When you think about vampires, the first few thoughts that come to your mind are probably blood (of course), long capes, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, (for the hopeless romantic types). Or if you’re a bit hardcore on the genre, you might be picturing something more gory. Or if you're really hip and can imagine living in a town full of them, maybe it's
True Blood (currently re-watching all seasons on HBO Max). At least that’s how we, grown-ups, think about vampires.
But for the kids and tweens, it’s all about fun, adventure, and some blah-blah-blah, as Drac would say. Just because a protagonist is a bloodsucking monster doesn’t mean they
have to be scary, which is what these kid/family, friendly vampire movies that are spotlighted below show us.
In today’s family vamp movies, vampires are in high school capturing the hearts of an entire generation of teen girls. Yes, we are talking about
Twilight. And instead of seducing women and dodging Van Helsing, Count Dracula is a single father, running a hotel that turns out to be a haven for all monsters, in Hotel Transylvania! Oh yes and this is where bleh-bleh-bleh comes from (spoiler alert)! Imagine if your mom’s date was a vampire? Or your babysitter? Or Johnny Depp as a bloodsucker in a 1970s New England fishing town. Enough said. Whereas, some vampire movies are used to symbolize larger societal issues, such as Oz Rodriguez’s Vampires vs the Bronx.
Get some popcorn, wine for you, and a red-flavored punch or strawberry soda for the kids, and sink your fangs into this list of
family-friendly vampire movies. Twilight Saga
Just a simple story about a lion who fell in love with a lamb that
changed pop culture and gave vampires a new teen fanbase to feed on. The bestselling series by Stephanie Meyers about a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire turned into five blockbuster movies between 2008-2012: Twilight (2008), New Moon (2009), Eclipse (2010), Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011) and Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012). Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson immortalize Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. It also gave us werewolf crushes in Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black. The debate over Team Edward and Team Jacob are still teams that are constantly recruiting.
Unlike typical vampires we are used to seeing, Meyers’ vampires are on an animal blood diet and can walk in the daylight, just not in direct sun. Pretty PG blood-drinkers for the most part. But Bella’s pregnancy and the birth scene in
Breaking Dawn may be a little hard to watch for small kids.
ave the saga a three out of five-star rating. Common Sense Media g Watch the Twilight saga, rated PG-13, on Netflix. Liar, Liar, Vampire
A parody based on the
Twilight series. There are some teens will do anything to be popular; even lie about being a vampire. This may be the only one on the list in which the main character is not a vampire. A boy is mistaken for a vampire by a popular girl at his high school. Instead of shutting the rumor down, he goes along with it and instantly becomes popular. But you know the saying, all good things must come to an end.
Not only is this a lighthearted comedy the entire family can get a bite on, it also teaches the value of being honest with yourself and telling the truth. The 2014 original Nickeledon movie stars Rahart Adams, Brec Bassinger, Tiera Skovbye and others. Common Sense Media called it a silly comedy with “decent messages about self-image.”
Watch Liar, Liar, Vampire, rated G, on Netflix and Paramount. The Little Vampire (2000)
The 2000 movie adaptation of a children’s book series by German writer Angela Sommer-Bodenburg is about a nine-year-old boy named Tony (played by Jonathan Lipnicki) who moves to Scotland with his parents. His father was hired to build a golf course at a Scottish castle. Tony has a hard time adjusting to his new life and is constantly bullied by the boys at his school. He’s also plagued by nightmares about vampires and a mysterious comet.
One night Tony meets a little vampire named Rudolph (played by Rollo Weeks). The two become instant friends and together they help Rudolph and his family become human while dodging a quirky vampire hunter.
review concluded it may frighten small kids and gave it a three-star rating. Nonetheless, parents found the movie a delightful one that taught kids about the value of friendship. Common Sense Media’s Watch The Little Vampire, rated PG, on Amazon Prime and Apple TV. The Little Vampire (2017)
This animated adaptation has a similar storyline to the 2000 movie. In this version, Tony is a San Diego kid who loves castles, graveyards, and vampires. He moves overseas with his family and meets Rudolph (played by Rasmus Hardiker), a 13-year-old vampire. At first Rudolph accuses Tony of being a vampire hunter and tries to scare him.
