A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The overall message is pretty sweet -- that we’re more alike than different, and should all get along if we try. But the film pokes fun at Canadians with jokes that imply their naivete.
Positive Role Models
Even the monsters are nice -- werewolves are vegetarian! -- in this film, though it does have the attendant villain. Teens who don’t understand their classmates call them “freaks" and “losers.“ Marnie speaks disrespectfully to her helpful grandmother during a tense conversation.
Violence & Scariness
Some yelling and benign run-ins among teens.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some flirtation, and an almost-kiss, but that’s it.
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“Loser" and “stupid“ is as aggressive as it gets.
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Products & Purchases
Not too many branding messages, though the film is a Disney production and comes with the attendant marketing power of the studio.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this made-for-TV Disney movie about monsters and humans at a high school is the third of a trilogy that centers around a family of witches. Tweens won't be scared off by the somewhat crude special effects, but younger kids might. One scene has monsters running amok when a Halloween haunted house attraction actually turns into one. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
What is the legendary Debbie Reynolds doing in this mediocre movie? Although in truth, she was in the previous two Halloweentown films in the Disney-produced trilogy. The special effects are so rudimentary as to be laughable, the plot, hair-thin. (It's hard to imagine Disney making a movie with awful special effects, given its history, but when you see the monsters divest themselves of their human costumes, you'll understand.) And though Reynolds is, of course, a pro, biting into her role with relish, nearly everyone else is hokey. They act as if they're on a high school stage, which, in a way, they are.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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