The Halloween movies for kids you need on your spooky radar
We've already got you sorted when it comes to Halloween DIY decor, and we've given you enough fiendishly fun treat ideas to sink a ghost pirate ship with, so now we're turning our mind to what we can do for Halloween 2020 given that trick-or-treating may well not be a thing (thanks, covid). Spooky drum roll please: all hail the best Halloween movies for kids and their grown ups!
1. Hotel Transylvania
When an awkward teen discovers the Hotel Transylvania holiday resort for monsters, he gets more than he bargained for when he falls in love with the owner’s daughter…
Casper the friendly ghost is way too cute to be scary, and we love the1995 version (Christina Ricci and Bill Pullman) where a paranormal expert and his daughter move into an abandoned house that turns out not to be so abandoned after all.
3. Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie
You can't go wrong with Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie. Join Pooh Bear, Tigger and Roo on a mission to find not only tricks and treats, but also fearsome the Gobloon who lurks around The Hundred Acre Wood. Perfect for tots not much bigger than a pumpkin themselves!
4. Monsters Inc and Monsters University
This double bill of hilarious monster antics are a surefire hit for the whole famalam. Join Sully, Mike and co. in Monsters Inc and Monsters University for tons of giggles and madcap adventures by the Halloween bucketload.
5. The Neverending Story
Whack on one of the greatest family movies of all time, The NeverEnding Story, which is chockablock with spooky happenings and weird and wonderful creatures, making it a terrorific pick for a Halloween movie. Tissues at the ready for the Artax the horse swamp scene... ugly crying guaranteed every single time.
6. Monster House
Monster House is a fab CGI adventure in which a bunch of tweens discover their neighbour’s house is actually a living, breathing monster. It's a PG, but it is a bit scary, we think, for smaller tots.
7. Harry Potter
With muggles dressed up as witches and wizards all over the world for All Hallow's Eve, the Harry Potter movies are an obvious choice when it comes to Halloween movies for kids! The earlier ones are less dark and scary than the latter ones, so pick whichever one you think is least likely to give your small ghouls nightmares.
8. Spooky Buddies
Cuteness overload: this crew of adorable, talking golden retriever pups makes for paw-fectly paw-some Halloween movie fodder. Yep, Spooky Buddies brings us haunted mansions, ghost dogs and a whole heap of puppy adventure.
9. Scared Shrekless
Light up the DIY Jack O’Lanterns and settle down with plenty of spooky snacks to hang out with everyone’s favourite ogre in Scared Shrekless. It's short and sweet at only 26 minutes long, and Shrek is making some bold claims that ogres are "the kings of Halloween". Needless to say, his mates do their very best to prove that he can be scared after all.
10. The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Cheery but bumbling Wallace and his sidekick, Gromit the dog, set out to uncover the mysterious events that are threatening to sabotage the village event of the year: the annual giant vegetable-growing contest. The title of the movie, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, does kind of give the ‘mystery’ away a bit…
One of our fave Disney movies in a while, Miguel, the young hero of Coco, dreams of becoming a musician like his idol. To prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the colourful Land of the Dead, and ends up on a journey to discover the his family's real history. Utterly charming.
12. The House With a Clock in its Walls
When 10-year-old Lewis goes to live with his uncle in a creaky old house he soon learns that Uncle Jonathan and his feisty neighbour, Mrs Zimmerman, are actually all about the magic arts. Expect witches, warlocks and deadly curses aplenty in The House With a Clock in its Walls.
13. The Book of Life
Meet Manolo, a teenager full of angst (show us one who isn't), who finds himself torn between pleasing his family or following his heart in The Book of Life, an animated adventure that will have your mini monsters demanding Day of the Dead style make-up for sure.
14. The Addams Family
While we utterly adored Anjelica Houston in the role of Morticia in the 1991 classic outing of The Addams Family, we also thoroughly enjoyed the updated 2019 CGI reimagining too. Watch them both and decide for yourselves which version of this kooky, creepy family is the best.
15. Super Monsters Save Halloween
Fangtastic for the littlest Halloween fans, this Netflix number educates preschoolers on how Halloween scares are mostly make-believe. Super Monsters Save Halloween helps make the whole celebration seem way less frightening for small tots, which in turn means less chance of nightmares and sleepless nights for the whole fam!
16. Corpse Bride
Oscar-nominated The Corpse Bride is a 2005 movie that follows a young man who accidentally marries a ghost, and, in true Tim Burton trademark, macabre style, is a visually cool, spooky film fest that everyone will love.
Scoob! is a brand new, fun-packed movie for a new generation of meddling kids, and Mystery Incorporated are back to foil a plot set to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus upon the world.
18. The Mummy
One that older tweens and teens will definitely get wrapped up in, the 1999 version of The Mummy is full of evil curses, icky looking mummies and the odd missing eyeball in an Egyptian adventure packed with fun. The 2017 Tom Cruise version? Not so much.
Jack Black is generally a funny bloke, and he doesn’t let us down in the movie version of the classic book series, Goosebumps. Plenty of jump scares, eery characters and fright night fun in a story involving dark secrets and books that come to life.
We can’t not mention an oldie but goodie like Ghostbusters in a Halloween movie roundup: it literally epitomises all things spooky season. It might have been made way back in 1984, but the mayhem and chaos caused by a team of ghostbusters trying to save New York from destruction, is timelessly funny. The 2016 remake is also worth a watch, but it’s not nearly so whacky and charming as the original.
In ParaNorman, a small town comes under siege by zombies galore, and only young ghost whisperer, misunderstood Norman, can battle the ghosts, witches and, worst of all, the grown-ups, to save his home from an old curse.
Anything with Winona Ryder in it instantly gets our vote, and we're a sucker for anything Tim Burton, so Frankenweenie goes on the list for that combo alone. Add in a dead dog that comes back to life and some pretty cool science experiments, and you’ve got yourself a ghoulishy great Halloween family movie that ticks all the not-too-scary boxes.
23. Dear Dracula
Dracula thinks he's lost his touch, and he needs the help of a new friend to help him get his mojo back in Dear Dracula, a 45-minute short film is based on a graphic novel by Joshua Williamson.
24. Room on the Broom
If your little one has the attention span of a gnat (ours), then the short but utterly delightful adaptation of Julia Donaldson's book Room on the Broom is the Halloween movie you need on your radar. It may star a witch, but she's a rather lovely kinda witch, so nothing scary to worry about even for the teensiest of tots.
25. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Fair warning: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is the most frightening on our list, and is best suited to kids who have outgrown most fam-friendly Halloween movies, but aren't quite ready to move on to the really scary ones. Based on a series of books, this movie follows a group of kids who have to investigate a bunch of local legends. Scary legends. And scared we were! It's rated 15 so prob best to watch it first and decide whether it's okay for your in-betweener.
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