- Halloweentown, released in 1998
- Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge, the sequel released in 2001
- Halloweentown High, the third movie in the series released in 2004
- Return to Halloweentown, the fourth movie in the series released in 2006
Halloweentown proposes that fantasy beings such as trolls, living skeletons, and humanoids with varying numbers of heads, limbs and sensory organs are real, but separated themselves from Earth's history to escape humans' fear and persecution. These characters created their own community, Halloweentown, a thousand years ago in an alternate space.
Travel between Halloweentown and the ordinary, historical world (which Halloweentown residents call "The Mortal World") is only possible with magical aid, and only at regulated times (on Halloween), until the portal seals at midnight. The events of the second film create a less restricted travel channel, and events of the third film breach the gap even more.
Although magic is present in many of the details of daily life of Halloweentown, it appears that only a limited number of persons actually practice or control magic. These people are mainly human, and are called witches (female) and warlocks (male). Magic is hereditary in their families.
The Halloweentown movies concern episodes in the lives of the Cromwell-Piper family. The family matriarch, Agatha Cromwell, has been a pillar of Halloweentown society for centuries. Her daughter, Gwen Piper, married a mortal and chose to leave Halloween town for a life in the Mortal World. At the time of the movies, she is apparently widowed. She has decided to raise her three children (Marnie, Dylan, and Sophie) apart from magic, and thus rejects contact with Halloweentown and the influence of her mother.
Splendora Agatha "Aggie" Cromwell (1-4) is the mother of Gwen and grandmother of Marnie, Dylan, and Sophie. She is the daughter of Marvin, Merlin's cousin. She is a witch and resides in Halloweentown until Gwen offers to let her move to the human world and live with them at the end of the first movie. She agrees, but is having a very hard time not using her magic. In the first two movies, she carries a bottomless carpetbag that magically strolls along next to her as she walks.
In the third movie, Halloweentown High, she tries to fit in by taking various teaching jobs at Marnie and Dylan's High School and falls for the principal. She has a new bag that follows her around, this one resembling an alligator without a head that loves to eat.
In Return to Halloweentown, it is revealed that during the Dark Times, Splendora Agatha Cromwell was the Princess of Halloweentown, who possessed the Gift, an ancient power, it was a necklace that had great power to give the wearer complete control over any person - but it could only be worn by a Cromwell witch. An evil battalion of dark warlocks and witches known as the Dominion, sought the Gift and wanted Splendora to use it to dominate Halloweentown. Wanting to live like a regular witch, Splendora placed the Gift in a chest and hid it under the ruins of Witch University, it is said that only her heir could unleash the Gift that's stored inside and use the power within it.
Gwendolyn "Gwen" Cromwell Piper (1-4) is the daughter of Aggie and mother of Marnie, Dylan, and Sophie, and widow of William Piper. She was born as a witch but moved to the human world after she married her husband, William Piper.
In Halloweentown, Gwen wants to raise her kids as normal kids in the mortal world, but eventually gives in when Marnie decides to start her witches training and realizing the importance of one's heritage. She was once in love with the powerful warlock Kalabar but dumped him for William Piper, the kids' father. She strongly dislikes magic and continues to make it clear throughout the first three movies, but becomes more accepting of it and uses it sparingly to help out. Yet, in Return to Halloweentown, she gets a job at a real estate and uses her powers to make the houses she sells everyone's dream houses. Probably as a way to open up to the world of possibilities while her children have all left the nest.
Gwen Piper is played by Judith Hoag.
Marnie Piper (1-4) is the eldest daughter of Gwen and William Piper, granddaughter of Aggie, and older sister of Dylan and Sophie. She is the protagonist of the series, a young witch who has always fancied the holiday of Halloween.
In Halloweentown, the 13-year-old Marnie discovers for the first time about her witch heritage and becomes excited to start her training to be a witch.
In Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge, she and her family combine their magic and create a portal that can be opened at anytime around the year to stop a warlock from taking over the worlds.
In Halloweentown High, she bets on her family magic to persuade the Halloweentown Council to reunite the worlds of Halloweentown and the Mortal World.
In Return to Halloweentown, she attends Witch University in Halloweentown and discovers a great secret about her family. She becomes Queen of Halloweentown for one night but uses the chance to apparently destroy The Gift with the help of Gwen, Dylan and her genie friend Anessa, but only passes it on to Dylan, the one person she trusts not to abuse its power.
Dylan Piper (1-4) is the middle child and only son of Gwen and William Piper, grandson of Aggie, younger brother of Marnie, and older brother of Sophie. Dylan is somewhat of a book nerd as he likes to study more than anything. He strongly dislikes Halloween and everything that goes with magic. Dylan is sarcastic and frequently teases his sisters, especially Marnie. He is the only warlock in the family, but doesn't like to use magic but will use it sparingly to help his family.
