A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Double Double Toil and Trouble is a 1993 TV movie that exhibits the Olsen twins at age 7, in their fullest phase of cuteness. Much of the script’s humor revolves around their precocious handling of grown-up frailties. The movie is more silly than scary, but there are some minor frights: A gravedigger who is afraid of Agatha digs a grave at her command; and witches gather to make evil plans (more sensitive children may want to fast-forward through this creepy witches’ meeting, and they can do so without missing much essential plot information). Their cauldron flares up with much drama. Agatha turns a good guy into a crow. In Agatha’s scary house, the girls free Sophia from the mirror, but Agatha tries to push her back and, in the scuffle, is pushed into the mirror and trapped there herself.
What's the story?
On Halloween, the 7-year-old twins (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) plot to free their good aunt Sophia, who was trapped inside a mirror on Halloween seven years earlier by her evil twin, Agatha the witch. (Both aunts are played by the delightful Cloris Leachman.) After ditching their parents while trick-or-treating, the girls recruit a good-natured homeless man, Oscar (Meshach Taylor); a clown-for-rent (Phil Fondacaro); and a gravedigger (Wayne Robson) in the quest to snatch the magic green moonstone that fuels Agatha’s power.
Is it any good?
The younger the viewer, the more she or he will enjoy DOUBLE DOUBLE TOIL AND TROUBLE. Older kids will probably see certain plot twists coming from a mile away; unlike the quality obvious in a classic such as The Wizard of Oz, this movie's weaknesses will be clear to anyone over the age of 8. The story is formulaic and so are the performances by all but Leachman, and they include a turn by the affable Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) as the dad. Still, it's a decent Halloween movie choice for kids who are sensitive or too young for scarier tales.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why it might be difficult to be a twin. Do you ever wish you were a twin? Why?
Did you find the movie spooky or silly? What kind of Halloween stories do you like best?
Sometimes bad people pretend to be nice to trick others. How might you be able to tell when that is happening?
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