Halloweentown is one of the greatest Disney Channel movies ever made. That’s just a fact. The movie came out back in 1998 and it became an instant classic.
Marnie Piper and her super-cool grandma Aggie were essentially all of our role models. Every Halloween we would re-watch this awesome movie and hope that maybe this year we would become real witches.
We aren’t the only ones who are still obsessed with the movie. The town where the movie was filmed still loves it as much (if not more) than you do! Every year, St. Helens, Oregon holds the “Spirit of Halloweentown” event.
They recreate the sets of the movie all over town to celebrate the fall season, and it’s a pretty big deal. They bring out the giant pumpkin, they have members of the cast, and they host a bunch of events for the fans.
This year they decided to do something a little bit special in honor of the late Debbie Reynolds…
Debbie Reynolds passed away last December, and understandably we were all heartbroken. She was a Hollywood legend and has been a part of popular culture for decades. She was a big part of all of the Halloweentown movies, and when she passed away, they knew they would need to honor her.
This year, The Spirit of Halloweentown festival made sure to have all of Reynold’s costars from the films. Kimberly J. Brown, Emily Roeske, J. Paul Zimmerman, and Judith Hoag all made their way down to St. Helens to pay their respects to the best on-screen grandmother anyone could ask for.
Brown shared stories about Reynolds, saying that “it’s hard trying to narrow down one story or one little tidbit because she was truly so full of wisdom and had so many funny stories and most of the jokes were at her expense.”
“She was so willing to share that wisdom with the rest of us and wanted everybody to shine in their own light. It was so refreshing, as a young actress, to work with somebody who was not only such a huge legend, but who was also willing to share the spotlight with everybody around her, which I think is so true in the business and just so true in life,” Brown continued.
The cutest story from the set was what Reynold’s would say to the fans. Brown said that “I think one of our favorite joint stories is… there were fans that gather around the set and in her kindness, she would always come up and introduce herself as, ‘Hello, I’m Princess Leia’s mother.’”
Judith Hoag, who played Reynold’s daughter in the movie, said that “if a fan stepped up and wanted to say hello or take a picture or get an autograph, Debbie always stopped and she always made time for her fans.” While some of the cast would tease her about her attentive nature, she would apparently reply with “Judith… those are my fans. I would not have a career without those fans.”
Debbie Reynolds was an enormous presence in Hollywood, and her loss has hit a lot of people very hard. It was nice that her former cast-mates were able to honor her as a part of the celebration!