In Halloweentown, he is about 12 years old and remains skeptical to the existence of magic and the supernatural. He discovers his powers at the end of the film and helps defeat the first movie's antagonist, Kalabar.
In Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge, he tries to reach out to girls, but only ends up getting ditched and only uses his powers twice to help fix the worlds.
In Halloweentown High, he doesn't use his powers at all and falls for a girl before finding out she was a pink troll. Though he doesn't use magic at all in this movie, he states that he has tried to apologize to Natalie using magic to speed-up the speaking process.
In Return to Halloweentown, he attends Witch University with his sister, and confesses that he used his powers to study rapidly in high school, which is the reason to why he skipped a grade and is able to attend college with his sister. He also falls for the evil Sinister sisters but they use him to get the Gift - his family heirloom, so they can try to take over Halloweentown. Later he becomes the wielder of the Gift but decides to hide it in a book.
This character is played by Joey Zimmerman.
Sophie Piper (1-3) is the youngest daughter of Gwen and William Piper, granddaughter of Aggie, and younger sister of Marnie and Dylan. Like Marnie, she is also a witch. She can cast simple spells that she learns from her sister and grandmother.
In Halloweentown, she is about 7 years old and can control her powers better than her sister can, as her grandma states it only takes the will and imagination to make magic work.
In Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge, she can sense Kal's presence, which her grandmother, mother, sister and brother can't, but has a hard time controlling her flying abilities because Aggie hadn't taught her how to fly yet.
In Halloweentown High, she appears briefly and doesn't do magic at all.
In Return to Halloweentown, she does not appear, but it is revealed that she has started her witches training under her grandmother.
This character is played by Emily Roeske.
Kalabar (1) is a powerful warlock and former boyfriend of Gwen. He is racist (he hates humans) and dislikes the fact that Gwen left him for a human, yet the Cromwell magic remains as powerful as ever. At first, he was in the appearance of a black creature who's afraid of sun-light, but reveals his true identity when he tries to convince the citizens of Halloweentown to join him in order to retake what's rightfully theirs, i.e. the mortal world. He dies at the end of Halloween when the Cromwell family members join together to vanquish him. His son Kal 'Kalabar Jr.' is the primary villain in Part II.
Kalabar is played by Robin Thomas.
Kal (2) is Kalabar's secret son and the second primary villain in Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge. He tricked Marnie into showing him Aggie's secret room and stole Aggie's spellbooks to prevent her and her family from stopping his plan to dominate both worlds. He also seems to have an infatuation with Marnie Piper. When Marnie takes back the spellbooks, he vanishes. Luke says after he disappears that he'll be back, but he's never seen or mentioned again.
He is played by Daniel Kountz.
Alex (2) is a golem made of frogs. Because Kal created him, he had no choice but to take his orders to attract Gwen and make her wear a Halloween mask, which is used later to turn her into a monster when Kal casts the Creature Spell on the mortal world. Thanks to Dylan and Sophie, Gwen manages to find out what he really is and he is then turned back into a bunch of frogs.
He is played by Peter Wingfield.
Edgar Dalloway (3) is the main antagonist of the third film. He is a former head of the Halloweentown High Council and wants the portal closed for good and the Cromwell magic, and tries every scheme to get it. He nearly succeeds but is stopped when Marnie proves that humans really have changed and Gwen returns with Cassie whom she rescued from where Edgar trapped her. The Cromwell witches retake their powers and the Council, deciding to give humans another chance, traps Edgar in Aggie's Witches Glass.
He does not appear in the fourth movie, but his son Ethan reveals to Marnie that his father had lost his magic after the events of the third movie and also that he used to belong to a coven known as the Dominion, formed by seven evil witches and warlocks.
He is played by Michael Flynn.
Silas Sinister (4) is head of the Sinister Inc., father of the Sinister Sisters, and leader of the Dominion. He and his group targeted a box that contained the key to dominate Halloweentown. He and the other Dominion members are stripped of their magic powers and arrested by Professor Periwinkle (who was working for an Anti-Dominion movement).
Silas Sinister is portrayed by Keone Young.
Scarlett, Sapphire, and Sage Sinister (4) are all evil witches attending Witch University. While Sapphire and Sage act as the twin-followers, Scarlett acts as the ring-leader. They secretly defy the "No Magic" Rule by using their powers whenever no teacher is watching. They work with a few professors and their father to make Marnie open a box contained with the Cromwell family's ultimate magic. In the end, their plan backfires and they lose their family magic as punishment.
