(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge)
Doug (vo): It's time for more cheesy spookiness with Halloweentown II, a far better follow-up from the last lame movie, with much better acting, much better effects, much better visuals. Does that make it good? Well...let's not say anything we can't take back.
Doug (vo): The Cromwells are finally throwing a Halloween party and even invite over their grandma. This is being done because the mother has no intention of the kids ever going back to spooky old Halloweentown. But that, of course, changes when an evil boy comes into the mix, steals the grandma's magical book, and uses it to literally suck all the color out of Halloweentown. Yep, all the crazy ghouls and weird goblins are now being replaced with normal people, bland attitudes, and a black and white landscape. To make things worse, the boy, which we now find out is the son of the villain from the last film, takes their grandma once again out of commission, meaning it's up to the kids to figure out how to set everything right.
Doug (vo): So, for the most part, everything is a big upgrade. First of all, look at these effects. Okay, they're not phenomenal, but they're pretty damn good for that time period. The black and white filters are almost as good as Pleasantville, and they don't just turn everything black and white, there's still hints of color around, so it's not visually uninteresting to look at. And the color that is in there really pops a lot more. The acting is also a lot better. Unlike the last film, where you're constantly trying to not snicker at how awkward the performances are, here, I don't know if they got a new director or just more time has passed for them to get used to their roles, but everybody seems much more on track. Okay, they're not phenomenal performances, but they're not in any way distracting.
(Footage showing scenes of the characters working together to solve a problem and a scene showing them at a mysterious room is shown)
Doug (vo): The story allows for a lot of fun ideas, too, like did you know to undo a spell, you literally just say the spell backwards? That's kind of smart. And it also leads to some good problem-solving, as they said a word that apparently reversed the spell, so they know that if they say it backwards, that'll be what the spell is. So they have to retrace their steps, remember what they said, say the words backwards. It's actually kind of neat. There's also a place where all your missing items go. You ever miss the remote or your earring or something like that? This place in Halloweentown has it. But the owner got infected by the spell, too, so he has everything clean, and now they can find everything, which is against the idea. It has to be lost in order to be found, and...yeah. It's-it's kind of creative. The worlds themselves look a lot better. There's much more of a visual art design, and it's more colorful and interesting. But the major downside is, they don't go to that many places. A lot of the movie is them just staying in one spot, talking to each other, trying to figure out what to do. And because the spell is de-monsterizing everybody, you don't really get to see that many monsters either. That is, until the end.
(Scenes of the climax are shown)
Doug (vo): They have this really cool idea where the bad guy casts this spell, and whatever masks they're wearing at the Halloween party, they become that creature. The monsters become monsters, the vampires become vampires. It's really neat. But the problem is, this happens in the climax. Why didn't this happen in the middle of the film? A lot of these makeups are very creative and goofy and fun again. Why weren't we allowed to see them more? As cheesy as the makeup was in the first film, they were at least creative and allowed us to see a lot of them. Here, it's all kind of kept until the last couple minutes. And they're cool, but for a movie called "Halloweentown", I expect to see a little bit more Halloween imagery.
Final thought Edit
Doug (vo): So I guess that is the one thing the first film has over this one, is that it does have a little bit more variety and locations and weird makeup designs and so forth. But for everything else, this movie does things a lot better. The ideas are more interesting, the acting is more interesting, the visuals are more interesting. I feel like they got a bigger budget to work on this, but they still had a lot of time restraints, so they had to move things around, and maybe they only had certain locations for a certain amount of time, and...I don't know. Maybe not, but that's what it feels like watching it. Though they're given a lot more, you're still always made aware of the limitations. But for the most part, I think they did the limitations okay, at least better than the last one. Would I watch it again? No. Is there anything really in it for adults? Not much. But as kids' TV movies go, I think it's got enough to be imaginative. Not a glowing review, but a positive one. If you got a kid that's interested, just like Halloween candy, it's perfect junk food.
(A scene showing the citizens of Halloweentown having a huge party is shown)