Watching spooky movies is a classic Halloween pastime, but not all flicks are appropriate for younger kids. Seriously, the new IT movie is probably not suitable for the preschool set. That's why the Halloween movies appropriate for kids under 5 are so wonderful. Kids can learn to appreciate pumpkins, costumes, and other fun sides of the holiday without developing a lifelong terror of clowns.
Granted, these decisions about entertainment will depend on your personal parenting philosophies, as well as your kid's temperament. Some young kids can watch the entire Child's Play series without blinking, whereas other children get unhinged by the trippy scenes in Pinocchio. (Raise your hand if you're still traumatized by Large Marge from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.) Knowing what your kid can handle, and previewing anything that seems questionable, is still a good call.
But for the most part, these films are unlikely to seriously scare any young kids. Gentle animated characters, costumed talking puppies, and classic characters from your childhood are all featured here, with no jump scares or other shocks to be found. These movies will be great to watch until your little ones are old enough to enjoy The Conjuring, The Babadook, and whatever new horrors crawl out of Hollywood in the meantime.
1. 'Curious George: A Halloween Boofest'
Falling leaves, chillier temperatures, and other autumnal treats are explored in Curious George: A Halloween Boofest (2013). Join the titular monkey and The Man with the Yellow Hat as they pick out a pumpkin and listen to scary tales about a scarecrow. Is the scarecrow who kicks off people's hats real or imaginary?
2. 'All Hallows' Eve'
If your kid isn't quite ready for the witches of Hocus Pocus — there are a few intense scenes in that flick — ease into spooky movies with this one. All Hallows' Eve (2016) follows the main character Eve who gets some interesting news on her birthday: she's a witch. Unfortunately, learning magic can be tricky.
3. 'Mickey’s Monster Musical'
OK, so it's technically a TV show episode. But Mickey's Monster Musical (2015) deserves a mention, because its fun holiday songs are sure to appeal to little kids. Plus, don't miss David Tennant as Igor the Door.
4. 'Dear Dracula'
It turns out a movie featuring the undead can be pretty wholesome. In Dear Dracula (2012), the main character Sam writes a letter to Dracula instead of Santa. When the Count himself shows up at Sam's house, it makes for a memorable Halloween indeed.
5. 'Spooky Buddies'
They've been to the north pole, and they've been in space. And in Spooky Buddies (2011), the talking golden retriever puppies venture into a haunted mansion. Who knew the original Air Bud (1997) would lead to 13 spinoff films, including this one?
6. 'Casper's Scare School'
What happens when a ghost is just too friendly? As a punishment for being too kind, Casper gets sent to Scare School to learn about the art of scaring. But in Casper's Scare School (2006), friendship is the real lesson.
7. 'Spookley: The Square Pumpkin'
Pity poor Spookley: he's the only square pumpkin in the patch. Spookley: The Square Pumpkin (2005) examines themes of friendship and acceptance in a pumpkin patch. Spiders, bats, and a scarecrow help Spookley realize his worth.
8. 'Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie'
As far as non-scary Halloween movies go, this one is pretty high up the list. Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie (2005) is fun and gentle. The biggest scare happens when someone in The Hundred Acre Wood eats all the Halloween candy.
9. 'Monsters, Inc.'
Hey, these monsters are actually pretty lovable. In Monsters, Inc., (2001) a two-year old kid called Boo accidentally stumbles into the world of monsters. Friendly monsters Mike and Sulley have to get Boo back to her own world before anyone discovers her presence.
10. 'Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein'
Sure, this film features a mad scientist, the monster of Frankenstein, and a few other spooky tropes. But Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein (1999) is a fun, non-scary adventure through a closed amusement park. It's a cute romp, although maybe the kids can enjoy it with headphones on. Don't underestimate chipmunk voices.
Was this one of the earliest live-action reboots of a franchise? Whatever the case, Casper (1995) is the story of the friendly ghost and his desire to make friends with the new inhabitants in his house. It's a cute movie, and it's never too soon to introduce your kids to the amazingness of Christina Ricci.
12. 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks'
It's a magical movie without any real scares. Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) has delighted kids for generations with its story of an apprentice witch's adventures. Plus, shouldn't your kid get to know the magic of Angela Lansbury early on?
13. 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'
Sure, it's technically a TV special that's 25 minutes long. But It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) is an absolute holiday classic that tiny kids and adults alike will enjoy. Chill with Charlie Brown in his hopeless endeavor to meet the Great Pumpkin. Hopefully, your own trick-or-treater won't get any rocks in place of candy this year.