Dressing up, candy, and lots of spooky good fun. Seriously: Halloween is the ultimate kid holiday. But sometimes the spookiness can be a little too much for young or sensitive kiddos. So we’re gathered together some of our favorite Halloween movies that aren’t scary, because everyone deserves to have a good time.
We all probably have our list of favorite family Halloween movies, but every now and then even “kids’ movies” can be a bit spooky for some children.
Hocus Pocus is a favorite, but have you taken a look at Billy Butcherson, Winifred’s adulterous zombie boyfriend, recently? Creepy! The Witches? Who doesn’t love a movie based on a Roald Dahl? But the grotesque practical effects used on The Grand High Witch haunt many a child’s dreams (and, we’ll own it: the dreams of adults who saw that movie as kids). Fortunately, there are lots of options out there for Halloween movies that have spooky themes without being too spooky.
Of course, what your children find scary is extremely subjective. Some kids are more easily frightened than others, or find random things absolutely terrifying. Still, these movies are all geared towards young kids and quite tame, so you should be safe. We’ve listed each film’s ratings (those that are unrated can be considered rated G) and where you can watch them. When the only option for certain movies was a rental or digital purchase, we’ve also included an option to buy the movie on DVD when possible (because, honestly, it just makes sense to have some of them: especially the classics).
It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Have you ever seen a more sincere pumpkin patch?! Apple TV
No list of Halloween family entertainment would be complete without this classic, the OG Halloween special and, dare we say, the GOAT? As Charlie Brown and his friends celebrate Halloween, Linus tries to convince everyone to join him in the pumpkin patch, where the Great Pumpkin will appear and bestow gifts of toys to all the sincere children who believe in its power! Surely it will come this year: it always comes to the most sincere pumpkin patch, and has there
ever been a patch more sincere that this one?! Stream It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, rated TV-G, on AppleTV or buy the DVD on Amazon. Room on the Broom
Based on the book of the same name, this Halloween tale is told in sing-song rhyme by a kindly narrator, who tells the story of a witch with a ginger plait (that’s braid in fancy English, folks) and her broomstick adventure. She loses her hat, her ribbon, and her wand, but in the process makes lots of new friends – a cat, a dog, a bird, and a frog. But will she and her friends be able to stand up to a ferocious dragon who loves to eat witches with a side of chips?
Stream Room on the Broom on YouTube or AppleTV Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie Will the residents of the Hundred Acre Wood be able to catch the “Gobloon”? Amazon Video
It’s Lumpy the baby Heffalump’s first Halloween in the Hundred Acre Wood and all his friends – Roo, Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, and the rest – are excited to take him Trick or Treating. But when Pooh accidentally eats all the candy, Lumpy and Roo go off in search of the fabled, wish-granting “Gobloon,” who grants a wish if you catch him. But they have to be careful: if the Gobloon gets them first, they’ll be truned into Jack-O-Lanterns! Will these two find the courage to save Halloween?
Stream Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie, rated G, on Amazon Prime or buy the DVD on Amazon Toy Story of Terror Jessie must face her fears in this Toy Story Halloween special? Disney+
All of your child’s favorite
Toy Story characters return in this fun Halloween special. Bonnie and her mom are on a road trip, and Bonnie has brought her trusty toys with her. But when the car breaks down on an isolated road, they all must spend the night in a motel. Mr. Pricklepants warns everyone that this adventure is shaping up just like a horror movie, and it isn’t long before a strange creature starts capturing the toys one by one. Soon it’s up to Jessie the Cowgirl to rescue her friends, but will she be able to overcome her own fears in time to save them? Stream Toy Story of Terror on Disney+ Monsters Inc Monsters Inc isn’t technically a Halloween movie, but it fits right into the holiday. Disney+
Sully is the top scarer at Monsters Inc, an energy company that turns the frightened screams of children from Earth into electricity for the city. It’s a tough job: children are
terrifying and toxic to the touch! All monsters live in fear of these terrible creatures. But when a little girl sneaks through her closet and into the world of monsters, Sully and his best friend Mike learn that, maybe, everything they thought they knew about children is wrong. Now it’s up to them to get little Boo back home safe and sound. Stream Monsters Inc, rated G, on Disney+ Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit Hijinks abound with Wallace’s latest harebrained invention. Amazon Video
The town of Tottington Hall is gearing up for its annual giant vegetable competition, which has meant that eccentric inventor Wallace and dog Gromit’s humane pest control business, “Anti-Pesto” is booming. But even these two plucky inventors are finding it difficult to keep up with all the rabbits plaguing the gardens of the locals. Hoping to work smarter not harder, Wallace devises a plan to brainwash rabbits against vegetables using the Mind Manipulation-O-Matic. But when the wrong switch is flipped, his mind is fused with that of a bunny, turning Wallace into a giant Were-Rabbit when night falls!
Rent Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit , rated G, on Amazon Prime or buy the DVD on Amazon Spooky Buddies Can these little pups stand up to the ghost of Warwick Manor? Amazon Video
Warwick Manor has a spooky history involving the wicked “Warwick the Warlock and the Halloween Hound.” But that’s just an old legend... right? The Buddies (B-Dawg, Rosebud, Buddha, Budderball, and Mudbud) soon find themselves swept up in the house’s sordid past when Warwick and the Hound return to lurk its hallways by way of a magic mirror. It’s up to them and Pip, the kindly ghost of a beagle cursed by Warwick, to work together to save the day.
Even if your kid is easily frightened by all things spooky, talking puppies are sure to set them at ease!
