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Rating Disney Channel Original Movies: Halloween Edition

As we’re nearing the end of spooky season, it seems like the perfect time to do a last minute ranking of the Disney Channel Original Movies: Halloween Edition. Whether you’re looking for a feel good nostalgia movie to watch on Halloween while you hand out candy or maybe you’re looking to relax and recover from those late-night Halloweekend parties, we’ve got you covered.

Obviously these rankings are based purely on personal opinion and preference. Whether you totally agree with this ranking or not, this list is definitely going to serve you well and bring some childhood fall vibes into your day. Beware; Spooky spoilers ahead!

  1. Halloweentown High

Up first we’ve got Halloweentown High. This may be a little controversial and shocking not to have the OG Halloweentown up first but rest assured its up next. Halloweentown High has so many interesting plot lines to pique your interest. You get a full look at the different creatures that populate Halloweentown and their different styles. There’s again that added mystery of who the villain behind the Knights of Iron Dagger is. Not to mention the suspense of who kidnapped Natalie the Pink Troll. Also, can we take a minute to appreciate the fact that Aggie was a flirty little minx living it up in that high school causing unexplainable chaos? Overall this movie has all you need: romance, suspense, a cool ass secret hangout, a villain turned good, and some magic.

  1. Halloweentown

Obviously we have to show some love to the OG Halloweentown because it truly a classic for spooky season. Marnie was really out here living our childhood dream by suddenly discovering magic is real, she’s a witch, and there’s a whole world that is Halloween all the time (which I’m totally here for). Albeit Marnie throws herself into the deep end trying to help Grandma Aggie defeat the mysterious evil causing people to disappear. Sophie honestly is a little underrated in this movie too because she really is the one who gets the talisman to work but we love a sister duo and Marnie was ultimately the savior in the end. This movie brings a certain amount of nostalgia and just feels like fall in itself, maybe it’s just the amount of times I would watch this as a kid while setting up Halloween decorations or the fact that it’s the start of the series.

  1. Twitches

Speaking of sister duos, we’ve got Twitches. Fairly certain that every girl growing up grew up wishing they found out they had a twin who suddenly activated their magical witch abilities. I’ve already got a sister, but having a long lost magical twin would’ve topped that 100% (if you’re reading this sis, sorry not sorry). This movie is lowkey a badass femme fatale movie between the girls being sassy and strong and finding strength and balance with each other. Also, with Miranda ruling an entire kingdom having lost her children and husband while also looking like an absolute goddess (seriously, those silk gowns were to die for). These girls became unified once they put the pieces together and refused to be gaslit by their secret villain uncle into thinking he’s a good guy.  Also was it just me or did it feel like was trying to get with his dead brother’s girl? A bit creepy if you ask me.

  1. Girl vs. Monster

Breaking off from the Halloween series’, we’ve got Girl vs. Monster. Not gonna lie, I watch this movie regardless of the season and put it on regularly when I’m bored. I would be inclined to put this movie higher in the list if I didn’t feel like the other ones were more Halloweeny and nostalgic for everyone. The writing is somewhat cheesy, but it’s also a Disney movie so it’s kind of expected especially as time passed. This movie has a different take on a Halloween movie because Skylar isn’t a witch or some magical creature, she’s just a regular human. It’s the kind of movie where it’s not so Halloween-themed that you couldn’t put it on at any time of the year when you’re in the mood for a feel-good flick. It’s also got a really good underlying message tied to it about accepting that everyone is afraid of something but that the best way to overcome it is to face your fears and “demons” head on in order to conquer them. Plus, Luke Benward with his goofy grin and shaggy brown hair with major boy-next-door vibes, that provides some good eye candy. 

  1. Return to Halloweentown

This movie is pretty good but has always felt somewhat separated from the other Halloweentown movies. A lot of the major characters are absent or only seen or mentioned a few times. Sophie is only heard of traveling the galaxy, Grandma Aggie has a couple of guest appearances, Benny the cab driver is seen only in the past, and most of the side characters from the Halloweentown High aren’t at Witch University except for Ethan. I think this movie brings a fresh take on the Halloweentown series. It has a different setting, different problems that need to be solved, different source of evil that isn’t completely obvious from the start. We also see a lot of background about Grandma Aggie and the origins of the Halloweentown we had seen in the first three movies from Marnie’s adventure to the past. There’s also more of a political aura throughout the movie about the elitism of the sinister sisters and their elitist view that witches are better than every other creature that deepens the storyline. 

  1. Twitches Too

Next up in our ranking we have Twitches Too. I enjoyed this movie but it did kind of seem a little scattered and disconnected. We really don’t see that many interactions between the sisters until the end, and there are a lot of plots going on between the two worlds that don’t seem completely necessary. Also, can we admit that that is a total violation of sister code? One of the enticing and captivating parts of this movie though was the mystery and almost conflict for Alex about the identity of the shadow roaming the castle and how it showed her internal battle between her head and heart on what spell to cast. The ending has always seemed powerful and portrayed a strong message of family by the twins and Miranda giving their father’s shadow all of their magic to come back from the shadowland. It was all-in-all a good Halloween movie but not one of my top choices.

  1. Halloweentown  II

The last ranked of either Halloween series is Halloweentown II. I’ll be honest, I’m really not a fan of this Halloweentown and it is definitely my least favorite of the four movies. Even though I will admit I did kind of ship Kalabar with Marnie until we realized he was evil and even slightly when we realized it, everyone loves a bad boy, right? To me, the movie just seemed to drag on to me and seemed like they could never find a resolution. The whole conflict of the humans turning into the creatures they dressed up as seemed like it was a revenge plot that should’ve been enacted in the beginning of the human holiday, not centuries later by a deranged Halloweentown mayor’s son. It also seems weird that Luke is her counterpart in this movie as he was somewhat of an extra in the first movie and didn’t really have a strong character development in either films. It still is a good halloween movie but compared to the others is just a less rich and entertaining movie. 

  1. Invisible Sister

Before I had actually watched this movie, I didn’t have high expectations; It’s a more recent Disney movie and in my opinion the DCOM movies started to get worse and more cheesy as time went on so I was planning on this being absolutely terrible. However, I was somewhat pleasantly surprised, on a deeper level I think it showed a realistic sister dynamic of feeling like you’re in one’s shadow and also wanting to be completely different from each other to not live in a shadow that I find fairly relatable. All in all though, it was pretty cute and did have some relatable themes and messages with a cute “clock strikes midnight on Halloween” deadline similar to the Cinderella storyline. This movie was actually a pretty good watch but doesn’t compare to the more “old-school” Disney movies that are listed above but I’d watch it again, come next year’s Halloween movie binge. 

  1. Zombies

This movie was more so exactly what I had expected for a more recent Halloween movie. Granted, this movie isn’t centered around Halloween at all but it does involve zombies. I will admit that I only watched this movie once, and I don’t plan on watching it again. It had so many clichés thrown around, like the star-crossed lovers, love at first sight, the preppy yet clicky trio of head cheerleaders, cheerleader and football player, etc. I will say that I did like how strong-willed and progressive Addison was, given the circumstances. It was a nice ending for the movie that I didn’t necessarily see happening with the two groups joining together to complete the routine.

Now is the perfect time for a movie night. Grab some friends, a cozy blanket, some Halloween candy, and enjoy some of the original spooky specials.

Amanda is a junior business analytics major at Manhattan College. She is a member of Women in Business, Music Ministry, the O'Malley School of Business Honors Program, and Performing Hearts (Manhattan College's Female A capella Group). Amanda is also an intern for the Lasallian Women and Gender Resource Center.
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