Not (Too) Scary Halloween Movies for Movie Night

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Halloween movie night is the perfect way to spend any crisp October night with the family or a great alternative way to spend Halloween night if trick or treating is off the table.  But if you are a family with small children zombie flicks are probably a hard pass. This list is here to take your family-friendly Halloween repertoire beyond It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie BrownThe Nightmare Before Christmas, and Coco. Those are wonderful in their own right, but there is a whole world out there of ghoulishly good cinema for every age! These age recommendations are loosely based on reviews from  Common Sense Media, but you know best what may be too scary or intense for your child. My four and five-year-olds have definitely watched Hocus Pocus multiple times, and I know grown adults who can’t watch The Witches without having nightmares. You do you! Most of these family friendly halloween movies are available on your favorite streaming services or can be borrowed from the library. (A few may be a little harder to find, but they are the ones most worth watching!) Happy haunting mummies!

For the Lil Pumpkins 🎃 (5 & Under)

Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest- We start watching ‘Curious George No Noggin’ the day after Labor Day and keep watching it until it’s time for ‘Christmas Monkey.’ My husband and I enjoy it just as much as the kids do!

Room on the Broom- Repetition, rhyme, reptiles…Room on the Broom has it all.  It’s cute. Watch it.

Toy Story of Terror- Pixar Perfection. Snuggle up with your little people and watch this one together if you haven’t already. Once you do you’ll want to make it a Halloween tradition!

Spookley the Square Pumpkin- This cute movie came highly recommended by the PMB team. Spookley shows us it’s cool to be square.

For the Trick or Treaters 👹 (5-10)

Kiki’s Delivery Service- A teenage witch with a talking cat who starts her own business? No, it’s not Sabrina. It’s Kiki! Written and directed by the internationally acclaimed Hayao Miyazaki, this is a Studio Ghibli animated classic that’s perfect for the whole family. 


The Worst Witch- Before the boy who lived, there was The Worst Witch. I think I wore a hole in the VHS from constant, year-round viewing. Tragically, it’s extremely hard to find a decent copy of this nostalgic Halloween gem. If anyone knows where to find a good copy of it please share the wealth! In the meantime, please enjoy this clip of Tim Curry as the Grand Wizard.

Halloween is Grinch Night- And you thought the Grinch was just for Christmas! This 1978 TV special actually came before How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and it won an Emmy. Check it out.

Casper- Christina Ricci falls in love with a ghost. But he’s friendly, and he turns out to be Devon Sawa so it’s amazing and not weird at all… seriously though, this film does address some heavier topics like death and may be better suited to the older kids in this age range.

For Ghosts & Ghouls 👻 (10-13)

The Halloween Tree – If you only watch one of the movies from this list, let it be this one. Based on the novel by  Ray Bradbury, this animated TV special it storytelling at its finest. This slightly creepy tale follows a group of best friends who are swept up on an adventure that explores the history of Halloween celebrations around the world. Bradbury himself wrote the screenplay and narrated it, so you know it’s good. It’s also the second Emmy winner on our list. This will enchant the whole famliy. (The novel is even better. Do yourself a favor, add it to your Amazon cart now.)


Hocus Pocus – This cult classic not only takes place in New England, but it’s also Sarah Jessica Parker’s finest work by a landslide. Carrie Bradshaw doesn’t hold a black flame candle to Sarah Sanderson.  The Sanderson sisters are Halloween.


The Witches – Kids either love or hate the screen adaptation of Roald Dahl’s bewitching novel. For me, it’s always been a love story, but I’ve heard others describe it as…well… traumatizing. It’s here for the 10+ crowd… if you dare.


Goosebumps- Jack Black plays R.L. Stine in this PG-rated monster movie. Frightful family fun! Perfect for Halloween movie night. 

 

For The Living Dead🧟 (PG-13)

The Harry Potter Series- October is the perfect time to rewatch the Harry Potter movies, -as if you need a reason. Overall, HP is pretty family friendly, but two of the movies are rated PG-13 so  I stuck them over here at the big kid table. Accio Popcorn!


Addams Family- They’re creepy and they’re cooky. Mysterious and Spooky. They’re all together…amazing. If it’s been a while, then it’s time to rewatch this all together ‘ooky’ classic.


Ghostbusters- Both the 1984 original and 2016 reboot make for good Halloween viewing. While they aren’t horror movies, these do contain some language and innuendos not suitable for the younger crowd.

Enjoy your Halloween Movie Night!