The Best Halloween Movies For Kids From Sweet to Scary
Are you getting into the spirit this fall with a family Halloween movie night? Find a film that is just the right amount of scary for your crew–from friendly witches to campy cult classics.
Not So Scary
Monsters Inc for ages 5+
Scaring kids is a 9-to-5 job for these monsters. Kids may be unnerved at first, but they'll soon see the monsters need to collect their kids' screams in order to power the world's electrical grid. Delightfuly weird and adorable for even the youngest kids.
It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown for ages 3+
It isn't Halloween without this classic Peanuts movie. It's the perfect introduction to fall traditions like trick-or-treating, picking pumpkins, or bobbing for apples. While there isn't anything scary, there is bullying between characters that may bother some parents.
Room on The Broom for ages 3+
A short and sweet half-hour adaptation of the popular book by British author Julia Donaldson revolves around a friendly witch and her cat as they encounter a host of animals who've found things the witch has lost. When a dragon emerges, the witch and all the animals work together to get to safety.
Ghostbusters for ages 11+
With a bit of action, comedy, and a few scares, this paranormal classic is a hilarious buddy comedy at heart, starring SNL alums Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd along with Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. The crew cracks jokes as they battle ghosts and a giant marshmallow man in 1980s New York City.
Coco for ages 7+
This beautifully animated story from Pixar follows a Mexican family as they celebrate Dia Dos Muertos. Young Miguel, a young musician in a family of zapateros, finds himself stuck in the Land of the Dead, searching for his deceased musician great-great-grandfather who can reutrn him to his family and convince them to reverse their ban on music. While there are many skeletons and the concept of death is at the forefront of the film, there aren't any particularly scary moments. Instead, you'll find yourself singing along to the soundtrack.
Toy Story of TERROR! for ages 6+
This reimagining of the classic horror genre trades nightmare-inducing plotlines for spooky sight gags that will make kids jump–and then pass the popcorn. Buzz, Jessie, and the OG Toy Story crew are on a road trip with a family when they end up at a motel for the night, missing one toy they must find before morning. Clocking in just under half an hour and ending with a feel-good lesson on conquering your fears, Toy Story of Terror! makes sense for most school-aged kids.
Addams Family for ages 7+
For families who grew up on the classic 1960's tv show or the cult favorite 1990's take on The Addams Family, the newest animated iteration is less mature while still being darkly funny. Gomez and Morticia leave the Old Country for an abandoned New Jersey asylum. With their two kids, Pugsley and Wednesday, they must manage the relationship with their neighbors who are planning a creepy new community aptly named Assimilation.
Hocus Pocus for 10+
Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, and Kathy Najimy are the Sanderson Sisters, dead witches from the 17th Century that come back to life for a Halloween full of silly, spooky thrills. Full of sight gags and family-friendly punchlines and the sisters interact with modern suburban Salem kids.
Coraline for ages 10+
While there isn't violence or adult language, this movie involves a disturbing magical world that Coraline realizes isn't precisely as it seems when a mysterious cat warns her about her "Other" parents in this beautiful but unnerving story that may be best for tweens. In the end, she learns not to take her imperfect family for granted.
Spirited Away for ages 9+
Hayao Miyazaki's anime classic is stunning, with a strong heroine in a land of monsters, sprites, and witches that can turn humans into animals. When her parents become pigs, she must travel alone through this world to rescue them from a scary witch.
The Dark Crystal for 10+
Thia one is for tweens into fantasy and 1980's mysticism. While it's a Jim Henson movie, the dangerous, otherworldly vibe on a faraway planet is intense and much darker than the Muppets.