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Return to Halloweentown

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Return to Halloweentown
Cover-smaller
DVD cover
Directed by David Jackson
Produced by Don Schain
Sheri Singer
Written by Max Enscoe
Annie DeYoung
Paul Bernbaum
Starring Sara Paxton
Joey Zimmerman
Judith Hoag
Lucas Grabeel
Keone Young
Summer Bishil
Debbie Reynolds
Kristy Wu
Leslie Wing
Music by Kenneth Burgomaster
Distributed by Disney Channel
Release date(s) October 20, 2006
Running time 88 min.
Country Flag of the United States
Language English
Preceded by Halloweentown High
Official website
Allmovie profile
IMDb profile

Return to Halloweentown is a Disney Channel Original Movie that premiered on October 20, 2006. It is the fourth movie of the Halloweentown Series to the DCOM Halloweentown. In this sequel, Marnie Piper (Sara Paxton) and her brother, Dylan Piper (Joey Zimmerman), go to Witch University to attend college in Halloweentown. While at college, dark forces try to control her magic. 2.8 million viewers tuned into this movie in the U.S. placing it 3rd in its timeslot.

Plot

Marnie and her brother are ready to go to college. But the college is Halloweentown University also known as Witch University. Marnie is offered a full scholarship for her good deeds and for her work in the previous movies. Much to her mother, Gwen's, dismay she goes, with Dylan reluctantly forced along by Gwen, to keep an eye on Marnie. The school, however, is not what it seems. At the school witches and warlocks can't use magic, instead they learn about Shakespeare and old magic history. Marnie had thought she was going to learn how to use her magic and is now crestfallen. She runs into her old friend Ethan (Lucas Grabeel) and makes a new friend in Aneesa the genie (Summer Bishil). She also makes three new enemies in the Sinister Sisters, a triad of malevolent witches with whom Dylan is immediately infatuated.

Sadly, Marnie discovers that she in fact is responsible for the restriction on the use of magic at the University. The University was originally established only for Warlocks and Witches to learn how to use magic, but when the portal was opened most of them went to college in the mortal realm. Because of that, Witch University had to let several different creatures come to the school so that the teachers would actually have students to teach. Since then the school has allowed mortals and other magical beings to attend. The classes are boring for Marnie until a box, with the name "S. Cromwell" inscribed on it, magically appears in front of her. Most people at the school believe that Marnie used her magic to conjure up the box, but it was brought to her by fate, and was therefore out of Marnie's control. Marnie meets with one of her professors, Miss Periwinkle, and asks for an explanation. Miss Periwinkle tells Marnie that the S. stands for Splendora, but not a word more about it is mentioned. Chancellor Goodwin tells Marnie that she believes that she did not conjure up the box, and that it was indeed fate which brought it to her.

Marnie and Dylan attempt to discover the secret of the box, and he reveals that he used magical speed reading at home to skip a grade. He uses it again secretly and learns that the box contains the Gift, though the Gift itself remains unknown to them. Meanwhile the Sinister sisters use Dylan's infatuation with them to make him do their homework for them.

Also in the shadows, a mysterious group known only as the Dominion, realizes that the Gift is near and tries to use Marnie to open the box. Marnie decides to go into the past to meet Splendora and learn about the true nature of the enigmatic gift. Splendora explains that the power of the Gift is the power to control anyone by force of will, a power that witches are forbidden to use. Marnie realizes that her principal and Dr. Grogg are in the Dominion and Splendora bestows upon her the key to the box containing the Gift. Also, Splendora is revealed to in fact be Marnie's grandmother Aggie. Agatha is her middle name and she hates the Splendora part so she eventually dropped it. Marnie returns to the present to open the box, but before she does, she creates the Halloweentown giant pumpkin for Splendora, telling her she'd need it. Surprisingly, stated by Splendora, Merlin is Marnie's great-grandfather. This is given as a hint when Splendora tells Marnie, "...even King Arthur said that the whole royalty thing was harder than it looked."

In a horrible and unforeseeable twist of fate Chancellor Goodwin steals it for the Dominion and the Sinisters, in order to use it to take over Halloweentown. Knowing that only a Cromwell can use the Gift, the Sinister Sisters (working with the Dominion) transform Dylan into a dog to compel Marnie to comply with their demands. If the Sinisters and the Dominion don't turn him back he will stay that way forever after Halloween passes. They agree to return him to his natural form if Marnie controls Halloweentown for them. While it seems that she has agreed to aid them in their heinous plot, she is really fooling them, and turns on them once her brother is released from the dog transformation spell. Together Marnie, Dylan and Gwen destroy the Gift with help from Aneesa, Marnie's genie friend. The Dominion, having been discovered for the evil ones that they are attempt an escape, but are belayed by none other than Professor Periwinkle. Professor Periwinkle is revealed to be an undercover detective and apprehends the group.

The malevolent Sinister Sisters lose their powers, but Marnie learns that Ethan has also lost his powers. The movie ends with Marnie and Ethan beginning a new relationship and leaving on a date, Dylan finds the Gift that Marnie left him in a book and puts the book back, showing a glowing, red S at the end of the film.

Characters

Trivia

  • In this movie, the role of Marnie Piper is played by Sara Paxton, who took over the role from Kimberly J. Brown.
  • Emily Roeske's character, Sophie does not make an appearance in this movie, as she is witch training with Debbie Reynolds character Aggie who only appears briefly in this movie.
  • It reveals that Marnie's grandmother's full name was Splendora Agatha Cromwell but after stopping the Dominion's plan to take over Halloweentown, she shortened her name to Agatha "Aggie" Cromwell.
  • Aggie is 1018 years old because Halloweentown was created 1000 years ago and she was 18 at the time.
  • The premiere scored 7.8 million viewers, just above High School Musical. It is the fifth highest rated DCOM in Disney Channel history.
  • The DVD was released on August 28, 2007.
  • A cast member of the cult-horror film Troll 2 makes a small cameo in the film. Actor Darren Ewing plays the Morose Cashier in the grocery store.
  • Dylan is revealed to have used his powers to speed-read in High School: this is why he skipped a grade and is in college. He claims this is all he uses them for though. Besides using them to help apparently destroy the Gift, he does not use them at all. Before this he only ever used his powers on screen to help destroy Kalabar after he gained them, and to open the portal between the two worlds.
  • This movie also reveals the origin of the Halloweentown giant pumpkin: Marnie created it in the past for Splendora to use.
  • There was to be a fifth movie starting Kimberly Brown but neither signed for the movie roll which is now offically dropped.
  • Though the character, Burp-Urp-Snurt-Pfsfsfsfst III never had his name pronounced well at all, Marnie addresses him by a nickname as "Griff."

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