A Harrisite’s Guide to Disney Channel’s Best ‘Monstober’ Throwbacks

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Halloween is the holiday of ghosts, goblins, evil laughs, and trick-or-treating. Throughout many Harrisites’ childhoods, the Halloween season was annually commemorated with “Monstober,” a television marathon during the month of October when the Disney Channel aired Halloween-themed original movies and episodes. Binge watching is the perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit, so grab your favorite cozy blanket and look no further than this list of Disney Channel episodes and movies that are sure to bring back all your childhood nostalgia.  

The Halloweentown Franchise 

Released in 1998, this Disney Channel Original Movie quickly became a full-fledged franchise with the release of a sequel and two additional installments following the mass popularity of the first one. The four movies in order of release are Halloweentown (1998), Halloweentown ll: Kalabar’s Revenge (2001), Halloweentown High (2004), and Return to Halloweentown (2006). The original opens up with thirteen year old Marnie Piper arguing with her mother over her and her siblings not being allowed to trick or treat on Halloween like the other neighborhood children. When Marnie’s grandma comes to visit, Marnie and her siblings find out that they come from a family of witches and follow their grandma to the magical world of Halloweentown, a town where witches, skeletons, and all other supernatural beings can live a normal life. When Marnie and her family learn of an evil creature threatening their existence, their fight to save the world begins. The following three movies in the series follow Marnie and her family of witches’ adventures returning to Halloweentown.  

Freshman Vivian Oksenhendler said, “Halloweentown is my favorite Disney Channel movie because it represents a place where all types of people live without any hatred or discrimination towards people who are different. It just reminds me of a time when I was young and looked forward to Halloween months ahead of time.” 

Ant Farm – “MutANT Farm”

“MutANT Farm” is the 14th episode in the first season of the Disney Channel series Ant Farm, which follows a group of high school students in the Advanced Natural Talents (ANT) program. In this episode, Chyna has her first day in the “MutANT program” where monsters join students and go to an ordinary school. In this episode, China Anne McClain, who plays Chyna, performs her hit song “Calling All The Monsters,” which became a massive success and is still credited as a Disney Halloween classic to this day. 

Good Luck Charlie – “Scary Had a Little Lamb”

“Scary Had A Little Lamb” is the 25th episode of the second season of the Disney Channel family sitcom Good Luck Charlie, and premiered on October 9, 2011. The show’s lighthearted nature and entertaining storylines make this episode a Halloween classic. The episode follows the Duncan family and the usual characters on their Halloween adventures. When Teddy and Ivy get pranked by a neighborhood kid while taking Charlie trick-or-treating, they plan revenge. Meanwhile, PJ turns goth in an effort to impress his new girlfriend, and Ms. Dabney tricks Gabe into doing her errands. The multiple storylines along with the comical situations make for an entertaining and nostalgic episode that is packed with tons of Halloween spirit.

Jessie: “The Whining”

“The Whining” is the first episode in the second season of Disney Channel sitcom Jessie. It premiered on October 5, 2012, making it the first ever Jessie Halloween special. In this episode, a creepy doorman by the name of Grimm Holloran warns the Jessie kids to not trick-or-treat on the 13th floor during halloween. He says that a nanny once did something to the children she was caring for so tells them to stay away. In an effort to be rebellious, Luke decides to go and brings Zuri with him. Meanwhile, Jessie is trying to get her story published in a famous newspaper. Her stress causes her to act irrationally, which horrifies the kids and causes them to view Jessie as a scary, bloodthirsty, vampire-like creature. The kids start to think that history is repeating itself and that Jessie is that old nanny from Grimm’s warnings, creating a comical misunderstanding for audiences to enjoy.

Austin & Ally: “Costumes and Courage”

“Costumes and Courage” is the first episode in season two of Disney Channel comedy Austin and Ally. This episode covers the Halloween aspect in a different lens, in contrast to the ghosts, vampires, and other typical Halloween monsters in other shows. In this episode, one of the main characters, Austin, is called to perform for his record label’s Halloween party. However, when he is dragged into Trish and Dez’s ghost-hunting mission that has gone wrong, Ally must confront her stage fright and take his place on stage. Sung by Laura Marano and Ross Lynch, the song “Don’t Look Down” was also premiered in the episode, adding to the show’s growing soundtrack.

Hannah Montana: “Torn Between Two Hannahs”

“Torn Between Two Hannahs” is the 17th episode of the first season of this classic series about an ordinary girl and her double life as a pop-star. In this spooky throwback episode, Miley Stewart’s cousin Luanne, who is also played by Cyrus, comes to visit Malibu for Halloween. When she attends a Hollywood Halloween party dressed as Hannah Montana in a plan to expose Miley’s secret identity, Miley must find a way to stop her. Although this episode aired in 2006, it is still a great one to watch this year as Halloween rolls around for a good laugh and a perfect dose of nostalgia!  

Twitches 

This 2005 Disney Channel Original Movie aired during the first year of “Monstober,” which originally was called “Hauntoberfest.” This fantasy stars twin actresses Tia and Tamera Mowry, who play identical twin sisters who were separated at birth and reunited on their 21st birthday. They discover that they both have supernatural powers, so they return to the world of Coventry to defeat Darkness, the evil force trying to take over. The movie was such a massive success that in 2007 a sequel, Twitches Too, was released and followed the twin sisters as they continued to use their powers for good. 

Wizards of Waverly Place : “Halloween”

“Halloween” is the second episode of the third season of this magic packed show. In this spooky episode which aired on October 16, 2009, the Russo family’s annual haunted house is threatened to be taken away, so they do everything in their power in an effort to maximize the fright factor. Alex and Harper travelled to the wizard world multiple times to get ghosts to bring back. However, the ghosts are so scary that they terrorize the children and the haunted house is ultimately still taken away. Although this series centers around a family of wizards and features the occasional ghost and vampire, this episode is extra festive to get you in the Halloween spirit! 

Girl Vs. Monster 

This 2012 Disney Channel Original Movie starring Olivia Holt and Luke Benward follows the story of a teen named Skylar who discovers a dark secret on Halloween: she comes from a line of monster hunters and is one herself. She must work to defeat the monsters before they get her first. This is the only Halloween Musical DCOM and features an energetic soundtrack. The female empowerment theme and lively songs make this movie a perfect one for escaping to another world where monsters are real and come out on Halloween! 

“The reason why it’s my favorite Halloween movie is because of how nostalgic it is…I remember watching it when it just came out and falling in love with all of the characters immediately,” said freshman Estefania Martinez. 

It is safe to say that Halloween-themed Disney Channel entertainment has the ability to transport you back to your childhood and remind you of fond Halloween memories. “It reminds me of when I was younger and would turn the TV on every night of October after school to watch Halloween themed shows/movies,” freshman Jasmyn Pillay said. …”Even now I still do…but it doesn’t feel the same from when I was younger.” 

With the rise of the streaming service Disney+, the way that movies and episodes air is changing rapidly. In addition to airing new Halloween-themed movies and episodes for Monstober on Disney Channel, Disney+ has launched Hallowstream, a lineup of Halloween episodes and movies, for all subscribers of the service. With services like this gaining popularity over traditional cable channels, time will tell how this will affect the Monstober tradition. However, while younger generations may not watch Disney Channel the same way current Harrisites did, they will hopefully experience the same excitement and entertainment that students felt during the Halloween season. 

 

Picture Credit: Veronica Kuzma

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