Halloweentown’s Marnie taught us that being normal is vastly overrated and, more importantly, that Halloween is cool—life lessons that have shaped who we are since 1998.
But when the original actress behind the character, Kimberly J. Brown, was recast in the fourth movie in 2006, we felt betrayed. Brown was replaced by Sarah Paxton for reasons that were never really clear and still aren’t. In a recent interview with Seventeen.com, she explains, “The entertainment industry is a crazy business. I’ve been in the business for over 25 years. At the end of the day, there’s been a lot of things that I’ve had to chalk up to just being an actor in a crazy industry. That was one of those things.”
Diehard fans of the movie series (read: us) were heartbroken, and Brown was too. “I was disappointed for the fans. And I guess a little disappointed in general just because I love Marnie and love the series and just would always love to continue to play her.”
But the original queen of Halloween hasn’t lost her roots. Brown recently wrote and published a Halloween children’s book titled Poppin’s Pumpkin Patch Parade. And she still attends the Spirit of Halloweentown festival in St. Helens, Oregon, where the first movie was filmed. Brown goes in full character, wearing the classic Marnie coat, and recites iconic lines for fans.
— Kimberly J. Brown (@OfficialKJB) October 10, 2015
“I’m honored and flattered that people not only still talk about it all these years later, but that they still watch it. I meet fans all the time who say they saw it when it first came out and now they show it to their kids. It’s amazing beyond anything I could have ever dreamed of,” she says.
Halloweentown I through IV are definitely on our to-watch list every Halloween, and it’s all thanks to the original Marnie.