40 of the Best Halloween Movies for Kids, According to AgeBy Emma Singer

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  • 40 of the Best Halloween Movies for Kids, According to Age

40 of the Best Halloween Movies for Kids, According to Age

Snickers, Almond Joy, toothbrush…wait, what? Yep, we all know that a kid’s trick-or-treating haul can be a mixed bag. It just so happens that Halloween festivities, in general, can be equally fraught with clear wins and dismal fails—like when your three-year-old starts talking about his costume in June and then realizes he’s terrified of everything come October.

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Don’t get us wrong, we love to dress up, carve pumpkins and eat candy—but when it comes to getting kids to feel the spooky holiday vibes (or satisfying them when they already do), this list of age-appropriate Halloween movies for kids might just come in handy.

hocus pocus

1. ‘HOCUS POCUS’ (1993)

Some of the themes and references here will likely be too much for younger kids—witches with the power to suck the life from kids and mild sexual innuendo, among other things—so this one might be a bad choice for, say, a preschooler. Still, the spooks are not so scandalous, and the entertainment is big enough to thrill a tween.

Best for ages 9+

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Toy Story of Terror

2. ‘TOY STORY OF TERROR’ (2014)

We might be going out on a limb here, but everyone loves Toy Story, right? If you agree, tune into this Halloween television special with your little goblin. The familiar characters are just as lovable as ever and the scares are tame enough that even young primary schoolers can watch this flick and still have good dreams.

Best for ages 6+

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The Nightmare Before Christmas

3. ‘THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS’ (1993)

Equal parts romantic and dark, this film is kid-friendly Tim Burton at its best. Even the younger ones can enjoy the stop-motion animated magic—just be aware that the smallest and most sensitive kids might be spooked by the bug-filled ‘Oogie Boogie’ and some of the stylized imagery in general.

Best for ages 7+

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Super Monsters Save Halloween

4. ‘SUPER MONSTERS SAVE HALLOWEEN’ (2018)

Halloween vibes meets social-emotional learning when the Super Monsters are tasked with spreading holiday spirit throughout the neighbourhood. The storyline makes a point of allaying fears by distinguishing between what is real and what’s just dress-up fun—so, in other words, this one is ideal for little kids that are likely to feel a tad confused (and a little freaked out) by the whole Halloween thing once the festivities begin.

Best for ages 3+

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Spookley the Square Pumpkin

5. ‘SPOOKLEY THE SQUARE PUMPKIN’ (2005)

Based on a children’s book by Joe Trolano, Spookley’s story is highly relatable—Halloween or not—because it’s basically about just wanting to fit in. Don’t worry though, Spookley the square-shaped pumpkin learns that it’s OK to be different. At 45 minutes, this animated film is short enough for little kids to enjoy (rather than simply turning into screen zombies) and although the musical narrative is quirky, the scares—apart from one encounter with a bad storm that may rattle very young viewers—are practically non-existent.

Best for ages 4+

WATCH ON NETFLIX

casper

6. ‘CASPER’ (1995)

Young Christina Ricci and her animated ghost buddy Casper make a fine pair in this humorous and only moderately spooky film. Parents should know this motion picture about a friendly ghost has stood the test of time, but the focus on death (along with some language and bullying) makes for a viewing experience that’s best-suited for a tween audience.

Best for ages 8+

WATCH ON NETFLIX

Double Double Toil and Trouble

7. ‘DOUBLE, DOUBLE, TOIL AND TROUBLE’ (1993)

The Olsen twins star in this made-for-television, feel-good family movie. Super cheesy, yes, but these child-star darlings are at peak cuteness in Double, Double Toil and Trouble. Plus, the Halloween-themed storyline is almost all humour with only a few frights—all of which are easy enough for a kindergartener to stomach.

Best for Ages 5+

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Pooh s Heffalump Halloween Movie

8. ‘POOH’S HEFFALUMP HALLOWEEN MOVIE’ (2005)

Like all things Winnie the Pooh, this Halloween special is sugar-coated and entirely innocent. Full of festive fun and easy to watch with even the youngest in your brood, rent this guy when you’re looking for a seasonal pick that doesn’t scare (or disrupt the bedtime routine).

Best for ages 3+

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scooby doo and the goblin king

9. ‘SCOOBY DOO AND THE GOBLIN KING’ (2008)

Scooby Dooby do(o) watch this with your grade school kiddo. What you can expect? The tried-and-true, goofy Scooby comedy—along with somewhat creepy characters. The beloved and colorful cast take an adventure-packed, and at times perilous, trip to Halloween Land in this family-friendly, feature-length cartoon film.

