Stroll Down Memory Lane: Return to Halloweentown

To refresh your memory, this is the one where they changed the actress who payed Marnie and thought we would be ok with it. On top of that, they made this new Marnie, played by Sarah Paxton, the focus of the fourth installment of this movie series. No ma’am! I remember being a child and going into this movie hating it because Kimbery J. Brown was not Marnie Piper. As I watch it again, I don’t mind the storyline; however, where was Kimberly?!

Return to Halloweentown is the story of Marnie going to college in Halloweentown, unfortunately, with her brother Dylan. There’s this centuries old prophecy tells of a Cromwell possessing great power that will unite Halloweentown.

Let me start with Dylan. In every movie, besides Halloweentown, Dylan has wanted a date with some girl and been turned down and this movie was no different. Why did the writers keep doing Dylan like that? Give this man a girlfriend or at least someone who likes him a lot.

In watching this as an adult, this movie isn’t as terrible as say Halloweentown High. I do miss the compliment I gave the original Halloweentown about every scene having a purpose. This movie is an hour and 26 minutes long and it struggled to make every scene have a purpose. The storyline itself is actually better than the second and third Halloweentown. What I loved about this movie is that is went into who the Cromwell witches were. What made them such powerful witches? They’ve used this same troupe throughout the series, but until now, we were just supposed to go with it. I am mad that it took four movies to get us here and it wasn’t with the original Marnie, but sure Disney. String us along.

First things first, why didn’t they get another actress to play Splendora? Marnie is her granddaughter, which we don’t know at the time, but she should not be Marnie’s twin. That always bothered me. Casting another actress wouldn’t have spoiled the twist so why make Sarah Paxton play herself and Splendora? Made no sense.

Any who, I would have loved for this story to actually tell us a little more about this amulet. We did so much to try and find out who Splendora was and what was in that box but I never understood why they created the amulet of absolute power anyway. Splendora tells Marnie that three Cromwell witches created the amulet and she doesn’t want the power within it but I wanted to know why they created it in the first place. Cromwell witches have always been about helping people and keeping Halloweentown safe so why create an amulet of absolute power. Plot hole for those of us who invested in the previous three movies.

The plan got a little murky towards the end of the movie which is where it lost me and it made me sad. So a group of witches called The Dominion are included in this prophecy where a Cromwell will rule Halloweentown. As I start to think about this more, they also don’t explain who created this prophecy and why. It also always seems that even though Dylan hates magic we need him to help us do something. It’s times like this where I wish Sophie was here. She would have been great in this movie but she was training with grandma.

I feel like this was worse than Halloweentown and Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge but better than Halloweentown High; however, I was still missing some key things that could have made this much better.

Tell me what you think? Watch them all on Disney+ and tell me which one is your favorite!

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