30 Best Kids' Halloween Movies with Not-so-Scary Thrills and Chills
These kids' Halloween movies bring all those witches, ghosts, and goblins to life in classic, not-too-scary movies that are perfect for a family-friendly Halloween movie night!
Whip up a seasonal batch of scarecrow snack mix (you'll find the recipe in our list of scary easy Halloween party snack ideas) while you settle in for a cozy night on the couch with one of these kids' Halloween movies. It's the perfect family-friendly nightcap to fall days spent apple and pumpkin picking or puzzling your way out of a corn maze. With so many spooky films available to rent or stream, it can be hard to choose the right one for your family. From preschool to preteen, our list of the best kids' Halloween movies has something to put everyone in the right spirit.
Best Kids' Halloween Movies
Spookley the Square Pumpkin sees the best in everyone. Photo courtesy of Holiday Hill Enterprises
Spookley is the PERFECT Halloween movie for your preschooler. This short animated film is full of positive messages about fitting in—even if you are the only square pumpkin in the patch.
What can I say about the ultimate Halloween classic? Continue this tradition with your family as you watch the Peanuts gang celebrate Halloween in their own awkward way. Watch as Charlie Brown is invited to his first-ever Halloween party and Linus patiently waits for the Great Pumpkin to visit.
This animated collection of eight Halloween stories from Scholastic brings tales of witches, ghosts, and other spooky stuff alive for your children to enjoy. A Very Brave Witch is based on a book by Alison McGhee, which tells the tale of a little witch who is surprised to find out how humans really celebrate Halloween. It's all done in a very mild way, making it a good choice for little ones.
A gentle witch offers rides to a variety of animals in Room on the Broom. Photo courtesy of Magic Light Pictures
When even the smallest trick-or-treaters need a movie to snuggle up with on a dark, stormy night, Room on the Broom is for you! Fly along with the witch and her cat on their Halloween flight as they pick up passengers along the way. Although most of the film is in good flightless fun, there is one scene with a scary dragon.
Based on Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, this animated short film is an often-overlooked Disney classic. Watch Brom Bones, disguised as the Headless Horseman, chase poor Ichabod Crane all around Sleepy Hollow.
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Welcome to Hotel Transylvania, where monsters and their families can live it up. Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures
Vampires, mummies, and werewolves! The gang's all here in these animated comedies that feature Dracula and his monster friends. Expect plenty of laughs, rather than frights.
What if you accidentally released real monsters into the world while trying to help out a neighbor? Based on the popular young adult horror novels by R.L. Stine, Goosebumps is a fast-paced supernatural adventure.
8. The Witches
Some kids might find this movie disturbing, but others will love the bizarre tale of a young boy and his grandma who happen upon a convention of witches. Being turned into a mouse can't stop you from taking on the Grand High Witch, deliciously played by Anne Hathaway.
Add some wizards, witches, and a terrifying dose of ‘He Who Shall Not Be Named’ and you have a perfect recipe for a crowd-pleasing, all-ages Halloween movie. Whether your kids have read the Harry Potter books or not, they'll likely love seeing other kids act out their greatest fears and wishes as Harry and friends battle good and bad magic.
Under cover of darkness, with a roaring fire and some blankets, prepare for a movie that might scare you silly. Photo by Ally Noel
Poor Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, is tired of the same ol' day in and day out. He decides to switch things up and try Christmas on for size. Predictably, it doesn’t quite work out in his favor, but this Tim Burton film is so visually appealing that we could watch him try all day.
11. The Goonies
This may not be the most obvious Halloween movie, but this treasure hunt, pirate mystery, and coming-of-age adventure has been thrilling kids since the '80s.
For a certain generation, Ghostbusters was pretty much the hilarious answer whenever anyone asked: "Who you gonna call?" To another generation, it's what the kids in Stranger Things dressed as for Halloween!