Best for ages 6+

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halloweentown

10. ‘HALLOWEENTOWN’ (1998)

A little girl learns she’s a good witch in this Halloween story and her mission is to save the holiday, even if it means flouting her overbearing mother’s rules. Be warned: This one boasts a grotesque-looking warlock villain and the stand-offs get a little intense at times. (There are also realistic portrayals of parent-child conflict.) That said, there’s no gore—and overall, the tension in Halloweentown makes it a delicious crowd-pleaser among the intended tween audience, while also being palatable for adults.

Best for ages 9+

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Goosebumps

11. ‘GOOSEBUMPS’ (2015)

An action-packed monster flick based on the best-selling children’s books from R.L. Stine, Goosebumps gets great reviews from parents and kids alike. However, parents should be aware that this fast-paced film will likely be overstimulating, and at times too scary, for younger kids. Some violence comes into play with fighting scenes and while none of it is shocking or offensive, it’s safe to say this film will land best with an older grade school audience.

Best for ages 9+

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twitches

12. ‘TWITCHES’ (2006)

Tia and Tamera Mowry, of Sister, Sister fame, star in this made-for-TV Disney movie and their effortless dynamic shines through as always in this story about two girls who discover they are actually twin sisters—and also witches, destined to defeat ‘the darkness. Some gender stereotypes come up (so much shopping) but with a little follow-up discussion, this is a family-friendly film that is sure to appeal to tweens and young teens.

Best for ages 8+

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Song of the Sea

13. ‘SONG OF THE SEA’ (2014)

Stunning hand-drawn animation captures the magic of Irish myth in a moving story about sibling bonding. The narrative is rich with fantasy and magic—plus more than a few spooky scenes that might be too intense for small children, but capture the Halloween spirit nonetheless.

Best for ages 6+

WATCH ON NETFLIX

coco

14. ‘COCO’ (2017)

Dia de los Muertos is not exactly the same thing as Halloween, but both holidays kick off on October 31st (the eve of All Saint’s Day) and share similar origins. Both celebrations are also fabulously fun and a little spooky. Give your kid a dose of culture with this charming, kid-friendly film that pays tribute to the Mexican holiday with striking animation and memorable music.

Best for ages 6+

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Monster House

15. ‘MONSTER HOUSE’ (2006)

Older kids can enjoy a fear-driven adrenaline rush without gratuitous gore with spooky Monster House. This flick, which involves a house that comes to life in a rather disturbing way, is legitimately scary and there’s a dearth of redemptive qualities in the characters. That said, it’s a whole lot more wholesome than a slasher flick and a pretty decent way to introduce your tween to the horror genre.

Best for ages 10+

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spooky buddies

16. ‘SPOOKY BUDDIES’ (2011)

Light scares and lovable pups steal the stage in this Halloween-themed film, which follows the good versus evil superhero trope. The villains are made even creepier by eerie music and special effects in this animated movie—and there’s plenty of spooky characters to boot (think: ghosts, haunted houses, monsters and bad magic).

Best for ages 8+

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Curious George A Halloween Boo Fest

17. ‘CURIOUS GEORGE: A HALLOWEEN BOO FEST’ (2013)

The beloved mischievous monkey strikes again in this sweet and low-key yet festive film. Curious George explores spooky Halloween legends, confronts fears and emerges unscathed (as always). Stream this one for a family-friendly and scare-free flick that even the tiniest viewers can get in on.

Best for ages 3+

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dear dracula

18. ‘DEAR DRACULA’ (2012)

Funny and refreshingly free of sensational scares, this charming film revolves around a young and surprisingly sweet vampire (i.e., Dracula) who struggles with his identity when he realizes that, well, he just isn’t that scary. Friendship and self-acceptance, not fear, take centre stage. The end result? A Halloween movie that makes kid and grown-ups feel good.

Best for ages 6+

WATCH ON NETFLIX

casper s scare school

19. ‘CASPER’S SCARE SCHOOL’ (2006)

Casper: Friendly and far too good-hearted to scare humans—he’s the spectre we all aspire to be. The mean ghosts in this movie may prove a bit too intimidating for younger audiences, but the entertainment is big and the overall message comes across as a ringing endorsement of kindness that’s bound to benefit most primary schoolers.

Best for ages 7+

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goosebumps 2

20. ‘GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN’ (2018)

Horror fiction for kids is R.L. Stine’s specialty and that’s what you can expect from this movie. It isn’t the first screen adaptation of the popular children’s series, but it might be the best—the scares are milder and more effectively offset by humour and absurdity. Bottom line: If you watched Goosebumps and found it to be too intense for your sensitive kid, take two is worth a try.

