If your family is anything like mine, you enjoy decorating, watching movies, and making foods that go with the holidays. Every Friday night, we do Pizza Movie Night. We make homemade vegan pizza and watch a fun movie to decompress and celebrate the week. When the holidays are here, the rule in our house is that we can only watch a holiday movie. Enter Halloween family movies.
Our family enjoys Halloween but not the typical scary Halloween that makes you have nightmares. We enjoy a more tame version, more Disney if you will, where things are spooky and creepy but not quite SCARY! These five movies have always made our list each year. They are fun, spooky, get you in the spirit, and help you celebrate the season. Some will be movies that you’ve heard of before and some might be new to you and your family. Either way, I so hope you enjoy our picks!
Our house is obsessed with all things animals, especially cute dogs. The “Buddies” movies have a very special place in our hearts. In this cute movie, the five Buddy siblings celebrate Halloween. Dressed in their cute costumes, the Buddies work together to save the day from the evil Warwick the Magician. The Buddies go on a field trip to Warwick’s Manor where they learn the story about how Warwick sacrificed five young pups to the Halloween Hound. Throughout this fun story, you get to see the adventures of each of the pups and how they use their strengths to beat the evil Warwick and return the sacrificed pups to their owners.
While the movie isn’t scary, it does have some parts that could be worrisome to younger kids. For example, when the Buddies summons the Halloween Hound in Warwick’s mirror, a dog with green eyes appears. There are some other costumes during the Trick or Treating scenes that could scare some kids. Overall, the Halloween fright throughout the movie is mild and great for kids around 5-8 years old. The ending of the movie is sweet and all of the pups have a happy ending.
Nightmare Before Christmas
In our house, this movie is called Jack Skellington. I had actually never seen this movie before watching it with the kids. As I was watching it, I thought for sure my kids would be completely creeped out. After all, Jack does steal Christmas and Oogie Boogie tries to kill Santa. To my shock, the kids were obsessed. They love Sally and Jack together and think that Oogie Boogie is a lot of fun. In fact, it is one of the holiday movies that we watch multiple times during the season.
If you haven’t seen the movie, you will meet Jack Skellington. He is the Pumpkin King who is in charge of Halloween Town. There are towns for each holiday and Jack thinks he wants to do something more with his life. He sneaks off into Christmas Town and brings back the ideas of sharing presents and joy. Jack’s idea of presents and joy is quite a bit different than Santa’s idea. Stealing Christmas, he brings thinks like snakes, creepy dolls, and spiders to the kids in Christmas Town. Sadly, this doesn’t bring Jack the joy that he wanted and ultimately, he is defeated. Jack decides to save the day, rescuing Santa from Oogie Boogie and fixing Christmas for all the boys and girls.
The entire movie is made with claymation and is truly expertly crafted. The imagery can definitely be scary at times for younger kids. The coloration of the movie is a bit darker so that also plays a part in the creeper parts. Even though there are some parts that could be creepy, the crafty animation helps kids to skip over those areas for the most part. All in all, the movie has a happy ending and your kids will have a new Jack obsession. I would recommend this movie for older kids 5-8 all the way through big adult kids.
Spookley the Square Pumpkin
This movie warms my heart each time we watch it. It has such a wonderful message about inclusion and finding joy in your differences. Spookley is a square pumpkin who doesn’t look like the rest of the pumpkins that live at Holiday Hill Farm. Sadly, the other pumpkins start to bully Spookley because of how he looks. The fun and silly scarecrow, Jack, decides to oranize a “Jack-O-Lympics” contest for all the pumpkins. Of course, poor Spookley doesn’t do so well in any of the events and is left feeling less than all the others. Suddenly, a storm hits the farm and it’s up to Spookley to save the day. Since he is a square pumpkin, Spookley doesn’t roll away like the others. He is able to save Jack’s life and the other pumpkins from rolling down the river.
