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36 of the Best Kids’ Halloween Movies

Scare up some fun with these kid-friendly flicks.

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Spooky family favorites

Less scary, more fun: Our round-up of the best Halloween movies for kids guarantees a great night in when the trick-or-treating is done. Whether it’s a live-action film from the ’90s or a newer animated flick, these films are sure to get you even more excited about Halloween. With a bowl of popcorn and your favorite Halloween snacks, get ready to dive into these fantastic worlds and see the best of the spooky and fun.

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Monsters, Inc. (G)

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A two-year-old girl named Boo stumbles into monster world and frightens the daylights out of two endearing ogres—Mike and Sulley. Soon Boo befriends the monsters, who try to save her and fight the evil corporation they work for.

Best for: Kids age 5 and up. This faux-frights are meant to be funny, but younger children might get spooked. Learn these scary good Halloween riddles to stump people instead of scare them.

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It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

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How can you let Halloween pass without watching one of the best Halloween movies for kids where the Peanuts gang dresses up in Halloween costumes?

Best for: Kids age 4 and up. Only the youngest viewers will be spooked by the tame Halloween imagery on display.

The Addams Family (PG-13)via amazon.com

The Addams Family (PG-13)

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This family-friendly Halloween film is based on the television show of the same name. With a bit of horror, fantasy, and comedy wrapped up together, this film will appeal to the teenagers in your household. Here’s how Halloween will be different this year, and how to handle it safely.

Best for: Kids age 13 and up.

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (G)via amazon.com

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (G)

 

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A classic animated double-feature, one part of this movie notably tells the story of the Headless Horseman—a perfect pick for a dark Halloween night.

Best for: Kids ages 6 and up. The villainy on display could frighten younger sprouts. These Halloween puns will have you laughing ’til your coffin.

Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (G)via amazon.com

Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (G)

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An under-the-radar fantasy with enchanting hand-drawn visuals, Little Nemo is a story about temptation and consequences filled with startling baddies.

Best for: Kids age 6 and up. Some sequences of evil run amok might leave small children a bit shaken. If your kids are bookworms, read these 25 spooky but silly Halloween books to them before bed.

Jason and the Argonauts (G)via amazon.com

Jason and the Argonauts (G)

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Stop-motion monsters make this a fun, ghoulish alternative for kiddos tired of typical Halloween fare.

Best for: Kids age 6 and up. Mild violence and completely unrealistic creatures may alarm tots.

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Casper (PG)

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Harvey, a paranormal expert, is hired to banish the ghosts from an abandoned mansion and comes across Casper, the friendly ghost, who forms a friendship with Harvey’s daughter, Kat. Speaking of ghosts, you should check out these chilling real-life ghost stories.

Best for: Kids age 6 and up. There’s some mild violence and a lewd joke or two. Take a look at the horror films inspired by true events.

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Ghostbusters (PG)

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For a dose of the paranormal, add this film to your holiday lineup. It’s up to three paranormal experts, aptly named “ghostbusters,” to rid New York of ghosts who have taken over the city. Check out the most popular movie the year you were born.

Best for: Kids ages 10 and up. There are a few suspenseful scenes and adult themes.

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E.T. (PG)

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After being stranded on Earth when a spaceship leaves without him, a friendly Extra-Terrestrial (affectionately known as E.T.) develops a close relationship with 10-year-old Elliot and his siblings. The kids protect their new friend, help him build a communications device to ‘phone home,’ and even dress him up for Halloween. This heartwarming story of friendship is a delight for the entire family.

Best for: Kids age 7 and up. There’s some naughty language and intense drama.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG)via amazon.com

The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG)

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Perhaps one of the greatest classic kids’ Halloween movies, a ghoulish tale gets transformed into a stunning animated film. You’ll watch with fascination as the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown falls in love with the idea of Christmas and tries to recreate it in his own town.

Best for: Kids age 7 and up. Some of the characters are creepy in both manner and appearance. Make sure you stand out this Halloween by wearing one of these punny Halloween costumes.

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The Corpse Bride (PG)

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Best for: This magical film features most scares 10-year-olds can handle. Plus, it features a storyline even adults will enjoy—minus the gory scenes of R-rated films.

The Dark Crystal (PG)via amazon.com

The Dark Crystal (PG)

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This “good vs. evil” muppet-fest is serious fun—and more than a little haunting, with scores of odd creatures running around.