Best for ages 8+

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halloween movies for kids the dog who saved halloween

21. ‘THE DOG WHO SAVED HALLOWEEN’ (2011)

A sequel to The Dog Who Saved Christmas featuring the same heroic pup and plenty of Halloween motifs—plus a generous amount of potty humour. The narrative is essentially a Home Alone knock off with two incompetent crooks and a dog playing Macaulay Culkin’s role, and it involves a similar degree of slapstick violence. But parents who don’t mind a bit of crude humour will feel A-OK about this light-hearted and kid-friendly film.

Best for ages 6+

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halloween movies for kids the scared shrekless

22. ‘SCARED SHREKLESS’ (2011)

Shrek, the most endearing of ogres, makes another comical appearance in this made-for-TV Halloween special. Like all the Shrek movies, you can expect some adult innuendo, but it’s all likely to go over your kid’s head. All in all, the laughs are guaranteed and the spooky stuff is mild enough for younger ones.

Best for ages 6+

WATCH ON NETFLIX

halloween movies for kids girl vs monster

23. ‘GIRL VS. MONSTER’ (2012)

Positive messages and a minimal scare factor make for a family-friendly monster flick. Girl vs. Monster is about a teenage girl who finds out (just before Halloween) that she comes from a long line of monster hunters, and the storyline provides plenty of thrills without the gratuitous and disturbing violence of slasher films. Bonus: Disney star Olivia Holt belts out some seriously good tunes—and she has a stage presence that’s sure to command your tween’s attention to boot.

Best for ages 7+

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halloween movies for kids the addams family

Gothic, black comedy with just the right balance of slapstick—this one is sure to please a younger audience without offending the parentals. There’s nothing gruesome here, and the dark mood pairs well with the Halloween spirit—just be aware that little kids are more likely to be disturbed by the macabre elements in the movie.

Best for ages 10+

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halloween movies for kids its the great pumpkin charlie brown

25. ‘IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN’ (1966)

This classic covers all the Halloween bases: costumes, trick-or-treating, and the anticipation of a great pumpkin, of course. The nostalgia comes on strong with this one but parents should be aware that the Peanuts dynamic is not all sunshine and rainbows. In fact, the kids act like kids in this cartoon (i.e., they are often mean to one another). The realistic portrayal is not necessarily a bad thing though—but maybe take advantage of the opportunity to talk to your own child about bullying, or just the importance of kindness.

Best for ages 4+

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 halloween movies for kids the witches

26. ‘THE WITCHES’ (1990)

Dare we say it? Yes, we do: Nothing says Halloween like Angelica Houston—and she’s in rare form in this creepy but kid-friendly adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book about witches with an evil plot to turn children into mice. The visual effects are disturbing and the general mood of the film is decidedly spooky, but the cool factor is high and the content is age-appropriate.

Best for ages 9+

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 halloween movies for kids beetlejuice

27. ‘BEETLEJUICE’ (1988)

Dark and comical, this cult classic—starring Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder and the always great Catherine O’Hara—is full of camp and circumstance and is a must-see for teens and adults alike. Parents should know that there’s some grown-up material they might not want to expose younger kids to, which includes smoking, drinking and frequent references to violent death (albeit free of gore).

Best for ages 12+

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 halloween movies for kids ghostbusters

28. ‘GHOSTBUSTERS’ (1984)

Uproarious and occasionally racy, the farcical humour in this action-packed ‘80s flick has stood the test of time for good reason. The narrative focuses on heroic battles against paranormal forces but the stylized (and rather dated) poltergeists are far from frightful, so chances are the story won’t give your big kid bad dreams. In fact, the spooks in this iconic film are more likely to make everyone laugh.

Best for ages 11+

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 halloween movies for kids little shops of horror

29. ‘LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS’ (1986)

An iconic ‘80s film from Frank Oz with a cult following: This one is more comedy than horror—but that’s only true for kids old enough to understand the macabre and somewhat disturbing humour. The plot about a blood-thirsty plant touches on toxic relationships and includes several not-so-subtle references to murder, so we suggest you view this one with a more mature, teenage kid. Plus, Steve Martin’s performance as a sadistic dentist is so convincing that you should only introduce it to juveniles who are completely comfortable with teeth-cleaning.

Best for ages 12+

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 halloween movies for kids monsters inc

30. ‘MONSTERS, INC.’ (2001)

Professional monsters are the main characters in this family-friendly film and they tell the story—one that promises to deliver a few jumpy thrills and a positive message that plays to the tune of, ‘They’re just as afraid of you as you are of them.’ Needless to say, the boogie man’s point of view goes a long way towards making standard childhood fears far less intimidating.

