If you grew up in the early 00's like me, you probably have a soft spot for the Disney Channel Original Series Halloweentown. Halloweentown was an iconic series of films that made October a spooky and nostalgic month for all 90's babies, with all the magical elements of Harry Potter and the growing-pains reliability of Lizzie McGuire.
Halloweentown chronicles the life of Marnie Cromwell, a young spunky half-witch half-mortal, as she comes to terms with her powers and the magical Halloween-themed world a dimension away. Marnie is trained by her grandma Aggie and joined by her siblings, Dylan and Sophie, as they try to maintain order and peace between Halloweentown and the human world.
Marnie Cromwell was originally played by actress Kimberly Brown when she was a mere 14-year-old. We watched Marnie grow before our eyes in Halloweentown, Halloweentown 2: Kalabar's Revenge and Halloweentown High. It wasn't until the fourth film, Return to Halloweentown, that Brown was replaced by Disney actress Sara Paxton, known for the film Aquamarine and the Disney series Darcy's Wild Life.
Brown was extremely invested in her role as Marine, deeming herself a Halloweentown fan. She even got to contribute her own ideas to the script for Halloweentown High, which she deems a special experience.
"I love Marnie and everything that she stood for, so I'm really happy when people tell me how much she meant to them." Says Brown. "Marnie always knew there was something different about her, and when she did find out about her magic, she wanted to know everything she could and really fully live in that and be herself. She was just always really cool in that way."
"I admired her determination and her sense of humor and her willingness to take on her family legacy. Who wouldn't want fly a broom and make things magically appear? I think I would definitely take that on as a teenager. Of course, it had its little bumps along the way. I loved that we got to see her figure out how to be a teenager but also how to be a witch at the same time."
Brown even channels Marnie to this DAY in real life as a huge Halloween lover (she made her own children's picture book dedicated to the holiday.) So why on earth would Disney ever recast someone so fricken perfect for this role?!
Apparently, Brown was shooting another spooky-movie at the time called Big Bad Wolf when Disney wanted to start working on the fourth Halloweentown instalment. If you're thinking Brown was on a drug bender or diva-hissy-fit that made her impossible to work with, you're wrong. She revealed in an exclusive interview that, "I wanted to do the fourth one and was fully available for the shoot — Nothing makes me happier than playing Marnie. Disney decided not to use me for the fourth one, I’m don’t know why. I was definitely disappointed not to do it." It seems like Disney couldn't wait for Brown before they started shooting and decided to cast Sara Paxton as Marnie instead.
Fans were extremely gutted to this day that Sara Paxton replaced Brown as Marnie. If you haven't seen the Halloweentown memes, they're out there and they hit you right in the feels. But apparently there isn't any bad blood between Sara and Kim. "I know Sara [Paxton, who took over the role of Marnie in the fourth movie], and she and I have grown up together and she's awesome. But yeah, I just appreciated the support [of people saying that I am the original Marnie] for sure."
Kimberly Brown FOR EVER baby. She is my Marnie now and forever. Brown even says she is down for a Halloweentown reboot to revisit her role. Are you listening, Disney??