Chancellor Goodwin (4) is the elegant and well-spoken chancellor of Witch University. She is the one who gave Marnie a full scholarship, mainly because her interest in her is not just educational, but also because she holds the key to opening a locked box containing the key to dominate Halloweentown. She is trapped in a Witches Glass at the end along with the rest of the Dominon by Professor Periwinkle and her powers are stripped from her.
She is played by Leslie Wing.
Dr. Ichabod Grogg (4) is a stuffy and cranky old professor at Witch University. His stern holds a secret, surprising twist to dominate Halloweentown by making Marnie use The Gift to turn the citizens into slaves.
He is played by Dan Young.
Aneesa (4) is Marnie's resident advisor in Witch University. She is the first genie to attend Witch University. When the Dominion witches try to make the citizens of Halloweentown their slaves, she helps Marnie destroy The Gift that has the power to do so and sacrifices her own lamp in the process, and becomes Marnie's roommate.
She is played by Summer Bishil.
In Halloweentown, he gets possessed by Kalabar's evil magic sometime after Aggie ang Gwen are paralyzed, and goes after the Cromwell/Piper kids. However, when Kalabar's magic is reversed, he is returned to normal.
In Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge, Benny falls victim under the Grey Spell and becomes a boring version of his usual self (and also gets a flesh-and-blood body). But returns to normal when Dylan casts the reversal spell to undo his transformation.
He does not appear in Halloweentown High.
In Return to Halloweentown, he drives Marnie and Dylan to Witch University. Benny's full name is revealed when Marnie travels back in time to visit Splendora Cromwell.
Burp-Urp-Snurt-Pfsfsfsfst III (4) is a Halloweentown citizen that attends Witch University with Marnie and the Sinister sisters. Because his name is hard to remember, the Sinister sisters call him "Snot Boy". However, Marnie addresses him by a nickname, "Griff".
He tends to drool a lot.
Cassie (3) is one of the many foreign exchange students from Halloweentown. She is a witch, and apparently Ethan's friend and Grandma Aggie's neighbor in Halloweentown. Unlike the other foreign exchange students, she is fascinated with human behavior and likes to study them. In the middle of the movie, Cassie gets trapped into a witch's glass, but is rescued by Gwen in the end.
She is played by Eliana Reyes.
Cody (3) is Marnie's love interest in the third movie. He constantly tries to ask Marnie out, but never gets the chance to succeed as she is always distracted. He finds out her secret after Gwen knocks him out thinking he's an enemy and Marnie takes him out on a broom ride. At first, he's a little freaked out but learns to accept it and gets everyone else to accept it in the end. He and Marnie apparently start dating in the end but he isn't seen or mentioned again after the third movie.
He is played by Finn Wittrock.
Ethan Dalloway (3-4) is the son of the third movie villain, Edgar Dalloway. He plays a rival of Marnie in the third installment, but after changing to turning against his own father to become good, becomes Marnie's love interest in the fourth installment. He is supposedly a warlock, but in the 4th movie says he renounced his powers after his father lost his. He is now a mortal like the Sinister Sisters who also lost their powers due to the fact that their father worked for the Dominion, but he and Marnie appear to continue their relationship. Ethan's father also worked for the Dominion once upon a time.
He is played by Lucas Grabeel.
Gort (2) collects junks in his house, because everything that gets lost in other places (mortal or Halloweentown) end up in his house. He hates cleaning and everyone he encounters. In the second movie, Kalabar's son, Kal, casts the Grey Spell on the whole town, turning them into the boring versions of humans, and Gort becomes an opposite version of his true self.
Gort is played by Blu Mankuma.
Luke (1-2) is the laid-back friend of Marnie's who resides in Halloweentown. He is a goblin but is changed to human form by Kalabar. In the end, he loses his human form by helping Marnie defeat Kalabar. He helps create the permanent portal between the worlds and helps Marnie learn how to reverse the Grey Spell but is never seen or mentioned again after the second movie. The movies (1-2) imply he has a crush on Marnie.
Luke is played by Phillip Van Dyke.
Natalie (3) is one of the many foreign exchange students from Halloweentown. She is a pink troll, and likes to hang out with Dylan. Because she is more comfortable in her troll form, she thinks humans look awful and disgusting, including Dylan, but because he was nice to her, she considers him as a friend. They nearly kiss, however because they both couldn't see the other physically attractive they couldn't go through with it.
She is played by Olesya Rulin.