Despite its dazzling stop-motion animation and bright colors, this movie definitely layers on the "creepy" (and that may be an understatement). Coraline is a dark tale that recounts the pitfalls of wishing the grass was always greener.
Nothing seems to go right for the Maitlands. Not only did they die swerving to miss a dog on the road, but they also seem to be trapped haunting their own house and its new inhabitants. Naturally, they call Beetlejuice to help them get their home back. This 1988 film may be scarier than you remember, but Beetlejuice’s charm is undeniable.
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Watch Miguel travel to the magical land of his ancestors in Coco. Photo courtesy of Disney Pixar
On the Day of the Dead, Miguel gets transported into the Land of the Dead and meets up with his deceased relatives while learning a bit more about himself and some tightly-held family secrets. This beautifully animated movie is a wonderful (and sometimes tear-jerking) tribute to teamwork and the powerful strength of family.
16. Hocus Pocus
This Halloween movie set in Salem, Massachusetts has all the elements of a modern classic: witches, magic, and a little mystery. Add in a really catchy musical number performed by Bette Midler, and it's no wonder that Hocus Pocus has been bewitching audiences since 1993.
17. Hocus Pocus 2
They're baaaackkk! After almost 20 years, this Halloween classic has finally gotten a sequel. Two teenagers inadvertently bring back the Sanderson sisters and witchy havoc ensues.
Though it's also a movie, we prefer the TV series take on the tale of the Baudelaire orphans. A twisty story of family secrets and, yes, "unfortunate events," it's best viewed by tweens and up.
Can the Super Monsters save their favorite holiday? Photo courtesy of Netflix
For the preschooler afraid of his own shadow, try the Netflix original series Super Monsters. It follows preschool-age monsters as they attend school to learn all about the best ways to be monsters in the least scary way. This Halloween movie special followed the mini monsters as they prepare for their favorite holiday and "best night of the year," including supporting a nervous buddy.
A deadly spider makes its way from the jungles of South America to a sleepy California town in this not-for-the-squeamish Halloween movie! There is a healthy mix of humor in this thrilling flick, but don’t be fooled, you'll also enjoy a few "hide under the blankets" moments.
They may be creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky, but the Addams Family provides a touch of dark comedy that will appeal to the teens in your house.
Catchy songs and spooky ghosts make this a perfect Halloween movie pick for the tween set. In the series Julie and the Phantoms, a teenage girl rediscovers her love and passion for music thanks to her ghost band, the Phantoms.
Perfect for preschoolers, StarBeam Halloween Hero tells the story of Captain Fishbeard who is greedy and steals everyone’s candy. That is until StarBeam saves the day!
That Melvin is always trying to ruin the fun. And, this year he’s trying to CANCEL Halloween. Of course, Harold and George have a plan just crazy enough to work.
This newer Scooby-Doo movie is the perfect pick for a family movie night. The gang's back and trying to solve the mystery of the monstrous flying jack-o-lanterns. There may be cell phones and apps, but it's still the same beloved characters we all love.
Intended for older audiences, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is based on a series of classic books from the early 80s. This very entertaining scary story is just as dark as it is entertaining. Set in 1968, this ghost chase will leave viewers screaming for more.
The House with Clocks in Its Walls is based on a children’s novel with the same title. Set in 1955, the story about tween orphans has a few jump-worthy scenes and is just spooky enough to entertain new horror fans.
28. Hubie Halloween
Hubie takes Halloween very seriously, and that's no easy feat given that his hometown is Salem, Massachusetts, AKA the Halloween capital of the USA. This film definitely earns its PG-13 rating for adult humor and language.
Dr. Hysteria’s Hall of Horrors is this year’s headline of the annual Halloween and Harvest Festival. There is one little problem ... some of the people who enter the creepy house never come out!
30. All Hallows’ Eve
Eve’s birthday may be on Halloween, but she never suspected she was a witch. Furthermore, she certainly didn’t expect to invoke the spirit of an evil witch who wants to take over her hometown.
A version of this article first published in 2018.