Remember The Disney Channel’s “Halloweentown” movies? The stories of the Piper family’s adventures to a magical world where witches, monsters and all kinds of Halloween legends lived, became a pop culture phenomenon in the late ’90s. Fans love this movie so much that one town hosts an annual party to honor the films.
St. Helen, Oregon, served as the filming location for the first film. And every October, the town’s residents pull out all the stops to celebrate the Spirit of Halloweentown festival.
The main cast of the films included Kimberly J. Brown, who played the teen heroine, Marnie. Her on-screen family included siblings Dylan, played by Joey Zimmerman, and Sophie, played by Emily Roeske. Judith Hoag played Gwen, the kids’ mom. And the late film legend Debbie Reynolds played the role of Aggie, the children’s grandmother, who was determined to help the family embrace the spirit of Halloween.
This year, the members of the main cast attended the festival to reunite for the first time in years. Sadly, of course, with Reynold’s passing in December 2016, she was notably missing from the reunion. So, the cast and guests took the opportunity to honor the late actress who they respected and loved so much.
“It was so refreshing as a young actress to work with somebody who was not only such a huge legend, but was also willing to share the spotlight with everyone around her,” Brown told the large crowd during the tribute.
Brown also joked about how Reynolds loved to have fun with the fact that she was Carrie Fisher’s mom.
“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,’” Brown recalled.
Who could forget that introduction?
How freakishly beautiful is my 83 yr-old alleged mother? She must drink bats blood & smear bugs brains on her skin. pic.twitter.com/rLi7wIjTyb
— Carrie Fisher (@carrieffisher) May 2, 2015
The rest of the cast enjoyed their time together at the Spirit of Halloweentown festival. Zimmerman couldn’t get over the fact that his “little sister” is an adult now. He captioned his photo with Roeske below, “My little #Soapy is all grown up.” (In case you’re wondering, “Soapy” is a play on the name Sophie from the movie. Totally cute, right?)
Zimmerman also gushed about his on-screen mom:
“Seriously can’t say enough about this woman right here. To go from growing up watching her to her being my pretend mom means more than I can ever describe. I am always and forever one of the biggest #JudithHoag fans,” he wrote on Instagram.
Now, we need to go dig up our copy of “Halloweentown” and get in the spooky spirit!