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Sabrina the Teenage Witch (film) facts for kids

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Sabrina the Teenage Witch
VHS cover
Screenplay by Barney Cohen
Kathryn Wallack
Nicholas Factor
Story by Barney Cohen
Kathryn Wallack
Directed by Tibor Takács
Starring Melissa Joan Hart
Sherry Miller
Charlene Fernetz
Michelle Beaudoin
Ryan Reynolds
Tobias Mehler
Lalainia Lindbjerg
Composer(s) Greg De Belles
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s) Barney Cohen
Kathryn Wallack
Paula Hart
Cinematography Bernard Salzmann
Editor(s) Daria Ellerman
Running time 90 minutes
Production company(s) Barney Cohen and Kathryn Wallack Productions
Once and Future Films
Hartbreak Films
Viacom Productions
Showtime Networks
Distributor Sonar Entertainment
Original network Showtime
Original release April 7, 1996 (1996-04-07)
Followed by Sabrina Goes to Rome

Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a 1996 American television film adaptation based on the comic book series of the same name from Archie Comics. It served as a pilot for the Sabrina the Teenage Witch television series and premiered on Showtime on April 7, 1996.

The only two actors who would appear in both the film and television series would be Melissa Joan Hart, whose character possessed a different surname from her comic book and television counterpart, and Michelle Beaudoin, whose character was renamed for the television series. Also of note is the fact that, unlike the comics, which were set in the fictional town of Greendale, and the eventual television series (located in an equally fictional town named Westbridge), the television film was said to take place in Riverdale. This was the name originally used in the comics for the home of Archie and his group of friends. Although set in the United States, just like the comics and said television series, the movie was shot entirely in British Columbia, Canada.


The movie centers around Sabrina Sawyer, who is sent to live with her eccentric aunts in Riverdale. On her 16th birthday, Sabrina discovers that she is a witch. Sabrina then develops a crush on Seth, the cutest boy in school who happens to be dating Katie La More, the school's "queen bee aka mean girl." Sabrina has to find a way to use her newly discovered magical power to get Seth to notice her, but at the same time not cast a love spell, which could backfire on her.

After Katie dumps Seth, he starts to notice Sabrina. Sabrina is able to use her magic to win a track competition and get Seth to ask her to the Spring Fling. Katie discovers Sabrina's secret and sets out to let everyone know what Sabrina is. Sabrina has to use her magic to turn Katie into a poodle to stop her but later changes her back. All the while, Harvey likes Sabrina and waits to see if she will have a change of heart and start to notice him. The story ends happily with Sabrina and Harvey together at the dance.


  • Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina Sawyer
  • Sherry Miller as Aunt Hilda
  • Charlene Fernetz as Aunt Zelda
  • Michelle Beaudoin as Marnie Littlefield
  • Ryan Reynolds as Seth
  • Tobias Mehler as Harvey
  • Lalainia Lindbjerg as Katie La More
  • Laura Harris as Freddie
  • Kea Wong as Fran
  • Jo Bates as Coach
  • Janine Cox as Sales Clerk
  • Biski Gugushe as Larry
  • Tyler Labine as Mark
  • Jim Swansburg as Mr. Dingle
  • Noel Geer as Jeff

Differences with the television series

  • In the film Sabrina's last name is Sawyer and not Spellman as in the TV Show.
  • In the film Sabrina lives in Riverdale (same as Archie Andrews in the comics) and in the TV show lives in Westbridge.
  • In the TV show she uses her finger to cast spells, but in the film, she just needs the power of her mind.
  • In the film both her parents are witches, while in the TV series her father is a witch and her mother is mortal (non-witch)
  • In the film Katie takes the part as the antagonist, while in the series it is Libby.
  • Michelle Beaudoin plays Marnie, Sabrina's unintelligent and unpopular friend, whereas in the first season of the TV series, her character (also Sabrina's best friend) is called Jenny and is quite clever.
  • Katie is more like a stereotypical cheerleader than Libby as she is blonde and slim, while Libby is black-haired and curvy.
  • Harvey is "nerdy" in the film whereas in the TV series, he is more of a "jock".
  • In the TV series Aunt Hilda is the rather unintelligent "fun Aunt" and Aunt Zelda is much more brilliant and serious. In the film, both witches are quite clever, but Zelda is much more serious than Hilda.
  • The person who plays Salem's voice is different
  • In the TV sitcom Salem is much more self-centered and was turned into a cat for attempting to take over the world, while in the movie Salem is much more sophisticated and turned into a cat for kissing someone who did not truly love him.
  • With the exception of Sabrina and Marnie/Jenny everyone in both the sitcom and movie are played by different actors. For example Harvey, Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda.
  • In the TV series, Sabrina is told she is a witch before she goes to school. In the movie she goes to school without knowing she is a witch, but finds out the night of her 16th birthday by finding the spell book. In the series the aunts gave her the book.
  • In the movie Sabrina had a surprise birthday party with everyone from school, in the series it was only the aunts and Salem.
  • In the movie Sabrina already knows Marnie/Jenny, which in the series she meets Jenny for the first time.
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