Rent Spooky Buddies, rated G, on Amazon Prime or buy the DVD on Amazon. Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest George is about to learn that there’s nothing like your first Halloween in the country. Peacock
George and the Man with the Yellow Hat are so excited for Halloween in the country. Festivals in town, pumpkin picking at the Rankins’ farm, planning prize-winning costumes, decorating the house and, of course, telling the story of local legend No-Noggin’, the headless scarecrow who steals people’s hats out by old Lonesome Tree. But when the pair learn that their house was the original home of the mysterious scarecrow, they’re in for a (not-too) spooky good time! Full of catchy songs, fun plot twists, and all your favorite characters, this cartoon is a Halloween classic.
Buy Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest on Amazon A Witches’ Ball Magic school mishaps and a world of magic await in this cute Halloween movie. Netflix
Beatrix, a 12-year old
almost witch attending a magic school, has just passed her final exam to begin a full witch with flying colors. In fact, she’s going to be valedictorian of her class, a fact that will be celebrated at this year’s Witches’ Ball. Everyone in the Witching World will be there. But when a mishap jeopardizes all her hard work, she must figure out how to set things right before the Ball. Sweet and not at all scary, A Witches’ Ball features a cunning, plucky heroine in Beatrix and sends kids the message that the best they can be is themselves. Stream A Witches’ Ball, rated PG, on Netflix Halloweentown We stan the Debbie Reynolds as Grandma Aggie. Disney+
Marnie, Dylan, and Sophie don’t understand why their mother, Gwen, never lets them go out on Halloween. What’s the harm in a costume party? But when their grandma Aggie arrives for her annual October 31st visit, the truth is revealed: Aggie and Gwen are actually witches! Aggie wants Marnie to train as a witch; Gwen will hear none of it. But when Marnie and Dylan follow their grandma on a magical bus to her home in Halloweentown (where ghosts, goblins, and magic talismans are the norm) Marnie hopes to fulfill her destiny as a witch.
Stream Halloweentown, rated PG, on Disney+ Hotel Transylvania Who knew Dracula was such an overprotective dad? Amazon Video
After an angry mob of humans kills his wife, Martha, Count Dracula decides monsters need a place where they can be among their own kind, and where he can raise his daughter, Mavis, in safety. So he builds the luxurious Hotel Transylvania. Frequent visitors include Frankenstein (and his wife, Eunice); a huge family of werewolves; the Invisible Man; and a mummy named Murray. But Mavis longs for the company of other 118 year olds (or at least the relative equivalent) and longs to explore the human world. When Dracula agrees, little does he know that a hapless human named Johnny will stumble into his lair... or that Mavis will fall head over heels for him!
Stream Hotel Transylvania, rated PG, on Amazon Prime or buy the DVD trilogy on Amazon. Coco Because who says you can’t have a good cathartic Pixar-cry on Halloween? Disney+
Miguel wants to be a musician, just like his hero, local legend Ernesto de la Cruz. Unfortunately, music is banned in his family. During an
accidental trip to the Land of the Dead on Día de los Muertos, he meets the skeleton spirits of his ancestors, including the stern Imelda, who banned music in the first place when her husband left her to pursue his career. Determined to honor his family and his dream of becoming a musician, Miguel seeks the otherworldly blessing of de la Cruz to return to the Land of the Living before he is trapped among the spirits forever. Stream Coco, rated PG, on Disney+ The Addams Family
The Addams family are many things. Creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky... one might say they’re all-together ooky! In this cartoon version of the franchise, the first family of fright gets a backstory: Gomez and Morticia were chased away by an angry mob on their wedding night and fled, settling in the one place no one would be caught dead in: New Jersey. They find an abandoned asylum on a hill and isolate themselves from the outside world. But when their beloved home stands in the way of TV personality Margot Needler’s ideal community (called “Assimilation”... the movie is not subtle) they must defend their family home and offbeat way of life.
Rent The Addams Family, rated PG, on Amazon Prime or buy the DVD or Blu-Ray on Amazon. Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo!
Crossovers abound in this Scooby-Doo adventure. When Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (crossover #1) employs the gang in a covert mission to capture the Haunted Scarecrow who’s been ruining her Halloween fun, the gang unmasks none other than Dr. Jonathan Crane, aka Batman’s nemesis and Arkham Asylym escapee The Scarecrow (cross over #2 and we’re only two sentences in, folks). Everything seems wrapped up pretty quickly... that us until Dr. Crane’s fear serum mixes with toxic sludge and lands in a pumpkin patch, causing the pumpkins to mutate and become evil “Jackal Lanterns!” Fortunately, Velma, with the help of Bill Nye (crossover #3), have modernized the Mystery Machine to take whatever these ghoulish gourds can throw at them!
Rent Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo on Amazon Prime or buy the DVD on Amazon Frankenweenie A twist on a classic based on a twist on a classic! Disney+
Victor Frankenstein (no, not that one... kinda) is an 11-year-old boy living in the idyllic suburb of New Holland with his mom, dad, and beloved dog, Sparky. After Sparky is accidentally hit by a car and dies, Victor is despondent... that is until his science teacher inspires him to think about ways that maybe, just maybe, he can bring his dog back to life. But when his mad science plans are successful, Victor must keep Sparky’s reanimation a secret, which gets harder and harder as time goes on.
(Given the subject matter, kids may reasonably become emotional watching this movie. In terms of scare factor,
Frankweenie is probably along the lines of another Tim Burton stop-motion animated feature The Nightmare Before Christmas. Common Sense Media recommends it for children age 9 and up.) Stream Frankenweenie, rated PG, on Disney+ What Parents Are Talking About — Delivered Straight To Your Inbox
This article was originally published on
Sep. 15, 2021