Halloweentown revisited

(Welcome to Out of the Disney Vault, where we explore the unsung gems and forgotten disasters currently streaming on Disney+.)

There are few movies that manage to draw you into their world as instantly as the Harry Potter movies (stay with me here). Their themes of wanting a place to belong and wishing you were part of something magical, and their awe-inspiring wizarding world made millions of kids and grown-ups alike wish they could receive their Hogwarts letter one day.

Of course, what makes Harry Potter special are the kind of things that directly clash with what we know of the Disney brand. After all, not only have they shut down or otherwise changed projects to make them more kid friendly to fit their company image, but their most recent animated show, The Owl House, has come under criticism by parents who consider the show to be “demonic” – all because the show dares to reference witches and have a visual style that’s inspired by the religious paintings by Hieronymus Bosch (though there is a cute little demon).

But back in the ‘90s, things were different. Just one year after the release of the very first Harry Potter book, Disney released its own story wherein a young kid who has always felt they didn’t belong suddenly discovers that they come from a family of magic-users and wants to follow their tradition of studying to become a wizard in a place full of magical creatures, all while being chased by an evil warlock. Only the film didn’t have Dumbledore, but instead Debbie Reynolds as a campy Mary Poppins who owns a microwave that has “Bubble,” “Toil,” and “Trouble” buttons on it. With that in mind, let’s take a look back at one of the most successful Disney Channel Original Movies, the original Halloweentown. Read More »