Halloween is simply better when you’re a kid. The costumes, the candy—and the people who are willing to give it to you—are unparalleled. Face it, adults aren’t filling entire pillowcases with sugar. While Halloween might mark a bunch of things: the true beginning of fall, the proximity of Christmas, or a night of candy, the build-up to the holiday is especially exciting for little ones.
Growing up, I looked forward to Halloween, not only because I had great costumes, but because it was my sister’s birthday, so we could have a pizza, cake, and to top it off, even more sugar. As an adult, Halloween has been a little less exciting, except for the fact I can always pop in one of these classic holiday films.
Halloween movies are super fun, especially for children. To prove our point, we’ve scoured the web for the best Halloween movies for kids, and we settled on the following. So sit back, relax and start thinking about your plans for the spooky holiday.
The Addams Family
When a man arrives claiming to be Gomez Addams’s long-lost brother, the family is thrilled, mostly. Some think he’s a fraud. Will he steal their fortune?
Known as "the friendly ghost," Casper helps a man track down the ghost of his wife. During the journey, Casper falls in love with the man’s daughter, who’s alive. The only problem? He’s a ghost, and he tries to will himself alive.
It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
A holiday classic, Charles Schulz’s Peanuts characters wait in anticipation of the Great Pumpkin on Halloween. While Linus is the only one who believes in the Great Pumpkin, he has some companionship as many of the other kids go trick-or-treating. Staying true to character is Charlie Brown, whose blasé costume garners him rocks from the homes he visits.
What happens when the home you’ve been haunting becomes inhabited by people? You hire someone to handle the problem, at least that’s what happens in Beetlejuice. The film’s namesake character appears to scare the living away but he has other plans.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Sometimes traditions get old. At least, that’s what the pumpkin king of Halloweentown, Jack Skellington, finds. When Skellington stumbles upon Christmastown, he’s inspired to take over Santa Claus’s role by kidnapping him. Let’s just say, those plans to spread Christmas joy go a little awry in the process.
After moving to Salem, Massachusetts, siblings Max and Dani explore an abandoned house with their friend, Allison. In the process, Max accidentally frees a coven of witches who used to live in the house. To keep the witches from becoming immortal, the kids must steal their book of spells.
Imagine your grandma lived in a fantasy world (that’s not code for living in past memories). That’s what Marnie Piper and her siblings discover once they find out their grandmother is a witch. After venturing around, they discover a plot that endangers the world they grew up in.
Who 'ya going to call when your space gets filled with ghosts? That’s right, Ghostbusters. The team of scientists fights New York City’s ghost population in the classic Halloween film that was recently remade. While fighting, the Ghostbusters discover a portal to another dimension and must save the city from an evil creature.
The Little Vampire
Living in a Scottish castle doesn’t seem rough, but after Tony and his parents move into one, they befriend a family of vampires. And that’s the good part, since a vicious vampire hunter is out to get them, and they need help becoming human again.
Humans and monsters don’t mix, that is until a human boy stumbles upon Dracula’s monster hotel, Hotel Transylvania. In the process, the boy falls for Dracula’s daughter, Mavis, making Dracula one protective dad.
Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie
Even the Hundred Acre Wood goes all-out for Halloween after they realize it’s not so scary after all in Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie. In the movie, Roo and Lumpy the Heffalump follow a magical monster in order to make a Halloween wish.
Double, Double Toil & Trouble
The Olsen twins are back and determined to trick an evil aunt in Double, Double Toil & Trouble. The pair is determined to trick the aunt out of a magical moonstone in order to save their family home. Along the way, they meet new, strange friends.
In the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, the namesake character has to put up with a distant father. Things change for Matilda once she discovers she has the power of telekinesis. She uses the powers for good—defending her friends from the evil principal and fighting back against her own unkind parents.
Don’t Look Under the Bed
When a no-nonsense teen finds the bogeyman under her bed, she reconsiders her beliefs in the supernatural. After the girl is blamed for pranks happening in her neighborhood, she realizes the boogeyman is to blame, and she changes her mind about the paranormal.
A trio of 12-year-olds discovers a mummy that’s been resting for three-thousand years. After accidentally reviving him, they are forced with another dilemma: They must return the mummy to his resting place by midnight on Halloween. Otherwise, the mummy will never find his long lost love.
Once medical lecturer Dr. Frederick Frankenstein inherits his grandfather’s infamous Transylvania estate, he begins to re-create his grandfather’s experiments. The result? A new monster.
Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire
When two kids set their mom up on a date, they didn’t realize it could be with a vampire. The pair calls a vampire hunter, who tries to help. After some scuffles, their mom comes to the conclusion that she dates, "just not vampires."
Staying true to form, a young Victor Frankenstein finds a way to electrically resurrect his beloved dog, Sparky, after he dies. Once his classmates find out, they try to resurrect other animals. The result? Some scary happenings.
Twelve-year-olds DJ and Chowder spy on a creepy old man living as DJ's neighbor. The man’s house is equally creepy, as it sucks in anything that’s on its lawn. The boys learn the house holds the spirit of the neighbor’s wife, and they race to figure out how to destroy it.
The Dog Who Saved Halloween
When the Bannisters move into a new house, they start to notice strange lights and sounds coming from their neighbor’s house. In The Dog Who Saved Halloween, a talking dog encounters a haunted house and a creepy neighbor. Throw in a scary dog, and you’ll find the answer to how the dog saved the holiday.
Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest
The beloved primate is ready for Halloween in Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest. This autumnal celebration will have you hang on to your hats. With a run time that’s under an hour, you’ll find a sweet spot for this treat.
Write a piece of fan mail to your favorite vampire. What could go wrong? Dracula visits the fan who sent the mail, and the pair hit it off. He has a new friend to help him regain his confidence.
Why go to a traditional school when you could attend Halloweentown High? The only catch is you must be a witch, warlock, troll, or ogre to attend. After Marnie finds out, she organizes an exchange program between her school and theirs.
Toy Story of Terror
In this 21-minute special, the toys go on a road trip and spend the night in a motel. After Mr. Potato Head goes missing, the others search for him and find themselves caught in a large conspiracy.