As all Hallow’s Eve is upon us, now is the time to stir the churning cauldron, pop the popcorn, and enjoy some classic Disney Original Halloween movies. Of course, this break down of Disney Channel Halloween movies is all my opinion. So, whether you can handle the scariest of the scary or can only watch a horror movie in pure daylight, here are what I think are the 5 best and the 5 not so best, Disney Channel Halloween movies.
Let’s rip the band-aid off and jump right in
The Scream Team - in my opinion, is the worst Halloween Disney original movie. To be honest, as I was going through the different Halloween, I had forgotten that this was even actually a movie. If you had forgotten about this movie as I did - here is a refresher for you. A brother and sister have lost their grandfather and believe that his soul is trying to speak to them. With the help of three ghosts, they must free their grandfather's soul from an evil ghost. While this cast had one of my favorite 2 broke girls, Kat Denning - that casting is nowhere near enough to save this movie.
Next up is, Under Wraps was the very first of the Disney Channel Original Halloween movies. It’s not perfect but it is sorta cute and definitely not a scary film. The story follows a clumsy mummy named Harold, you heard me right - the mummy’s name is Harold. It is not the worst one but it's certainly not the best.
Ok - for a Disney movie, this film - Don’t Look Under the Bed - is downright terrifying. Granted, it was probably scarier when we were all younger but I am pretty sure it is still horrifying. The main character has an imaginary friend who ends up selling her out to the Boogeyman. The girl is obviously unstable and the boogeyman looks like a horror show. I couldn't sleep for weeks after seeing this movie in college, heck, when I was younger I couldn’t even get through the film. This one is not one of my favorites, but if you are looking for a scarier Disney film, give this one a try.
When a franchise recasts main characters there is bound to be backlash from fans - heck even for tv shows as popular as Doctor Who, when the Doctor regenerates there are some haters. But with the final Halloweentown movie, the backlash wasn’t totally misplaced. For this last adventure in Halloweentown, our beloved Kimberly J. Brown who had been the embodiment of Marie Piper was replaced by Sara Paxton. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Sara Paxton as an actress (in fact my favorite film of hers is Sydney White with Amanda Bynes), but these ladies look nothing alike. So for me, I was wondering for almost the entire movie what made Kimberly J leave and why they chose Paxton and pretty much a "what is happening?!" feeling. The sad thing is this movie had the potential to bring the franchise to an amazing close. So the end of the franchise sees Marnie and her brother Dylan heading off to Witch University to try college life in Halloweentown. If you can get past the cast change betrayal, tune into this flick for a look at spooky college life.
Mom’s Got a Dare with a Vampire, this movie is absolutely a classic. A brother and sister who are constantly arguing must band together to save their mom from the Halloween date, they set her up with - can you guess? Yup, he’s a vampire. Disney has always been able to nail the self-explanatory title. With help from a vampire hunter, these kids must beat a suave British vamp, with many shenanigans along the way. Now, this is not a sexy, sparkly Twilight vampire either, in fact, if you watched the tv show “The Nanny” growing up you will recognize the vampire as Mr. Scheffield, and the mom is Aunt Hilda from Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
The first movie in the Twitches saga follows two girls who find out that they have a twin they didn't know existed - in almost Parent Trap style. One has grown up privileged, the other from the opposite side of town. Now, in order to save the world from darkness, these twin witches must set aside their differences and band together - through witty commentary and some classic mid-2000s outfits. It's like the perfect combination of the Parent Trap and Halloween! Now, while not included in this list the sequel (Twitches Too) is almost as good as the first movie, and I highly recommend it, but it was just shy of this list!
Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge - Marnie Piper and her crew of friends are growing up so fast! Discovering that something terrible has happened in Halloweentown it’s time for the Cromwell witches to take action and save the day once again - with the help of their friends. I love this movie, it is so great with better effects and funnier characters and obviously, this film is probably one of the best sequels I have ever seen!
Ok, so if you want to get technical, this movie is not a Halloween movie however it’s so good and just the right amount of scary! Which is why I decided to include it in this list - plus it is one of my favorites. A phantom haunting the local movie theater and three kids have to solve the mystery of who this phantom is. Done, I’m hooked. Starring the amazing Mickey Rooney as the senile former owner of the theater who thinks he works there. This movie is a modern twist of the story of “The Phantom of the Opera” with an incredible whodunit theme that is absolutely perfect for the whole family. It’s even better if, like me, you are a scaredy cats who don't like horror movies.
While this film was not made for the Disney Channel, I believe that no Halloween season is complete without watching the Sanderson Sisters come back to life. New kid in town, Max has just moved to Salem, Mass. with his family. While exploring an abandoned house with his sister Dani and their new friend, Allison Max accidentally frees a coven of evil witches. With the help of a magical cat named Thackery Binx, the kids must steal the witches' book of spells to stop them from becoming immortal. I have always loved this movie, with the incredible talents of Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as the Sanderson Sisters, and Sean Murray as Thackery Binx (that’s right NCIS fans, one of Timothy Magee’s first feature films and he played a magical cat) not to mention the incredible musical number directed by Kenny Ortega (pre High School Musical) you can’t go wrong with this film!!
And now, drum roll please - the BEST Disney Channel Halloween movies (in my opinion) is: Halloweentown
For me, the month of October not only means that the stores are putting out Christmas decorations, but it also means that it is the perfect time to watch my favorite and in my humble opinion the BEST Halloween Disney Channel Original Movie - Halloweentown! Marnie Piper is one of the reasons I waited with baited breathe to become a witch and receive magical powers on my 13th birthday. This story has everything you could possibly want and it is the original so you really can’t beat it. This is the movie that started the whole franchise! We are introduced to Aggie, Marnie's eccentric grandmother who lives in a dimension where it is Halloween all the time, which is a dream come true for any true Halloween fan! My favorite part of this movie is Aggie herself - played by the late great Debbie Reynolds, she brings a cooky lovability to the role of Aggie which makes you want Aggie as your mystical grandma too!
Do you agree with this list? What was your favorite Disney Channel Halloween movie? Or was there one that I missed, whether you thought it was the best or the worst share your thoughts with me in the comments below!