(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Halloweentown High)
Doug (vo): Halloweentown High. (Beat) Yeah, okay. They've made so many of these movies, I'm surprised there's not a "Halloweentown Surf's Up" or "How to Cook with Halloweentown". I mean, the possibilities are endless, aren't they? The first one, I couldn't really get into aside from the makeup, and the second one, I thought was legitimately enjoyable, even though they were bound to just a few locations. The third one falls somewhere in-between.
Doug (vo): It pretty much just jumps right in there as we see our favorite family is toying with the idea of maybe having kids from Halloweentown go to school in the real world. In literally a flash, the eldest daughter...who's actually the only daughter now. The youngest one seems to have just disappeared. Honestly, no big loss...is in front of the Halloweentown council and is willing to put her idea to the test, except, well, her magic is on the line, as well as the magic of her entire family. Oops. So the kids from Halloweentown are in disguise as Canadians...yeah, foreign exchange there, that's really gonna be a culture shock...who are dressed up as humans and are trying to be shown that monsters and humans can get along. But unfortunately, this evil organization known as the Knights wants to keep these two groups separate because they still think humans are evil, not tolerant, and are just gonna be awful for them. And as we discover, they're willing to do anything to keep them apart.
Doug (vo): I'm not gonna lie. When I heard "Halloweentown High", the first thing that came in my head is, "Oh, cool. A school in Halloweentown. Seeing a bunch of ghouls and monsters learn all sorts of creative things." It's kind of a letdown knowing not only is it monsters going to the real world school, but it's monsters that aren't even allowed to be monsters. They have to be in disguise, looking like real kids. That's not much fun. Because of this, we don't really get that much in terms of visuals and weird makeup and such.
(Several clips focusing on the movie's visuals and makeup are shown)
Doug (vo): Every once in a while, there's something cool, like marshmallow spiders, a bag that walks and eats people, and even the Halloween kids are allowed to take off their disguises once in a while. And is it me, or did DreamWorks' Trolls totally rip this off?
(A pink-haired, pink-skinned female troll wearing a dress named Natalie is shown, along with an image of Princess Poppy from Trolls)
Doug (vo): Thankfully, though, the movie mostly makes up with this with some okay writing and some genuinely good performances, I mean, for a Disney Channel movie. I think we know we're not gonna get anything spectacular here. It's funny seeing these actors, who are just so uncomfortable and awkward in the first film, suddenly seem very natural and very interested in what they're saying, as any good actor should be. Any weird, strange stuff they have to say, they really try their hardest to make sound like this is just an everyday thing. And even the humans reacting to their odd ways get a few laughs. I especially love this boy's reaction when all the kids suddenly disappear into one car.
(The scene is shown. The boy, Cody, becomes confused upon seeing the kids gone)
Cody: Why does none of this surprise me?
Doug (vo): That...seems so believable to me. The message is made pretty clear as the villains, once they're revealed, are trying to make a whole group of people look bad based on the actions of only a few. And I'm not gonna lie, while I'm recording this and watching the news, this message does hold a lot more relevance now than it probably did back then. It's kind of like Zootopia. What I thought was a little too obvious and in-your-face, sadly, it turns out, is very, very needed nowadays. So I guess even its very simple message has a lot more relevance.
(One of the main characters, Dylan, is shown)
Doug (vo): The only thing that was starting to get on my nerves a little bit is the performance of the brother. I don't know. He's seeming a little too one-note to me, it's just always complaining, always whining, making fun of everything. Don't get me wrong. This is very hard dialogue to make sound likeable. It gets even stranger when he starts dating one of the kids from Halloweentown, until he sees what she really looks like, and suddenly, he's disgusted. It's given a little bit of a spin when we discover she thinks he's disgusting, too. It's kind of an interesting point of view for kids, the gross monsters sees us as gross monsters. But in the end, when it looks like they're gonna see past it, they still say that they find each other gross and they just decide to be friends. What a...confusing message.
Final thought Edit
Doug (vo): So, yeah. Were there a lot of possibilities that should've been taken advantage of? Yes. Are there a lot more creative elements that should've been here? Absolutely. But for what it is, it kept my interest, I wanted to know what was gonna happen, I wanted to know how they were gonna get out of the predicament. I enjoy the monsters' point of view as well as the humans' point of view, and when they did have those creative elements, they were a lot of fun. I guess if you're curious to see it just to say you've seen all the Halloweentown movies, it's not bad to check out. It's not gonna take anything to new levels or anything, but it's totally okay. Nothing wow-worthy, but passable enough.
(The final scene, showing Marnie and Cody flying on a broomstick in the night sky, is shown)