Best for ages 5+

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 halloween movies for kids the little vampire

31. ‘THE LITTLE VAMPIRE’ (2000)

The scares are tame but abundant in this tween-friendly film: Peril, images of death and a generally dark mood are present and should be considered before showing to younger or more sensitive kids. Other than that, the content is not particularly scandalous and the entertainment value scores high.

Best for ages 8+

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 halloween movies for kids twilight

32. ‘TWILIGHT’ (2008)

A loyal adaptation of the exceedingly popular book, the screen version of Twilight brings to life a vampire-human romance in a way that can best be described as candy for teens. Of course, reading, seeing and believing are all distinct experiences, so only let your kid watch this one if you’re comfortable with the considerable intimacy involved in the somewhat spooky vampire plot.

Best for ages 13+

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 halloween movies for kids frankenweenie

33. ‘FRANKENWEENIE’ (2012)

Tim Burton’s unmistakable style makes this introduction to the story of Frankenstein enthralling—but like the classic novel upon which it’s based, the storyline is macabre. Still, this adaptation is notably kid-friendly (hence the pup) and a great pick for a Halloween movie night with medium-sized kids that want some sinister vibes without the over-the-top scares.

Best for kids 9+

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 halloween movies for kids hotel translyvania

34. ‘HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA’ (2012)

It’s hard to know the best way to introduce the idea of ‘monster movies’ to a young kid, because they’re basically a whole new beast. Sure, scares are everywhere, but when spooky stuff is the premise of the film, it’s a different story. Enter Hotel Transylvania. This wholesome and family-friendly film makes for an ideal first encounter because the characters are so likable—and, aside from a few expressions of controlled anger, the frights are few and far between.

Best for ages 7+

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 halloween movies for kids coraline

Coraline offers a visually stunning viewing experience, owed to the stop-motion mastery of Henry Selick. This movie is both beautiful and thought-provoking, but despite the seemingly kid-friendly animation, it’s really only suitable for older children. The subject matter, which involves a young girl trying to escape from dysfunctional, narcissistic adults into a perilous imaginary realm, is dark and decidedly mature. There’s nothing gratuitous or offensive in this artsy flick and it’s entirely suitable for tweens, but it might be the stuff of nightmares for the young and sensitive.

Best for ages 9+

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 halloween movies for kids moms got a date with a vampire

36. ‘MOM’S GOT A DATE WITH A VAMPIRE’ (2000)

A wholesome comedy horror featuring Caroline Rhea, of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch fame, with a healthy dose of cheese. To be honest, grown-ups are not likely to find this film particularly riveting or original…but your tween likely will. Best of all, the age-appropriate content and cliches make for a movie that carries no risk of keeping your kiddo up until the wee hours (fighting demons and whatnot).

Best for ages 8+

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 halloween movies for kids dracula

37. DRACULA (1931)

If you have a big kid in your house who is ready to explore the horror genre, forget the gratuitous slasher films and opt for classic spooks instead. This black-and-white thriller is the first film adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the eerie soundtrack does not disappoint. Obviously, Dracula is not a good guy—but this classic portrayal spares young viewers the violence associated with his bad deeds, while still providing an experience promises to keep everyone on the edge of their seat.

Best for Ages 9+

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 halloween movies for kids alvin and the chipmunks meet the wolfman

38. ‘ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS MEET THE WOLFMAN’ (2000)

There’s nothing disingenuous about this cartoon family, and in his chipmunk flick, the sibling dynamics take centre stage in a way that comes across as both real and loving. One brother learns how to cope with and confront bullying, while another dives deep into horror. The storyline involves a werewolf and a few frightful moments, but the positive messages definitely upstage the scares.

Best for ages 6+

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 halloween movies for kids abbott and costello meet frankenstein

39. ‘ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN’ (1948)

Sometimes what’s current is just too stimulating—take a break from the flashy special effects and try out this 1940s flick for your next family movie night. There are monsters aplenty, but they’re all pretty easy to stomach because of the dated production, and the scary moments are subdued by levity and humour. Overall, this throwback is a great way to introduce grade school kids to some classic Halloween characters, and it’s likely to charm adult audiences, too.

Best for ages 7+

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 halloween movies for kids buffy the vampire slayer

40. ‘BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER’ (1992)

No, we’re not talking about the TV series (although we’re mega fans of Sarah Michelle Geller’s badass take on the character). This campy and kind of amazing movie is where it all started and is worth a watch. A valley girl discovers she’s a born vampire slayer in this goofy but engaging movie. There’s a lot of fighting, some cheap thrills, and the acting is bad in the best way possible. Tune in with your teen for movie night fun.

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Best for ages 13+

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This article was republished with permission from Purewow.com

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