30 September 2012

September 30th

Halloweentown (1998) directed by Duwayne Dunham
Well, I jumped the gun on this one.  I already knew this was a cute kids' show, having watched it seven years ago, and I was thinking it'd be great to watch with my daughters for Halloweentime.  It will be... just not yet.  The near-three-year-old, lacking a nap today, almost immediately fell asleep.  The near-five-year-old was fine and even got a kick out of the kooky monsters that lived in Halloweentown... until the real bad guy showed up.  From there, she made a series of strategic moves: to behind the couch, to just outside the door, to all the way upstairs.  It's really not that scary, but she has a low tolerance for creepy-looking characters acting mean to pleasant characters.  Even with less than 10 minutes of bad guy-ness in the whole show, well, that was beyond her limits.

It really is a charming little made-for-TV movie from Disney.  Debbie Reynolds has a ball and hams it up as the family's grandma and Halloweentown's most powerful witch.  The town itself is really fun, with a werewolf hairdresser and a giant jack-o-lantern in the square and a zombie Elvis broom salesman.  This also the only really girl-centric Halloween special I can think of, focusing on a 13-year-old girl's discovery that she's destined to be a great witch like her mom and grandma.  Ah well, maybe I'll give it another shot with the daughters in 2015 or so...

Watched: DVD from Disney.

Tales from the Darkside 1.10: "Djinn, No Chaser" (1985) directed by Shelley Levinson
Another goofy Darkside, this time with a pair of married goofballs acquiring a magic lamp.  In the realm of genies-played-by-basketball-players stories, this is easily the best.  Sorry Shaq, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has got you here.  He plays a genie who's so grumpy about being tramped in a tiny lamp for 10,000 years, he refuses to grant wishes.  Instead, he drives the married couple crazy.  He conjures lions in the hallway to trap them, makes the walls ooze slime, and won't stop yelling in a really loud voice.  Overall, the guy is pretty annoying.  Once they find the key to his release, though, all is well.  Not a story I'd imagine coming from a darkside, but funny and full of energy.


  1. Man, I loved Halloweentown as a kid. You know, city full of monsters. Good stuff when you're ten years old. Haven't seen it in many, many years. Might be worth tracking it down.

  2. Oh man, I feel old. I will say I like it better than the lame Charlie Brown Halloween special.