The 15 Best Halloween Movies for Kids

Get all of the fun—and none of the nightmares.

The 15 Best Halloween Movies for Kids
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With fall fast approaching, folks around the country are dusting off their spookiest decorations, preparing their costumes, and gearing up for the scariest night of the year: Halloween. However, for those with little ones at home, the holiday can get overwhelming quickly, with those scares prompting sobs before you know it. If you want to get your kids excited for Halloween this year but don’t want to traumatize them with movies they’re too young for, we’ve got you covered. These adorable Halloween movies are all treat—no trick. And for some more easy ways to keep your little ones entertained, check out The 20 Best Outdoor Toys for Toddlers.

1
Hocus Pocus

three actresses dressed as witches standing outdoors, hocus pocus movie still, best halloween movies for kids Walt Disney Pictures/IMDB

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The spooky tale of the Sanderson sisters—and their resurrection after three centuries beyond the pale—is a not-too-scary option for entertaining kids this Halloween. While the Salem-set cult classic surely has more frights than are appropriate for kindergarteners, with its PG rating, the film is unlikely to traumatize many over the age of 8. Plus, for the adults in the room, it’s downright hilarious. And for more ways to make this Halloween special, visit one of these 15 Spook-Tacular Halloween Festivals Around the Country.

2
Coraline

claymation figure with button eyes looking at little girl, coraline movie still, best halloween movies for kids Focus Features/IMDB

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This beloved animated film, based on the Neil Gaiman novella of the same name, tells the tale of a young girl who finds an almost-perfect, yet ultimately scary, parallel universe accessible through a door in her home. Though some details might frighten small children—think parents with buttons for eyes—the flick is ultimately a great choice for kids who like to get spooked but not too spooked.

3
The Nightmare Before Christmas

skeleton dressed as santa talking to little kid, nightmare before christmas still, best halloween movies for kids Touchstone Pictures/IMDB

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A favorite at Halloween and Christmastime alike, this Tim Burton stop-motion classic tells the story of Jack Skellington, a skeleton from Halloween Town who becomes obsessed with celebrating Christmas, despite the relative ineptitude (and overall terror) Halloween Town’s residents bring to the holiday.

4
Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest

curious george halloween still, best halloween movies for kids Imagine Entertainment/IMDB

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Who says that preschoolers can’t enjoy a great Halloween movie, too? Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest tells the story of No Noggin, a legendary scarecrow obsessed with kicking off hats on Halloween. And while the story touches on plenty of Halloween themes, it’s far more silly than scary. (Exhibit A: the Man In the Yellow Hat becomes…the Man in the Banana.)

5
Frankenweenie

frankenweenie still, best halloween movies for kids Walt Disney Pictures/IMDB

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Another classic film directed by Burton, this stop-motion animated film is sure to become a fast favorite among kids and parents alike. The movie tells the story of Victor, a young boy who reanimates his dead dog with electricity, an experiment that ultimately opens the door to pandemonium when others begin insisting he do the same for them.

6
Casper

casper still, best halloween movies for kids Universal Pictures/IMDB

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Based on the cartoon character of the same name, this 1995 movie has a star-studded cast, including Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman, Cathy Moriarty, Eric Idle, and Devon Sawa. In the film, paranormal therapist Dr. James Harvey (Pullman) and his teenage daughter, Kat (Ricci), move into haunted Whipstaff Manor to attempt to exorcise some of the home’s less friendly ghosts. What they find instead is Casper, the ghost of a young boy, who falls in love with Kat, and a trio of mischievous ghosts intent on wreaking havoc on the humans trying to get them to move out of their home.

7
ParaNorman

paranorman movie still, best halloween movies for kids Focus Features/IMDB

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A perfect pick for kids who want to watch something a little more grown-up—but not something that’ll actually give them nightmares—ParaNorman tells the tale of Norman Babcock, an 11-year-old boy who can communicate with ghosts. And while the movie has plenty of spooky elements, from zombies to witches, it’s ultimately a not-so-scary tale about learning to stand up to bullies and being proud of who you are, no matter how strange you might seem to others.

8
Monsters, Inc.

monsters inc movie still, best halloween movies for kids Disney Pixar Studios/IMDB

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One of Disney’s most beloved franchises, Monsters, Inc. is a great film for little kids eager to get in the Halloween mood. Following Sulley and Mike Wazowski, two monsters who scare children to produce energy for the city of Monstropolis, this charming movie is an undeniably adorable introduction into scarier fare—and one that might even convince your kids that the supposed monsters in their closet aren’t so scary after all.

9
Corpse Bride

corpse bride still, best halloween movies for kids Warner Bros./IMDB

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Another Burton hit, this stop-motion musical comedy is a creepily charming kids’ movie that’s full of more delights than frights. The movie tells the story of Victor Van Dort, who runs out on his wedding, only to find himself accidentally betrothed to the beautiful Emily—who just so happens to be a corpse. Luckily, the movie is heavy on laughs and light on jump-scares, making it a great addition to your kids’ spooky movie arsenal.

10
Goosebumps

goosebumps still, best halloween movies for kids Columbia Pictures/IMDB

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Based on the beloved book series of the same name, this horror comedy is full of fun frights that won’t be too spooky for little kids. And though most horror movies—and many kids’ movies—don’t earn critical acclaim, this one has a respectable 77 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and an A from CinemaScore audiences.

11
Alvin & The Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman

alvin and the chipmunks halloween, best halloween movies for kids Universal Cartoon Studios/IMDB

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They’ve conquered Christmas, they’ve befriended Jason Lee, and, yes, Alvin & The Chipmunks have even battled a wolfman at Halloween. Not only will this charming tale of wolfmen (yes, there are multiple wolfmen in it) not scar your children for life, it’ll introduce them to three new Alvin & The Chipmunks songs so they can finally stop singing “Christmas, Don’t Be Late” year-round.

12
The Witches

anjelica huston in the witches, best halloween movies for kids Jim Henson Productions/IMDB

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Based on the beloved Roald Dahl novel of the same name, The Witches—starring Anjelica Huston, Rowan Atkinson, and Mai Zetterling—centers on the story of orphaned American boy Luke Evershim, who, along with his friend, uncovers a conspiracy concocted by an ancient society of witches intent on doing harm to children. While the movie is rated PG, some of its special effects are pretty spooky—scary witch faces, laser eyes that turn other people into piles of ash, that sort of thing—making it best for slightly older children.

13
Scooby-Doo: The Movie

scooby doo movie still, best halloween movies for kids Warner Bros./IMDB

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Based on the classic cartoon, the 2002 live-action interpretation of Scooby-Doo is a fun Halloween romp that little ones will love. While the live-action elements may be a little scarier to kids than the cartoon, it’s still rated PG, meaning you won’t find any scenes likely to permanently scar your littles.

14
Hotel Transylvania

hotel transylvania movie still, best halloween movies for kids Columbia Pictures/IMDB

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More sweet than spooky, this charming animated film is ostensibly about a hotel full of monsters erected to keep humans out, when in reality, it’s more about the relationship between widower Count Dracula and his daughter, Mavis, who thinks maybe flesh-and-blood folks should be given a second chance.

15
The Book of Life

the book of life movie still, best halloween movies for kids Twentieth Century Fox/IMDB

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Directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring a cast of A-listers including Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, and Diego Luna, this story follows men fighting over the girl they both love, only to find themselves battling not only one another, but the supernatural forces that govern the Land of the Remembered and the Land of the Forgotten. What kid doesn’t love a dreamy fantasy? And for a few movies to watch after the kids are asleep, check out these 20 Kids’ Films That Will Definitely Traumatize Your Children.

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