural phenomenon, which began with the release of the first film “Halloweentown” on October 17, 1998. The movie starred Kimberly J. Brown as Marnie Piper, a teenage witch who’s mother was desperate to hide her powers from her, while her meddling grandmother, played by Debbie Reynolds, had other plans for the young witch. The movie was a success and quickly became a crowd favorite for Halloween films. The film was so successful, in fact, that several sequels or “spin-offs” were released, including the movies “Halloweentown High,” Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge,” and “Return to Halloweentown.”
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The first "Halloweentown" movie was shot in the city of St. Helens, Oregon. This was where the set was created and footage captured for a majority of the film. St. Helens housed many prominent scenes, including being the residence of the famous Halloween pumpkin which sat in the city square and stood as a symbol to "Halloweentown." The movie was such a sensation in fact, that, according to EW.com, every year the town puts on a "Halloweentown" themed festival, decorating the town to match the film's set, and creating activities for residents and tourists alike to participate in throughout the month of October. The movie has become a part of the culture of that town, just as it has become a way for thousands of families across the country to help represent Halloween as it approaches each year.
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It’s hard to explain how magical it was to know what was waiting for you every October on the Disney Channel, and anticipating all the witches, ghosts, goblins, and the Halloween-esque hijinks. "Halloweentown" stands to represent childhood and the feelings of excitement you had to look forward to every season. The movies made fall such a special time of year, and really put you in the mood for Halloween. The films that followed the original just continued to get better and expanded further on the magical world that was "Halloweentown," and all the strange happenings that went along with it. You were drawn into the world, especially as young kids. Experiencing "Halloweentown" for the first time, you wanted to believe that you could be Marnie, and that a magical life and witchy powers would soon find you, just as they found her.
Now that some of the anticipation of the holiday season has seemed to be worn away by time, growing old, and getting busy, it’s nice to still have a movie from your childhood to allow you to re-live some of the magic that was once in abundance when we were young. If you have managed to avoid being cultured and have yet to check out the movies for yourself, be sure to do so, and experience for yourself the wacky adventures of Marnie Piper in Halloweentown.
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