When the Halloween season begins, it’s time to bring out some scarily fun movies for the kids. Films like these capitalize on the spirit of the season and they enhance family movie night, sleepovers, or help unwind after a fun night of trick-or-treating. The best Halloween movies for kids are age-appropriate concerning content. For younger children, they’re colorful to keep their attention while not being overtly frightening. As for older kids, the films are easy to follow but have just as many laughs as thrills. Check out our list of ideas on what to watch with the kids this Halloween.
10. Monster House (2006)
Monster House uses the classic haunted house trope. 12-year-old DJ and his friend Chowder discover their neighbor’s house is a people-eating monster. After saving Jenny, the three set out to destroy the house.
Both adults and kids can enjoy this flick. The 3D-animation is unique and quirky, and the film blends funny and scary moments.
Recommended Age: 10+. Though it has funny moments, the film features numerous scary and/or intense scenes not suitable for younger viewers.
9. Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest (2013)
In his first Halloween film, George gears up for a Halloween celebration. Once he hears the tale of the Legend of No Noggin, he goes on a mission to prove the legend is real.
Entertaining for the whole family, Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest keeps the heart of the beloved monkey alive while adding some Halloween elements for extra fun. The spooky factors are minimal.
Recommended Age: 4+. The film is meant for preschoolers/kindergartners, but certain elements may frighten sensitive kids or younger toddlers.
8. Spookley the Square Pumpkin (2005)
Taunted by round pumpkins for being square, Spookley learns to value himself and get into the joy of Halloween with the help from a Scarecrow, his bat sidekicks, and some funny spiders.
It deserves a spot as one of the best Halloween movies for kids as it has a strong moral storyline any child can learn from. Many also enjoy the musical numbers in Spookley the Square Pumpkin, and the film is a great length to keep young kids occupied.
Recommended Age: 3+. The movie shows some “scary-like” creatures such as spiders, but they’re all colorful and fun rather than frightening.
7. The Little Vampire (2000)
Based on a series of children’s books, The Little Vampire follows the tale of 9-year-old Tony as he befriends a vampire child named Rudolph. Rudolph and his family want to become human, but complications come in the form a vampire hunter.
The film works as a good introduction to Halloween creatures like vampires for kids. It also has a heartwarming message behind it about judging people before getting to know them.
Recommended Age: 7+. There are several intense moments such as bullying, violence, and death that may be unsuitable for younger viewers.
6. Hotel Transylvania (2012)
At Hotel Transylvania, monsters of all types can unwind and be themselves. No humans are allowed at the high-end resort. That is until a clueless backpacker named Jonathan stumbles upon it and falls in love with Mavis, the “young” 118-year-old daughter of Dracula.
If you’re looking for the best Halloween movies for kids that put a spin on classic monsters, Hotel Transylvania is one of them. Monsters are more approachable this way. This funny, animated tale also has a fun take on the “father-daughter” comedy dynamic.
Recommended Age: 7+. Some scary moments can prop up such as a character death, but it’s handled delicately enough for older kids.
5. Casper (1995)
Casper is the story of paranormal expert Dr. Harvey moving along with his young daughter Kat to a haunted mansion to exorcise some ghosts. Kat meets Casper, the friendly ghost of a young boy. However, his three uncles aren’t as benevolent.
There are just enough laughs and scary moments for kids to enjoy. The film realistically explores the loss of loved ones, coping, and moving on all in a way that’s still entertaining for young minds.
Recommended Age: 8+. A couple scenes have ghosts behaving aggressively in addition to the fact that the film uses some mild language.
4. The Addams Family (1991)
A timeless classic, this dark comedy follows the Addams, a morbid family who embraces their demented side. The story entails the patriarch of the family missing his brother, and a crooked accountant coming up with a scheme to use the brother in order to steal the family’s riches.
In The Addams Family, characters don’t shy away from dark activities. It’s still a funny, exciting tale that shows how even a unique family like this can still show love and loyalty to each other.
Recommended Age: 13+. Some violent acts, mild sexual innuendos, and overall dark themes are present throughout the movie.
3. Hocus Pocus (1993)
When three witch sisters have resurrected in Salem on Halloween night after their executions 300 years ago, they embark on a dark journey to maintain their newfound lives by any means necessary. It’s up to a group of kids to put an end to their schemes for good.
Adults still claim to enjoy Hocus Pocus as much as kids do. In spite of its dark themes, it has a lightheartedness that truly focuses on the spirit of Halloween that kids and adults alike love.
Recommended Age: 11+. Numerous of moments such as the witches seeking to kill the children in the town can scare younger viewers.
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The King of Halloweentown, Jack Skellington, has grown bored of the repetitiveness of Halloween. Instead, he decides to bring Christmas to the townsfolk, going so far as to kidnap Santa himself from the neighboring Christmastown.
The Nightmare Before Christmas stands high among the best Halloween movies for kids as it expertly blends two different holidays. It’s a film that has kids thinking differently about the holidays they celebrate and the meaning they can hold.
Recommended Age: 7+. There are some cases of violence such as characters removing their own limbs that can concern younger kids.
1. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
A list of the best Halloween movies for kids isn’t complete without the ultimate classic: Charlie Brown. The Peanuts gang are all ready to celebrate the holiday in typical Halloween fashion from parties, trick-or-treating, and trying to catch sight of the “legendary” Great Pumpkin.
An all-ages type of film, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown stands the test of time. It’s emotional in a sense that it shows just how many different ways one can feel and celebrate the holiday.
Recommended Age: 4+. There are just a few occasions of very mild language and Halloween imagery that can potentially scare young toddlers.
To help get your family into the holiday spirit, it’s a must to have some of the best Halloween movies for kids on hand. Are you familiar with any of these or do you feel some other movies should have made the cut? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.