20 September 2015

September 20th

Sunday is a great day to start the Six Weeks. No work for me, no school for the kids: we're free to wade into the holiday pool as we see fit. This year, that involved a morning shopping trip to the Halloween sections of several stores where we picked up all of the bits we needed for the kids' costumes (a witch and a black cat - thanks to the double-feature of Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Kiki's Delivery Service we had a few weeks back). After returning, we popped in the first movie of the season:

Halloweentown (1998) directed by Duwayne Dunham
"Well, I jumped the gun on this one.... Ah well, maybe I'll give it another shot with the daughters in 2015 or so..." I wrote back in 2012 when last I watched this.  I'll be damned, but I just happened to follow my own advice today without even knowing it. And, Past-Me was right; the daughters dug the movie just fine this time around and no one had to hide behind the couch.

Me, I feel the same as I did back then: it's a charming kids movie with some nice Halloween flavor. All of the adult actors seem to be having a hammy ball, especially Debbie Reynolds, who delivers every line just a hair over the line that divides serious from silly. I like the message of not ignoring your roots, no matter what they are. The classic trope of "you're not the normal kid you think you are" is always fun.

I did notice that, while the older daughter Marnie was supposed to be the main character, the younger daughter Sophie is the only one of the two showing any talent with magic. Sophie floats a cookie, changes a lock into a frog, and manages to perfectly memorize her grandma's spell to activate the wand-thing. Marnie doesn't do anything remotely as useful. We'll be watching a couple more of these movies, so I'd be curious to see if this becomes some kind of sibling rivalry side story. Though, I'm probably giving the writers too much credit, I suspect.

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