The battle of the Disney Channel Halloween movies

Growing up as a child, one of my favorite Halloween pastimes was watching Disney Channel’s spooktacular movies. Whether they were old classics like “The Haunted Mansion,” or at-the-time fresh releases like “Halloweentown” or “Twitches”, my eyes were more stuck to the screen than the gooey Halloween candy was to my braces.

As a self-identified Disney Channel pro, I forwent the suckled bottles of milk and instead opted to be nursed up on Disney Channel Original Movies and TV shows. Hannah Montana was my bread, and Alex Russo was my butter.

And as Disney Channel’s premier consumer in the mid 2000s, it feels simply justified to give my opinion on the rankings of Disney Channel Halloween movies. The movies contending for the number one spot are “Halloweentown,” “Return To Halloweentown,” “Twitches,” “Girl vs. Monster,” and “Tower of Terror.”

Coming in at last place is “Tower of Terror.” As someone born in 2001, it may seem biased that the only movie coming from the 20th century is in dead last. However, just because a movie is old does not mean that it’s instantly good.

“Tower of Terror” was a movie that, for many years, I had assumed was nothing more than a twisted nightmare I had experienced once growing up. Imagine my surprise when I looked up my dream just to find out someone had taken it and made a movie.

 The movie’s entire being is solely based on a ride from Disney World, and that’s all I think I have to say when it comes to the plot.

In fourth place is “Girl vs. Monster.” This film is about a teenage girl who, on the eve of Halloween, finds out that not only is she a fifth-generation monster hunter, but that her parents have been lying about their day jobs for her entire life, as they’re monster hunters too. 

The music in this movie is very catchy, leading me to put it in fourth rather than fifth. However, the plot fell victim to the Disney Channel curse, depicting a plot and storyline so cheesy the name should be changed to “Girl vs. Muenster.”

Spot number three belongs to “Return to Halloweentown.” Nary has a television series profited off of continuing a high-school storyline into college. See “Boy Meets World” or “Saved By The Bell.” 

Changing the main character’s actress after two movies is also an interesting decision, especially when you keep the rest of the original cast excluding her. However, since the movie is a part of the “Halloweentown” trilogy, I will wholeheartedly support it in a favoritist, nepotistic sort of way.

 Plus, it’s hard to see the antagonists of the movie, the Sinister Sisters, as true villains in the movie when every aspect about them screams ‘iconic.’ 

There’s one movie scene in particular, where Scarlett Sinister, the main sister, casts a spell onto her pen during class by blowing on it, allowing it to write her paper for her autonomously.

 I distinctly remember trying to do it in my own grade school classroom many times, and feeling equally disappointed each time I blew on the pen, let go of it expecting it to become a sentient being, and subsequently watching it fall onto my desk with a thud. 

Runner-up in this ranking is “Twitches.” The main reason behind this placement is simply that the Mowry twins are the stars of the film. As a fan of “Sister Sister,” the TV show also starring the twins, I knew I’d be a fan of the movie before I even watched it for the first time.

 I also appreciate all of the special effects. They aren’t realistic, some of the special effects are actually quite shoddy. But it reminds me of the effects of the early 2000s, and as a result reminds me of how good life was then.

Spot number one, with a massive drumroll, goes to “Halloweentown.” Nobody can outdo the doer. “Halloweentown” is the blueprint for Halloween Disney movies, in my opinion.

 It’s family friendly, yet still entertaining to people over seven years old, and the creativity of all the different types of monsters the viewer can see, even if they’re just in the background for one second, never fails to amaze me. 

The sequel, “Kalabar’s Revenge,” and three-quel, “Halloweentown High,” are also both good as well. Both were just shy of making the list, and were actually almost a contender for the top three movies. It doesn’t help that the theme song for the movie is catchy too. It doesn’t matter how ailing and sickly I may be. I could be on death’s bed, but if I heard the “Halloweentown” theme song, I would levitate off of the mattress, Dua Lipa style, like a cow being abducted by an alien, being lifted by the sheer power of the song.

These movies truly get into the spooky spirit. The more recent Halloween-themed Disney Channel movies have paled in comparison, but maybe I’ve aged out of the demographic. The earlier movies are some tricks, such as the have to locate some of these movies on any streaming platform at all, but I’d say there are more treats, such as the childhood nostalgia the viewer can feel emanating through the screen, sweeter than any Halloween candy.

Write to Joey Erickson at joseph.erickson.2@mnsu.edu

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