Spookley is a fun Halloween tale that can show kids that if you believe in yourself, you can do anything you set your mind to. It proves that everyone can be different and yet still have value. It is uplifting and fun to watch. There are cute songs throughout the movie as well as other cute animal characters including the two bats who help tell the story. This movie is definitely for the younger crowd but our older daughter still enjoys watching it. I would recommend this movie for children 3-6 years old. With a happy ending, an meaningful story, and fun songs, this is sure to be a hit in your house.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Of course this movie has to make the list. This is a classic that young and old enjoy watching. For the younger crowd, Charlie Brown is hilarious and does all the silly things. For the older crowd, we are brought back to our childhood where we can remember watching this with our parents and siblings. In this silly tale about Trick or Treating and Halloween parties, the Peanuts gang tries to have the best night possible. Poor Charlie Brown struggles to make his costume while Lucy and Linus go hunting for the best and biggest pumpkin around.
As the kids enjoy the night getting candy and money from Trick or Treating, Charlie is stuck with getting rocks. We always joke in our house saying Charlie’s one liner, “I got a rock” from the movie. It always brings a smile to our faces and we know exactly what it is from. Charlie and Linus have a rough night but the rest of the kids enjoy dancing and bobbing for apples. The movie ends with Charlie and Linus chatting together about how silly and awful the night was before. It has fun music, our favorite characters, and plenty of Halloween cheer. There aren’t any scary parts for younger children and the nostalgia of the movie will aways put a smile on your face. Overall, this classic is definitely one of the best and should not be missed.
The Addams Family (2019 cartoon version)
In this fun remake, the Addams family is seen moving into their new house in New Jersey inside an old insane asylum. The movie has the perfect blend of adult humor that goes unnoticed by the younger kids while being silly and entertaining for the younger kids. Wednesday is my absolute favorite character in this movie. She is so well played and has such a great sarcasm to her personality.
As the Addams family settles into their new home, Wednesday wants to explore outside their mansion. She is constantly going to the gates and wondering what is on the other side. She finally decides that she needs to go to school and be like all the other kids. Throughout Wednesday’s journey to find herself, the town is introduced to the Addams family and all of their creepy ways. The story continues as the Addams family joins Assimilation town and overall accepting each other as who they are.
The classic joy that comes from the original Addams family is not lost in this movie. There are some darker parts for younger kids and quite a few scenes with weapons such as swords or knives. I would recommend this for older kids 5-8 and up. The movie has a jolly feel and great animation. If your kids love it, there is even a sequel with a 3rd installment coming out in October 2023. This one will be a hit in your house and your kids will be humming the theme song all day long!
Extra Special Mentions
Toy Story of Terror
In this short, all of your favorite Toy Story characters go on a spooky adventure where they almost get lost and sold at a motel with Bonnie. As they try to save the day, we meet new characters like Combat Carl and PEZ cat. “Carl never gives up. Carl always finds a way” is one of our favorite lines from the movie. We use it even without any reference to the movie itself. The adventure is fun and can be seen as a silly thriller with twists and turns showing up here and there. Of course, Buzz, Woody, and Jessie save the day and our favorite toys get to go home with Bonnie happy as can be.
Room on the Broom
If you and your kids have read the book, “Room on the Broom” by Julia Donaldson, you have to watch this animated adaptation. The animation is so sweet and the story itself is just as fun as the book. There isn’t a lot of talking throughout the show itself but it absolutely captures the kids’ attention and they can’t take their eyes off the tv. It is a fun, quick Halloween treat to enjoy while having dessert before bed or while drinking a nice cup of coffee on the weekend.
Lego Star Wars Terrifying Tales
Any Lego obsessed family should try and add in this short into play this Halloween season. The story is set in the Star Wars universe with our favorite characters like Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Poe. Throughout the various tales, we see silly stories about some of the best villains in the Star Wars universe and ancient artifacts explained. This short is nod to horror movies and evil villany in the best, most cheeky way. Definitely a fun watch for all our lego obsessed friends.
Family Halloween Movies
I hope your family can enjoy one or several of these family Halloween movies. Do you have a movie that you family must watch each October? I would love to know; share the movie in the comments.
Find even more Halloween Movies in our Guide to Halloween Movies for All Ages.