Halloweentown High

  • Review Date: September 6, 2010
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 86 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Ho-hum Halloween tween film is fine for older kids.
  • Review Date: September 6, 2010
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 86 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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.

Sexy stuff

Some flirtation, and an almost-kiss, but that’s it.

Language

“Loser" and “stupid“ is as aggressive as it gets.

Consumerism

Not too many branding messages, though the film is a Disney production and comes with the attendant marketing power of the studio.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Marnie (Kimberly J. Brown), a young witch, is convinced humans and otherworldy creatures can get along perfectly well in the real world. She wagers that her assertion is true, which lands her with a passel of monsters attending her high school to see if she’s right. But what’s on the line is her magical powers, which just may be too big of a bet. Especially when a war of words at a mall dissembles into chaos, and the Knight of the Iron Dagger makes an appearance.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

What is the legendary Debbie Reynolds doing in this 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the message beneath the allegorical monsters vs. humans debate: Just because two people are different, is it automatically true that they can’t get along or appreciate each other?

  • Why do most movies tap into the scary side of Halloween? Is there another side?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 4, 2004
DVD release date:September 13, 2005
Cast:Debbie Reynolds, Judith Hoag, Kimberly J. Brown
Director:Mark A.Z. Dippe
Studio:Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:86 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Halloweentown High was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byarthur16morgana June 9, 2011
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

halloweentown high

The Hallween town movies are amazing!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old November 1, 2010
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Halloweentown High

Well I Guess I Shoulnt Keep My Hopes Up Too High.There I Said It Halloweentown High.Another Diispointment By The Director Mark A.Z. Dippe.I Feel Like Dipping That Stupid In Fire.He Ruined A Great Movie.Good For Ages Six And Up.

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