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19 Best Halloween Movies for Kids

Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Dreamed up by Tim Burton, The Nightmare Before Christmas tells the story of Jack Skellington—the “King of Halloween”—who, tired with staging Halloween festivities year after year, finds a door to Christmas Town and decides to try his hand at that holiday, instead. We dare you not to have the songs from this musical flick stuck in your head for days after watching. "This is Halloween" should be the unofficial theme song of October! Best of all, it also makes a great Christmas movie.

Recommended Age: 7 and Up

Coraline (2009)

Based on Neil Gaiman's popular "children's horror" novel, Coraline is in many ways similar to Alice in Wonderland—only creepier. Unhappy about relocating to a new house and leaving all her friends behind, the gutsy heroine discovers a door to an alternative world. There she finds attentive, doting versions of her real parents and other exciting wonders. But this new world is more dangerous than it seems and Coraline must find a way to rescue her family and herself. 

Recommended Age: 9 and Up

Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie (2005)

Who doesn't love Pooh? It's Halloween in the Hundred Acre Wood, and everyone is excited to trick or treat. But Pooh eats all of the candy (oh, Pooh Bear!), so Roo and Lumpy set off on a quest to capture a scary Gobloon who will grant their wish for more. Sweet and not scary, this film is perfect for the pre-school set.

Recommended Age: 3 and Up


Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie Trailer on Disney Video
Harry Potter

While you should watch Harry Potter at any time of the year (can you tell we're fans?), Halloween seems especially appropriate. There is something about Harry boarding the Hogwarts Express that really evokes that start-of-the-school-year, fall feeling. Oh...and there's magic and witches, too! The first few movies are aimed at younger children while the later ones are better suited to their older, tween siblings.

Recommended Age: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 7 and Up; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 8 and Up; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 10 and Up; all movies after Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 12 and Up


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949)

Talk about an oldie that's definitely a goodie! This short classic tells the story of a stuffy schoolteacher who tries to win the love of the prettiest girl in town with his act of bravery. Whereas many films based on the Headless Horseman story are quite gruesome, this one is mild enough for a kindergartener.

Recommended Age: 6 and Up

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) 

What is a Halloween without the Great Pumpkin? Linus' optimistic wait in the pumpkin patch is a staple of the season. Plus, there are other fun, festive antics like trick-or-treating, apple bobbing and Snoopy taking his costume a little too seriously. 

Recommended Age: 4 and Up

Hocus Pocus (1993)

A boy who is charged with keeping an eye on his nosy little sister on Halloween night accidentally unleashes the Sanderson Sisters—three witches from the Salem witch trials that suck the youth from little girls. Best part of the movie? The Sisters performing “I put a spell on you” at a Halloween party, hands down!

Recommended Age: 11 and Up

Corpse Bride (2005)

This is another gem from Tim Burton's twisted imagination. Victor, a nervous and clumsy young man, accidentally marries a dead bride. He is taken to the Land of the Dead and must somehow escape in order to be reunited with his true fiancée in time for their wedding.

Recommended Age: 10 and Up

Beetlejuice (1988)

A newly-dead husband and wife discover that a family of the living has moved into their house, so they hire a crude "bio-exorcist" to scare them off. The friendship between the deceased couple and Lydiathe epitome of a neglected and gloomy teenageris heart-warming and the rockin' 80's styling will give you a good chuckle. But really...Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Do we need to say more? 

Recommended Age: 9 and Up

Casper (1955)

The iconic cartoon character stars in this sweet film. Poor Casper has always struggled with being lonely and when he finally finds a friend, he tries to bring himself back to life. But things do not go according to plan. At its heart, this is a tender ghost-meets-girl story. And Casper whispering "can I keep you" never fails to make us tear up!

Recommended Age: 6 and Up

Halloweentown (1998)

Marnie Piper has always been obsessed with Halloween, much to her mother’s despair. But it turns out there is something her mom is keeping from her—she’s a witch! When grandmother Aggie arrives for her annual Halloween visit, Marnie follows her to a strange place called Halloweentown. This installment is the first of a magical trilogy—the two sequels will be better appreciated by kids 8 and up.

Recommended Age: 7 and Up

The Worst Witch (1986)

Before Harry Potter got his scar, there was Mildred Hubble. And while fame and fortune come easily to Harry, Mildred struggles with being the worst student at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches. This sweet movie about a triumphant underdog will entertain kiddos who may be too young for Hogwarts adventures. Plus, Tim Curry makes a campy (and musical) appearance as the hunkiest warlock around!

Recommended Age: 6 and up

Gremlins (1984)

Gremlins (or, okay, Mogwai) are the original Furbies. Thankfully, Furby never multiplied after getting wet or turned into a trouble-causing reptile. While the film doesn't revolve around Halloween, watching these little monsters cause chaos is totally in the spirit of this trick-or-treating holiday.

Recommended Age: 9 and Up

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

 

This Disney classic is what Mary Poppins would be if it had witches, wizards and magic bedknobs that make your bed fly. The theme involves World War II and Nazi invasions, but is handled with kid gloves. Bonus points if your kiddo starts using "bedknobs" in regular conversation!

Recommended Age: 7 and Up

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Mel Brooks directed this wacky comedy about Doctor Frankenstein's grandson who follows in his mad scientist footsteps. The slapstick comedy and juvenile gags will draw kids in. The film is a fun parody of classic horror movies, so if your children are always begging to stay up and watch the scarier stuff with you—this is a good compromise.

Recommended Age: 10 and Up

Labyrinth (1986)

 

Dealing with sibling rivalry? Labyrinth is a must-watch for anyone who has ever felt fed-up with a younger sib. When Sarah wishes that Goblins would take her baby brother, the King of the Goblins comes and whisks the boy away to a Labyrinth. Sarah must venture inside and solve it within thirteen hours to get her little brother back. Filled with fantastical Jim Henson puppets, this movie has magic enough to enchant the kiddos. Plus, David Bowie is perfect as the brooding, discontent Jareth.

Recommended Age: 8 and Up

The Witches (1990)

While visiting the seaside with his grandmother, Luke stumbles upon a convention of witches who are hatching a plan to exterminate children. He must find a way to stop them—a task that seems infinitely harder once he is turned into a mouse. The witches are scary enough to give us a fright—especially when they peel off their human costumes.

Recommended Age: 8 and Up

The Black Cauldron (1985)

This coming-of-age film is perfect for young fantasy lovers. Taran, an assistant pig-farmer who yearns for adventure, must protect his magical pig from the evil Horned King who plans to use the animal to find a cauldron that can bring the dead to life. Though slightly darker than the standard Disney fare, parents might find Princess Eilonwy a welcome relief from the typical damsel in distress found in other animated films.

Recommended Age: 7 and Up


Halloween is Grinch Night (1977)


Is How the Grinch Stole Christmas a Christmas go-to in your house? Then your family will love this lesser-known, Halloween-themed prequel. The Emmy Award-winning cartoon is filled with the same Grinch antics we loved in the original, with just enough holiday-appropriate spook to keep young children entertained. 

Recommended Age: 4 and Up

 

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