The days leading up to Halloween are a time for scary movies, sweet treats, and pumpkin-themed everything. But while you might be down for the goriest of horror, your kids are better suited for more lighthearted fare. If your little ones (and medium-sized ones) want to celebrate without a major case of the creeps, they can try one or more of these 13 Halloween movies for kids.
Many of the choices on this list go heavy on the nostalgia factor, so perhaps you'll find an old favorite from your childhood that you can now share with your children. And the Halloween movie marathon doesn't have to end with these 13, either; quite a few of these films have several sequels, which means you can continue enjoying the characters for hours to come. These movies may be a little spooky, but they have enough whimsy and humor to keep things from getting too dark. They'll put you and your family in the mood for Halloween (and maybe even inspire some costume ideas) without making your kids too scared to turn off the light.
While far from a comprehensive collection, here are 13 Halloween movies for kids, listed in order from oldest to newest.
It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! (1966)
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! takes you along on Linus' annual appeal to his personal Halloween mascot, the Great Pumpkin. And it's only 25 minutes, so it's not a huge time commitment.
Though you should avoid saying its title three times in a row, Beetlejuice is always good for repeat viewings. It has everything you need for a Halloween celebration: unsettling monsters, kindhearted ghosts, musical numbers, and Winona Ryder.
The Addams Family & Addams Family Values (1991 & 1993)
The Addams Family and its subsequent sequel Addams Family Values can be the perfect Halloween double feature if you happen to catch them on TV this month (and luckily Freeform plays them regularly in October). Despite all the dangerous pranks and dark forces at work, these movies are really all about family.
Double, Double Toil And Trouble (1993)
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen had such an exhaustive filmography that you can find a movie for nearly every occasion. But Double, Double Toil and Trouble is a Halloween go-to thanks to the witchy adventures within.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Nightmare Before Christmas is the kind of movie that you can watch any time between October and December, because if it's not preparing you for Halloween, then it's getting you ready for Christmas.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
Hocus Pocus is another reliable Halloween classic that you might have loved growing up, so you can enjoy it just as much as your kids will.
The culmination of Kat's growing friendship with Casper, the friendliest of friendly ghosts, all takes place on Halloween, so this movie choice couldn't be more on theme.
Though not strictly Halloween-centric, there's enough magic in Matilda to make it worth watching this October. It edges into some dark territory literally and emotionally, but its uplifting end makes it all worth it.
The Mummy (1999)
The Mummy isn't technically a Halloween movie either, but you'll want to make sure every kind of classic monster is represented in your movie marathon this year. Plus, it reinforces the importance of doing your research before you take on any centuries-old mummies.
Truly, this one speaks for itself. When you're done reliving the glory of Halloweentown, you can move right along to its sequels Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge, Halloweentown High, and Return to Halloweentown.
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
If you'd like your monsters to be more adorable than terrifying this year, look no further than Monsters, Inc. Prepare for your heart to be warmed.
Hotel Transylvania (2012)
While the urge to submerge oneself in 90s classics every Halloween is strong, your kids might prefer something a slightly newer. If that's the case, you can watch (or rewatch, if it's already a favorite) Hotel Transylvania.
If all else fails, then hopefully the supernatural goings-on in ParaNorman can entertain you and your kids.
As long as a movie or two from this list strikes your fancy, you won't be without something to watch with your family this Halloween.
This article was originally published on