Kick off Halloween or get into the spirit with these kid-friendly flicks.
A group of misfit kids hope to save their homes by finding One Eyed Willie’s treasure. Searching in underground pirate caves, the friends must race the evil Fratelli family to find the gold first. Best line: “Heeyyy yoooou guuuys!!”
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
An oldie, but a goodie! Linus waits for The Great Pumpkin all night in a pumpkin patch, while Charlie Brown goes trick or treating with the gang—only to end up with a bag full of rocks.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
When Halloween-hating teenager named Max inadvertently resurrects three witches, The Sanderson Sisters, from their temporary death, he must risk his life to protect his sister and defeat them with the help of a classmate crush, a friendly zombie, and an immortal black cat. This 1993 film might be a bit too spooky for your young ones, but school-aged kids will enjoy the ghouls, witches and spells of this classic.
Based on the 1940-1950s cartoon about the friendliest ghost in town, this mid-nineties film version is a great watch leading up to Halloween. When a spoiled woman inherits a mansion in her late father’s will, she learns that the house may have a treasure hidden within it. To get to the treasure she must first kick out the house’s inhabitants—Casper the friendly ghost and his three wise-cracking uncles. When Dr. Harvey and his daughter Kat move in to the house to try and kick the ghosts out laughter and shenanigans ensue. It has some adult humor that will fly over little ones’ heads, making it a great movie to watch for the whole family.
Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
One of Tim Burton’s greatest movies, The Nightmare Before Christmas can be watched from Halloween straight through to Christmas. This stop-animation film tells the story of Jack Skellington, a being from “Halloween Town” who opens a portal to “Christmas Town” and quickly embraces the Christmas holiday. To convince the Halloween Town residents that Christmas is a good idea, Jack proposes they take over Chrismas and replace Santa with Jack. Save this one for some quality time with your tween as the dark graphics of Tim Burton’s signature style might be over the top for young eyes.
Norman can talk to dead people, and to be quite honest, prefers their company to the living. But when he gets a warning about an ancient witch’s curse, he has to work hard to save his town, even if he doesn’t really like them that much.
While exploring her new home, a little girl finds a parallel universe behind a secret door. But what’s on the other side isn’t necessarily better.
Corpse Bride (2005)
That Tim Burton does it again. While reciting his vows, Victor (Hey, Johnny Depp) is grabbed by a hand and dragged into the land of the dead where a murdered bride decides she wants him for her own. The problem is, he still wants to marry his fiancee in the land of the living.
Monster House (2006)
There’s something weird about the house across the street. It’s almost like it’s alive. Ahead of Halloween, three friends team up to destroy it before innocent trick-or-treaters meet an untimely demise.
The Witches (1990)
In the Roald Dahl classic, a little boy vacationing at a hotel with her grandmother accidentally stumbles upon a witches convention where he finds out their plan to turn all children into mice.
Ernest Scared Stupid (1991)
While working as a garbage collector, loveable but clumsy Ernest accidentally unleashes a troll who has turning children into wooden dolls on his agenda.