Best for: Kids age 7 and up. Some of the characters, evil or not, are weird enough to legitimately unnerve.

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The Witches (PG)

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This adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel is a gripping treat for both kids and adults. An orphaned boy moves with his grandmother to an English hotel, where a group of witches plots to transform all children into mice.

Best for: Kids age 8 and up. The nefarious witches’ plot to harm youngsters may prove overwhelming for some viewers. Here’s are the origins behind witches and 13 other Halloween superstitions.

The Neverending Story (PG)via amazon.com

The Neverending Story (PG)

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Who said all kids’ Halloween movies have to have ghosts and witches? Kids who could do without vampires and other played out Halloween monsters will find a lot to like in this mystical adventure film based on the popular novel.

Best for: Kids age 8 and up. Some of the fantastical creatures might creep out the little ones, and there are some intense sequences.

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (PG)via amazon.com

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (PG)

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The caped crusader grapples with what appears to be a murderous apparition in this critically acclaimed (and moody) animated feature.

Best for: Kids age 9 and up. Some violence and dark subject matter make this a spooky superhero flick for older kids. Try these 17 easy Halloween makeup ideas to look like Batman, Harley Quinn, and more of your favorite fictional characters!

James and the Giant Peach (PG)via amazon.com

James and the Giant Peach (PG)

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Who would have thought an animated film about a giant peach would be such a hit? Based on the Roald Dahl book, James and the Giant Peach is about an orphan named James takes a bite out of a magic peach and somehow finds an enlarged peach with a host of bugs, who later become his friends, as they travel around the world. Here are a few Halloween games to get you in the party spirit.

Best for: Kids ages 5 and up.

Scooby-Doo (PG) movievia amazon.com

Scooby-Doo (PG)

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Scooby-Doo and the gang reunite on Spooky Island for this live version of the original animated television series. Kids will enjoy the silly and spooky adventures of the Mystery Inc. gang.

Best for: Kids age 9 and up. Skimpy costumes and freaky imagery might be too much for young children. Don’t miss these other spooky ghost movies that will literally give you chills.

Monster House (PG)via amazon.com

Monster House (PG)

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Old-fashioned haunted house fun with all the requisite ghouls, ghosts, and peril.

Best for: Kids age 9 and up. The supernatural thrills are actually a bit intense. Paranormal experts reveal what they think are the most haunted places in America.

The Princess and the Frog (G)via amazon.com

The Princess and the Frog (G)

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This Disney movie set in New Orleans is about Tiana, a woman who wants to open her own restaurant. When Prince Naveen, who has been turned into a frog, thinks that Tiana is a princess he kisses her—and then she turns into a frog. Now the duo has to figure out how to turn themselves back into humans. This story has fantasy elements and a Disney charm perfect for families to watch around Halloween. Disney just launched pumpkin decorating kits—and there’s no carving required.

Best for: Kids ages 9 and up.

 

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MirrorMask (PG)

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A fantasy with absorbing, unique visuals, MirrorMask is more haunting than a werewolf howl.

Best for: Kids age 9 and up. It’s possibly too far out for younger audiences.

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Coraline (PG)

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A young girl discovers another world where the grass seems greener—but is soon tormented by the twisted beings within.

Best for: Kids age 9 and up. This fairytale presents some mature themes, and the villains are menacing. You can lighten up any mood with one of these 15 easy Halloween crafts that are fun for all ages!

 

Beetlejuicevia amazon.com

Beetlejuice (PG)

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For an entertaining evening with the family, rent Beetlejuice. A ghost couple tries desperately to chase away a new family that has moved into the home they inhabit. When all else fails, they hire Beetlejuice to get rid of the new owners of the home. But things don’t go as planned…

Best for: Kids age 9 and up. The plot has dark overtones, and there’s some bizarre imagery. Read up on these 10 true ghost stories from the most haunted places in the world.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (PG)via amazon.com

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (PG)

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What better time than Halloween to revisit the students of Hogwarts, the enchanting school of witchcraft and wizardry? Show other films in the series to make it a complete marathon of these great kids’ Halloween movies. Here are just a few details you missed when reading Harry Potter.

Best for: Kids age 10 and up. There’s serious peril, and even some of the good guys look frightening.

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ParaNorman (PG)

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If your kids saw and liked Coraline, they’ll love ParaNorman—a story about a boy who uses his ability to see and speak with the dead to save his home from a curse.

