The month of October brings with it plenty of annual viewing traditions, and chief among them for ’90s kids is the “Halloweentown” franchise. The series launched in 1998 with a Disney Channel Original Movie about a 13-year-old girl who learned that not only did she descend from a line of witches, but there’s actually an entire community called Halloweentown populated by witches, warlocks and all sorts of spooky creatures.
“Halloweentown” played on Disney Channel ad nauseum every October, and eventually spawned three additional sequels. With spooky season in full swing – and with all four movies currently streaming on Disney+ — now is as good a time as any to get straight how to watch the “Halloweentown” movies in order.
The first “Halloweentown” film sets the stage for all to come. Kimberly J. Brown plays Marnie Piper, an ambitious 13-year-old who learns that her mother Gwen (Judith Hoag) and her grandmother (Debbie Reynolds) are witches, and Aggie lives in Halloweentown. Marnie and her younger brother Dylan (Joey Zimmerman) secretly follow their grandmother to Halloweentown, where citizens are mysteriously disappearing.
“Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge” (2001)
The second “Halloweentown” movie picks up two years after the events of the first film and finds Marnie returning to Halloweentown, only to discover all the citizens have been turned into monotonous, black-and-white humans. She works alongside new friend Kal (Daniel Kountz) to try and find out how this “Grey Spell” was cast, and how it can be reversed before it’s too late.
“Halloweentown High” (2004)
Set two years after the events of “Halloweentown 2,” the third film in the series “Halloweentown High” moves the setting from Halloweentown at large to high school. Marnie successfully lobbies to bring a group of Halloweentown students to her own high school to help bridge the gap between Halloweentown and the mortal world. A spell makes their appearance human, and the film follows the ups and downs of high school with a magical twist. “American Horror Story” star Finn Wittrock stars as a potential love interest for Marnie.
“Return to Halloweentown” (2006)
The fourth and final “Halloweentown” movie is called “Return to Halloweentown” and takes place about five years after the events fo the first film, with Marnie now an 18-year-old. Sara Paxton took over the role of Marnie for this film from Kimberly J. Brown after negotiations broke down for Brown to reprise the role. The story follows Marnie to college, where she decides to attend Witch University in Halloweentown – only to discover witches and warlocks are not allowed to use magic at college anymore.