Phil Flanagan (3) is the principal of Marnie's school. He is a descendant of an army known as the Knights of the Iron Dagger. He originally helped Edgar Dalloway get the Cromwell's magic, but abandoned that job after he fell for Aggie Cromwell.
Principal Flanagan is played by Clifton Davis.
Professor Persimmon Periwinkle (4) is Marnie's literature professor in Witch University. She has worked undercover to arrest the Dominion for ten centuries and it was she who stripped their powers along with their families' at the end of the movie. According to Professor Periwinkle, she and Aggie have been friends since the beginning times of Halloweentown.
She is played by Millicent Martin.
Astrid (2) is a loving creature from Halloweentown. She likes to sell things and is nice to everyone, including those who don't like her very much.
She is played by Xandra Radley.
Bobby (3) is a gremlin from Halloweentown, who moved to the mortal world as a transferred student from Canada in order to learn how to live among mortals. According to Gwen, his kind only likes to eat honey-flavored grasshopper flakes.
He is played by Bob Lanoue.
Harriet (1) is a friend of Aggie's. She volunteers at a place where the patients there have no heads. She was turned into a hideous creature a few hours after she met Aggie, but returned to her true self after Kalabar's magic was reversed.
She is played by Judith M. Ford.
Chester (3) is a teenage blue ogre from Halloweentown. He went to the mortal world as a transferred student from Canada in order to learn how to live among mortals. Because Chester is fond of stamps, he joins a club, thanks to Marnie's advice.
He has an armadillo as his pet.
Jessica (3) is a werecat from Halloweentown. She went to the mortal world as a transferred student from Canada to learn how to live among mortals.
Nancy (3) is a Wood nymph from Halloweentown. She went to the mortal world as a transferred student from Canada to learn how to live among mortals. Thanks to Marnie, she joins the gardening club.
Pete (3) is a teenage werewolf from Halloweentown. He went to the mortal world as a transferred student from Canada to learn how to live among mortals, and thanks to Marnie's advice, he joins the football team and becomes friends with the teammates. Even after he shows his real identity in front of everyone, they accept him for who he is.
According to him and Cassie, most werewolves are vegetarians.
Pete is played by Todd Michael Schwartzman.
Zachary (3) is a teenage zombie from Halloweentown. He went to the mortal world as a transferred student from Canada to learn how to live among mortals.
All four movies develop the characters and plot around a triad of relationships among the three main characters:
The mother-daughter relationship between Aggie and Gwen is tense. They live in different worlds. There is a generation gap between the choices of the two. The parent tries to persuade her child to do things the way the parent prefers. Aggie and Gwen struggle over whether Gwen's children will know their magical heritage. Gwen is totally against the whole thing but Marnie overhears she's a witch and follows Aggie to Halloweentown!
The mother-daughter relationship between Gwen and Marnie mirrors in many ways the one between Aggie and Gwen. The same underlying cause (their attitudes toward the magical heritage of the family) causes another generation gap. Marnie wants the magical life her grandmother offers, and resents her mother's rejection of that choice. This relationship is somewhat echoed in Gwen's relationship with younger daughter Sophie.
The grandmother-granddaughter relationship between Aggie and Marnie has two aspects. Aggie provides what Marnie misses in her relationship with Gwen. Aggie is also a magical teacher to Marnie, who becomes Aggie's apprentice.
The teacher-apprentice relationship between Aggie and Marnie also exhibits some common comic themes. Aggie often plays an addled grandmother - her magic seems to more about pride than potency. In the first two movies, the apprentice takes over when the teacher is defeated, and both outshines and rescues the teacher. Yet Aggie's formidable reputation is based on skills she actually has, and Aggie comes through after her rescues to lend essential strength in the climactic confrontations.
The first and third movies rely heavily on the theme of xenophilia, of a stranger coming to town, and running afoul of unfamiliar local customs. In Halloweentown, Marnie, Sophie, and Dylan are tourists in the unfamiliar town of Halloweentown but they have heard of it earlier that night when Aggie showed them the Halloweentown book. In Halloweentown High, Marnie plays the local expert who rescues both Aggie and the Halloweentown students from comic situations.
Prejudice is also a strong theme in the series. In the second movie, for example, each society is turned into its own misconception of the other.
In Halloweentown High, Marnie makes a foolish wager (to be fair, this is accidental; Marnie says she would "bet all the Cromwell magic" that she can get the two worlds to co-exist peacefully, not thinking for one second that the Witch Council would actually take her up on this; indeed, her defense is that "I thought it was just a figure of speech!"). When this theme appears in literature, the wager may be unwinnable, resulting in tragedy. Because this movie is a comedy, the family finds an unexpected way to win the wager, causing a happy ending.