Best for: Kids age 10 and up who enjoy animation will love this flick.

 

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Spirited Away (PG)

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The sheer volume of odd creatures on display in this film makes it a perfect fit for Halloween night—and the exciting adventure elements certainly don’t hurt.

Best for: Kids age 11 and up. Spirited Away has its share of troubling curses and threatening spirits.

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Hocus Pocus (PG)

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Our kids’ Halloween movies list wouldn’t be complete without these three scheming witch sisters who are back to achieve immortality after their hanging 300 years ago—and they’re casting spells through song and dance along the way. Hocus Pocus is the right potion for Halloween fun.

Best for: Kids age 11 and up. There’s mischief afoot here—in addition to some spooky imagery. These are the 12 things you probably never knew about Halloween.

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Halloween Town (G)

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This 2000s Halloween classic is a family affair of witches fighting evil—and having some fun along the way.

Best for: Kids age 7 and up. There are some mildly scary scenes with a warlock, and the village of Halloween town features creatures that are both creepy and fascinating.

 

Raiders of the Lost Ark (PG)via amazon.com

Raiders of the Lost Ark (PG)

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Creepy crawlies, foreboding crypts, and dazzling action sequences abound in this classic adventure flick.

Best for: Kids age 11 and up. The fisticuffs are fairly intense, and a man’s face gets melted by ghosts.

Poltergeist (PG)via amazon.com

Poltergeist (PG)

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Best for: Kids age 13 and up. Looking for something scarier? Poltergeist is one of the scariest kids’ Halloween movies. Check out the 13 other Halloween movies that will scare you senseless.

 

 

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Double, Double, Toil & Trouble (TV-Y7)

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Remember the days when Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were children starring in family-friendly Halloween movies for kids? This is a great addition to your list of family Halloween movies.

Best for: Kids age 7 and up will appreciate this film.

Don't Look Under the Bed (PG)via amazon.com

Don’t Look Under the Bed (PG)

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This Disney Channel original film and isn’t as scary as it seems! It’s the story of a high school student named Frances who teams up with an imaginary friend to defeat the Boogeyman, who plagues the town with pranks and eventually kidnaps her brother. Frances goes into the Boogeyworld dimension to rescue her brother and confront the Boogeyman once and for all. But can she do it? The answer rests in your next family Halloween movie night. For ways to dress up your house and bedrooms, here are the spookiest decorations at Target.

Best for: Kids age 7 and up. While a Disney film, there are still elements that might scare young children.

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Room on the Broom

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This 2012 short film adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s children’s book brings the story of a kindly witch flying around on her broom to life. This film was so heartwarming that it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

Best for: Kids of all ages will love this short film.

 

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Under Wraps (G)

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Three 12-year-old kids discover an Egyptian mummy and somehow figure out a way to bring it back to life. While they’re afraid at first, they grow to be more comfortable with the mummy and actually name the mummy Harold. However, they discover that Harold has to be placed back in his sarcophagus before midnight on Halloween or else there will be disastrous consequences. Can the kids safely return Harold? Here are the hidden origins of Halloween’s spookiest creatures.

Best for: Kids ages 7 and up.

 

 

Spookley: The Square Pumpkin (G)via amazon.com

Spookley: The Square Pumpkin (G)

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Most people think that pumpkins are more round in shape, so where does that leave Spookley, a square pumpkin? The other pumpkins make fun of him for his shape, but thankfully Spookley has a few friends who stand by his side. Here’s why people will be painting their pumpkins teal this Halloween.

Best for: Kids of all ages.

Kiki's Delivery Service (G)via amazon.com

Kiki’s Delivery Service (G)

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Kiki proves there are good witches out there by flying on her broom and starting her very own delivery service. While the film was released in 1989, it holds up and would make a great addition to your Halloween movie collection. Here are the best cartoon movies for family movie night.

Best for: Kids ages 7 and up.

 

 

The Pagemaster (G)via amazon.com

The Pagemaster (G)

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A young boy finds refuge in a library on a rainy day and finds that he’s been transported to a whole new animated world. He befriends books, climbs incredible heights, and works his way back to being a real-life boy again.

Best for: Kids ages 5 and up. Next, here are a few inexpensive DIY kids’ costumes that anyone can make.

For more fun facts, costume ideas, traditions, candy inspiration, spooky entertainment, and updates on how October 31 will look different this year, check out our Halloween Guide.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest