I like Sara Paxton. I was a dedicated fan of “Darcy’s Wild Life” and I still love “Aquamarine.” I can tell you now though I’m not too fond of the fact she’s playing Marney in “Return to Halloweentown.” I certainly hope she does the role justice. Marney has graduated from high school and decided that she will go to Witch University in Halloweentown instead of going to mortal college like her mother wants her to. Before Marney leaves, Gwen gives her special bracelet to say goodbye. Dylan goes with her, which is interesting, because Dylan doesn’t even like Halloweentown or magic. Witch University is a beautiful castle. Marney and Dylan walk around campus. Dylan sees Ethan and calls out to him. Marney hides as if she likes him or something. After being told that they’re not allowed to use magic on campus, Dylan breaks the news to Marney that he’s also a student. He tells her the only way their mom agreed to her going to Witch University was because Dylan agreed to go.
Marney gets a letter from her residence advisor who turns out to be a genie, which is super cool. Ethan comes up to Marney in the lunch room while she’s with her advisor, Aneesa. They still act a little weird together. I wonder why. At Witch University, in their first class, Dylan and Marney have a teacher who reminds them of their grandma. In their second class, Ethan saves a seat for Marney. The Sinister sisters, who are evidently evil mean girls seem jealous that Marney is friends with Ethan. Ethan uses magic to give Marney a bouquet of flowers, but she can’t take them, because she’s called to the office.
1000 years ago, Witch University was built on the land that was originally owned by the Cromwells. In another of Marney and Ethan’s classes, a box comes to Marney from a hole that she and their classmates have to excavate for class credit. The villains of this movie are shown right off the bat. Ancient witches and warlocks who need Marney to open said box to release some kind of gift. The sinister sisters have to tempt Marney to use her magic against school rules in order to open it.
Marney goes to do her laundry and finds her mother in the washing machine. She hangs up on her mother before she gets caught by someone. Ethan walks into the laundry room and Marney teases him about being a boy who actually does his laundry. They flirt a bit. He asks her to use magic to get their laundry done quickly, so that they can go get coffee together. They flirt some more and look as if they will go out on their date, but she’s called to the office again.
When she’s in the office, the principal asks her to open the box, because only a Cromwell can open it. The teacher who looks like Aggie knows all about “S. Cromwell,” aka Splendora Cromwell, but can’t tell, because she swore she wouldn’t. Marney isn’t ready to know about her yet. Her initials are on the box. Marney enlists Dylan’s help to look through a school library that’s all about Cromwell history. Dylan admits that the one thing he ever used magic for was speed reading in high school, which is why he was able to skip a grade. He speed reads all the books in the Cromwell library and discovers that what is locked in the box is the strongest magic in Halloweentown.
Ethan stands outside Marney’s bedroom and yells, “Hey, Rapunzel.” They flirt a bit and he asks her out again. Ethan’s idea of a date is ride a broomstick with Marney. She tells him it’s her favorite thing about being a witch and he tells her it’s his too. He pulls a secret broomstick out from behind a tree and they ride around the castle, because it’s “technically off campus.” Next the go for ice cream. They’re so cute together. I was hoping they’d like each other after the third movie. While on their date, Marney catches the sinister sisters with Dylan. They’re clearly going to use him to do their homework. Marney is tempted to use power against them, but chooses to follow the rules. Dylan and the sisters feel that she’s being a mom. She breaks the date to chase after them, but he goes with her anyway. When the get back on the broom, it mouth functions. Then it turns into a snake. They figure out that somehow, the sinister sisters are watching them somehow. Ethan takes advantage of the accident and walks Marney home. They’re so cute together. I don’t know if it’s the characters or if it’s because I like Sara Paxton and love Lucas Grabeel. Either way, I think Marney and Ethan are adorable.
Ethan explains to Aneesa that a witch can’t force another being to do something against their will. Not really. They can only amplify someone’s desires. The evil witch and warlock show Marney a scroll that claims to be a prophecy. Ethan stops and waits for Marney, but overhears everything instead and decides to do what he can figure out who’s spying on Marney. When Ethan tries to tell Marney that the teachers, other than Professor Periwinkle are against her, she doesn’t believe him. He tells her that they’re all a part of an evil group his dad was a part of, she says that he’s the one who isn’t good. That hurts! Poor Ethan! The girl he loves doesn’t believe him.
She gets Professor Periwinkle to help her time travel to when Splendora was alive. (Sara Paxton’s eyes are amazing! From far away they look blue, but close up they’re incredibly beautiful) Splendora tells Marney the truth of the power and Marney knows that Ethan was telling the truth after all. She proceeds to tell Marney that her full name is Splendora Agatha Cromwell, Aggie for short. Yes. Marney’s grandmother was the most powerful witch of all. Splendora proceeds to tell Marney that the necklace that contains the power can only be destroyed by three Cromwells, because three Cromwells created it.
When Marney is back on campus, she unlocks the box. Then the evil witch takes it. Marney quickly apologizes to Ethan before he shows her where Dylan is. He’s slaving away for the sinister sisters who turn him into a dog. She calls for her mother to help her. She quickly appears and they go to Marney’s room with Aneesa. Aneesa explains that Ethan is off looking for Dylan. Marney and Gwen use their witch’s glass to find Dylan. He’s trapped in a cage and the sinister sisters use the glass to bring Marney to them. She flips her bracelet so that Aneesa and Gwen can hear everything that is happening. Marney agrees to go along with what the Dominion tell her, but I have a feeling she has a different plan. They dub her queen and put the necklace around Marney’s neck.
Marney’s plan is to trap the necklace in Aneesa’s lamp so that she, Dylan, and Gwen can destroy the necklace forever. The Dominion run off and are then arrested by Professor Periwinkle who has been undercover as an agent to capture them.
Ethan tells Marney that he renounced his powers when the council took his father’s powers. He apologizes for not telling her sooner. He seems to think she won’t like him now that he’s mortal. Ethan tricks the sinister sisters into learning that they can no longer use their powers. Gwen seems to think Marney gave the amulet to someone she trusts absolutely. We see that that someone was Dylan. She hid it in one of his books.
All in all, this was another very good movie. I can’t decide if this one was my favorite or if Halloweentown High was my favorite. I think this one was my favorite. I like that the series was able to end with Marney and Dylan and Gwen working together. I also like that it leads us to believe that Marney will end up with a mortal just like her mother did.