But the two boys eventually become friends and Tony helps Rudolph fight a notorious vampire hunter, and save his vampire family. In both movies, the coolest part about Tony’s friendship with Rudolph is flying across the moonlit sky! Guess that’s one perk of having a friend as a vampire.
called it a “potty humor” movie. Common Sense Media Watch The Litte Vampire, rated G, on Netflix. Vampires vs. the Bronx
This vamp flick is actually considered a comedy about a group of teenagers who band together to defend their Bronx neighborhood from vampires. Actor Jaden Michael plays the protagonist, Miguel Martinez, who discovers that vampires are making a nest in his community’s courthouse.
Although the 2020 movie is largely centered on vamps, according to its creators, it's actually a metaphorical approach to the real-life issue of gentrification that many communities are facing. “With horror and comedy you’re able to discuss themes in a way that doesn’t seem preachy because you’re using metaphors,” said director Oz Rodriguez in an Oct. 2020 feature with
. “I never wanted to have a moment where the movie stops for the kid to deliver an anti-gentrification speech. I never wanted the kids to even say the word The Daily Beast gentrification.”
There is some violence and language but
gives it fangs up for kids 13 and up. Common Sense Media Watch Vampires vs. the Bronx, rated PG-13, on Netflix. Mom's Got A Date With A Vampire
What do you do when you and your sibling have plans but are grounded? You set your mom up for a date to get her out of the house! But what if her blind date happens to be a vampire? That’s pretty much the scenario in this Disney Channel original movie.
Sabrina The Teenage Witch’s Caroline Rhea plays single mother, Lynette Hansen, who has two teenage kids. Her son, Adam (played by Matt O'Leary) loves all things monsters and has tickets to go to a concert, ironically called Headless Horseman, with a friend. And his older sister, Chelsea (played by Laura Vandervoort), has a date with her boyfriend. But both are grounded. To get their mother out of their hair, they set her up on a blind date with a mysterious man named Dimitri. But the kids realize their mother is on a date with a vampire. So with the help of their little brother, who first made the discovery, and Malachi Van Helsing, the group must find a way to spoil their mother’s date before she becomes a midnight snack.
The 2000 movie “lacks bite”, according to
. But it’s packed with a bunch of funny moments. Common Sense Media Watch Mom's Got A Date With A Vampire, rated PG, on Disney+. My Babysitter’s A Vampire
This is a great movie that teaches kids to be careful about the company they keep. The movie is about a teenager who unexpectedly gets a vampire to watch his little sister. But she didn’t start out as one.
Ethan Morgan’s parents (played by Canadian actor Matthew Knight) cannot be trusted to watch his little sister and hires a girl from his high school as a babysitter named Erica. Later Erica ends up meeting up with two of her friends, Sarah and Jesse, both whom are vampires, and together they go to a party full of them. Erica is later attacked by vampires and turns into one herself. It’s a lot a bites and fangs in this one.
said it was a “Twilight parody” that “is bloodier than usual Disney fare” and best for kids 12 and up. Common Sense Media Watch My Babysitter’s A Vampire, rated PG, on Netflix and Roku. Vampire Academy
Step into vampire royalty. Zoey Deutch plays Rose Hathaway, half human-half vampire, called a Dhampir. Her kind protects the Moroi, peaceful vampires, from their more evil counterparts, the Strigoi. And with that responsibility also comes the daily ups and downs of being a teenager, which includes rivals and crushes. But these crushes bite! The movie is based on the young adult novels by Richelle Mead.
television series of the movie was recently announced and will premiere on Peacock TV. With its promise of drama, supernatural thrills, and sexuality, it may be a little too spicy for small children. But as for the movie adaptation, gave it a two-star rating for teens 14 and up. Common Sense Media Watch . Vampire Academy, rated PG-13, on Netflix Hotel Transylvania 1,2,3
Bleh! Bleh! Bleh! Adam Sandler puts his twist on Dracula in this 2012 family, animated comedy. The Count operates an exclusive resort for monsters who want to get away from it all, specifically humans. He’s also a single father to his daughter, Marvis, played by Selena Gomez. To celebrate her 118th birthday, he invites his friends, Frankenstein, The Wolfman, the Mummy, and others to celebrate. But things get complicated when a human named Johnny (played by Adam Samberg) crashes the weekend and falls for his daughter. Holy rabies! (Spoiler alert.)
