Children love Halloween, but many of the movies that make us think “Halloween” are just too scary, too gruesome, or just too plain inappropriate for children. Here are ten great movies the whole family can enjoy, all rated PG or lower:
This movie didn’t get a lot of buzz when it was first released, and it gets a little buried in the recent rash of excellent computer animated films, but this movie is genuinely good and genuinely spooky. The concept of a haunted house is an old one, but when it is the actual house that’s doing the haunting you end up with a unique concept. This movie is a lot of fun for kids, and it’s clever enough to keep parents interested, too.
This was a perennial Halloween favorite at my house growing up, and it remains a fun family movie today. Starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, “Hocus Pocus” has an interesting story with plenty of lighter moments thrown in as well.
Corpse Bride/The Nightmare before Christmas
I’m grouping these two Tim Burton animated films together, as they are very similar in style and theme (they make for a great double feature, too). These films have suitably creepy visuals, but a lot of humor and heart. These films are definitely not just for kids; they make great Halloween viewing for the entire family.
The list wouldn’t be complete without this one. If your kids haven’t seen this movie before, Halloween is a great time to introduce it. Humor and just the right amount of spookiness; what’s not to love?
Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit
This movie is just silly fun for everyone to enjoy. Parents (even those not familiar with the British stop-motion animated duo) will get a kick out of the more subtle comedy, and kids will love the (slightly spooky) off the wall plot. This is a must for this Halloween!
This classic is often overlooked during the Halloween season, but it fits in nicely regardless. This movie is perfect for families at any time of the year, but Halloween is especially apt. Break out the Reese’s Pieces and gather the kids together for a new Halloween tradition.
It’s no overstatement to say that parents and kids alike can find a lot to love in just about any Pixar film. “Monsters, Inc.” is certainly no exception. While this movie may be more silly than scary, it certainly fits the bill for a fun family Halloween treat.
This over-the-top comedy may be a little much for younger kids, but older children are sure to enjoy it, along with their parents. This film is funny, a little gross, and decidedly apt for a family movie night this Halloween.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
There’s a reason this seasonal film has endured for so long. This movie is wonderfully mixes real emotional weight with humor. “Great Pumpkin” is simply perfect for everyone this Halloween.