I think I’ve said this before, but our family is a movie-loving family. We have a large movie collection. Our holiday movie collection is a good size, too, but we do limit ourselves to one new holiday movie per holiday per year. So, every year we’ll get a new Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas movie. Thanksgiving is actually the hardest holiday to find movies for, but Halloween has proven to be pretty easy so far. I wanted to share five family Halloween movies that are just spooky enough to get you in the mood for the season, but they’re not too spooky for little ones to watch. Our kids are ages 11, 10, and 7, and they all enjoy these movies.
Friday night is so fun for family movie night, especially when we break out the popcorn and creepy candy to make creepy crawly popcorn. I’ll be sharing that idea next week, so stay tuned!
Hocus Pocus — This is the quintessential made for Disney tv Halloween movie. I can’t find one person who hasn’t seen this. Remember watching this as a kid makes it even more fun. If you’ve never seen it, it’s about three witch sisters who prey on the kids in their town of Salem for hundreds of years. They are caught and hanged but not before the head witch Winifred casts a spell that will resurrect them in the future. In present day, Max, a boy who just moved to Salem, accidentally resurrects them and sets of a chaotic chase through Salem. The witches lure children out while trapping the parents in a Halloween party at the school. It sounds scary, but I promise it’s not. Throw in a talking cat and a funny zombie, and you have the perfect recipe for a Halloween movie.
The Halloween Tree — I believe we added this to our collection in 2016, when we were reading one chapter of The Halloween Tree each night. This movie is based on the book by Rad Bradbury. While the book is more of a middle grade read, the movie is great for all ages. It’s in the old Hanna-Barbera style of cartoon, which we love. If you’re not sure what that is, think old Scooby Doo. I love that style of cartoon so much. In the story a group of friends are trick-or-treating on Halloween night when they come across a haunted house with a large, scary tree beside it. A scary man named Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud greets them into the house and there starts their Halloween journey. Each boy is dressed as a different, stereotypical Halloween costume. Moundshround comments that they don’t know the symbolism behind each of the costumes and proceeds to take them on a journey through time and space to Egypt, Stonehenge, France, and Mexico. The real kicker is that their friend Pip, who did not come trick-or-treating with them due to illness, is actually in each scene in each country. They not only learn about Halloween traditions from around the world, but they also have to rescue their friend. It’s such a fun watch!
Over the Garden Wall — I feel like this might be the lesser known out of all of these movies; and, technically, it’s not even a movie. This is a mini series created for Cartoon Network. Friends, this is the best mini series I’ve seen in a long time. It’s so good. This story follows Wirt and Greg as they make their way through a strange forest called the Unknown. They have help along the way from a Woodsman and Beatrice, a blue bird who can show them the way home. It’s an engaging, slightly creepy, and fun adventure story as they make their way closer and closer to home. I can not give away the ending, as the twist is the best part of the movie. There are quite a few voices you might recognize in this, such as Elijah Wood and Christopher Lloyd. You should definitely check this out!
Bugs Bunny Howl-oween Special — Ahh, another Halloween special from my childhood! This is one of my favorite Halloween cartoons. It’s so funny. It’s basically a bunch of small cartoons combined into one large special. It was first aired on tv in the 60s, but at least one of the individual cartoons aired in the 40s. If you’re a fan of the classic Looney Tunes cartoons, then definitely check this out.
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad — This dvd comes with two movies, Wind in the Willows and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Of course, we watch The Legend of Sleepy Hollow during this time of year. We all probably know the story of Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod Crane is new in Sleepy Hollow and falls head over heels for Katrina van Tassel. The rogue brute of the town, Brom Bones, bullies Ichabod and also fights for the love of Katrina. Little does anyone know, but Ichabod only wants Katrina family’s money and Katrina uses Ichabod’s ‘love’ to make Brom Bones jealous and fight for her more. At a dinner, Brom realizes that Ichabod is very superstitious and tells him the tale of the Headless Horseman. Heading home after the party, Ichabod is spooked by every single sound and then crosses paths with the Headless Horseman. Ichabod’s hat is found the next morning, but he’s nowhere to be found. Brom marries Katrina, and Ichabod is rumored to have settled in the next town over. I love watching this, but honestly as an adult Ichabod seems like a real jerk. I don’t remember picking up on those vibes as a kid, but I still enjoy the movie.
What are your favorite Halloween movies?