There are three sequels to this movie:
Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015), in which Marvis and Johnny become parents, and Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018), where the family takes a cruise to the Bermuda Triangle. comes out on Oct. 1 on Amazon Prime. There’s also a television series with the same title on Netflix. Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania alled it a father-daughter comedy and an “intro to monster movies.” Common Sense Media c Watch all three Hotel Transylvania movies, rated PG, on Hulu. Dear Dracula
While some kids write to Santa Claus for Christmas, there are others who write to their favorite monsters! Sam, voiced by Nathan Gamble, is one of those kids in this 2012 animated family feature. His favorite monster is Dracula and he decides to write a letter to the Count. Dracula, voiced by Ray Liotta, is delighted to get fan mail sent to him and decides to visit the sender. Sam is considered an outcast among the other kids. The two bond and together they learn a scary lesson or two about self-confidence.
Common Sense Media calls it a “sweet, funny story of friendship.” It’s also based on a graphic kids' novel with the same name by Joshua Williamson and Vicente “Vinny” Navarrete. Watch Dear Dracula, rated NR, on Amazon Prime Video. Dark Shadows
After 200 years, all some vampires want to do is settle down and be a part of a family... their own family to be exact. Imagine that strange, distant relative that moved into your house turns out to be a vampire. Pretty cool right? Except when he tries to destroy your TV. Johnny Depp plays blood drinker and hopeless romantic Barnabas Collins in this 2012 family comedy. In the 1700s, Barabas was locked in a coffin by his scorned ex-flame, Angelique (played by Eva Green), whom he left for his true love, Victoria (played by Bella Heathcote). He is later freed in 1972 and reconnects with his dysfunctional descendants who also deal with witches, ghosts, and werewolves.
It’s a comedic take on the classic
Dark Shadows series and gets three stars from Common Sense Media. Watch Dark Shadows, rated PG-13, on Hulu and HBO Max. The Monster Squad
Dracula is the villain and the kids are the heroes in this 1987 movie. It’s actually considered a horror-comedy about a group of monster fanatic kids who form a club called the Monster Squad. Note, this is still a time where kids had clubhouses in the trees, very nostalgic. But when actual monsters (Dracula, the Mummy, the Wolfman, Gill Man and Frankenstein) move into their town, their club goes from fanatic to action heroes. The monsters are searching for a magic amulet that could either be used to banish the monsters or rule the world, and the kids must combat them.
Common Sense Media calls it a “good monster mash.” Watch The Monster Squad, rated PG-13, on Amazon Prime. Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire
When a vampire and his minions are kidnapping musicians from a rock concert in Australia, Scooby and the gang are called in to investigate. The vampire in this movie is called Yowie Yahoo and according to legend, he lives in Vampire Rock where the Vampire Rock Music Festival is taking place ( we know, lots of vampires in this sentence). Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, and Velma go undercover to find out the truth. But turns out these aren’t just guys pretending to be vampires, they are the real deal. There are a lot of
interesting rock band names in this movie, like the Hex Girls, Bad Omens, Lightning Strike, and Two Skinny Dudes. Common Sense Media rated it three out of five stars. This is a fun movie for kids ages 8 and up, Watch Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire, rated NR, on the Boomerang app, Amazon Prime and Apple TV. Vampire Dog
Yes, even our dogs can become creatures of the night. In this 2012 family comedy, a boy named Ace ends up inheriting a 600-year-old dog from his deceased Transylvanian grandfather, named Fang. But unlike other vamps, this dog only needs jelly pudding to survive. And this dog can do a lot of tricks! He can talk, hypnotize, and sleeps in a doggy coffin! But just keep him out of the sun or he will faint. Fang tells Ace he was bitten by a vampire who attacked Ace’s great-great-great-great-great-grandparents. He never drank blood and ate horse hoofs until he discovered the wonders of jelly pudding. Ace and his friends have to protect Fang from a mad doctor who wants to use his DNA to create a cream that will stop human skin from aging. There are also come anti-bullying lessons that kids can take away, according to
Common Sense Media. Watch Vampire Dog, rated G, on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and Vudu. Monster Family
Another Dracula twist! In this animated, comedy, the Count becomes infatuated with Emma Wishbone, an overworked, mother and wife, who accidentally calls him instead of a monster costume store. Drac wants to make Emma his bride and asks a witch called Baba Yaga to turn her into a real vampire so she can be with him. Meanwhile, Emma gets costumes made for her family to go to a Halloween party. She, as a vampire; her husband, as Frankenstein, her daughter, as a mummy, and her son, as a werewolf. But when Baba Yaga casts the curse, it not only turns Emma into a real vampire but her entire family into the monsters they were dressed up as. This is a UK animation that didn’t make it over the pond to our box offices, but you can still catch it!
Monster Family, rated PG, on Amazon Prime.