Although Halloween is the night when things go bump in the night and the streets are filled with tiny monsters hassling door-to-door for fun-size Snickers, there are many young children that are easily spooked by all the frightening imagery. Here’s a handy list of movies that should keep the kids in the mood without giving them any new nightmare fuel. We’ve divided these into ‘Minimal Spookiness’ for little pumpkins and ‘Slightly Scary’ for older kids who aren’t fazed by a few skulls and spiders.
Monsters Inc (U)
Pixar’s colourful tale of two monsters who get landed with a big problem when a human child escapes into the monster world. Can Mike and Sully get her home before they’re discovered?
Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie (U)
The honey-loving animal and his friends have a spooky adventure. Pooh’s newest friend Lumpy and Roo are excited to trick-or-treat for the first time until Tigger warns them about the Gobloon who’ll turn you into a Jaggedy Lantern if he catches you. But if they can catch the Gobloon before it catches them, then they get to make a wish. With Roo by his side, Lumpy knows he can face anything.
It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (U)
The usual Peanuts crew look forward to Halloween whilst Linus prepares for the arrival of ‘The Great Pumpkin’, a santa-esque figure whom he hopes will bestow gifts upon him if he’s in the Halloween spirit.
Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were Rabbit (U)
The world-famous dog and pensioner crime-fighting and gadget making team are drawn in when a lot of carrots start going missing. Supernatural hijinks are afoot in the village! See what happens when these two lovable characters get on the case.
Hotel Transylvania 2
The story of Mavis and her supernatural family continues when Drac becomes concerned that his half-human grandson isn’t showing enough signs of being a true vampire…
The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG)
Christmas is sent haywire when Jack Skellington decides he’s had enough of Halloween and tries to take over the festive holiday of Christmas. Possibly the most memorably musical Halloween movie ever made.
The Corpse Bride (PG)
From the people that brought you Nightmare Before Christmas, The Corpse Bride is a tale of a man brought to the underworld by an unbreakable vow. Never quite achieved the cult status of its predecessor but nevertheless a good spooky watch and plenty of entertaining antics.
Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone (PG)
Although the franchise does get rather more mature as it goes along, this first outing is tame enough for young eyes to get into the series. The three wizarding newbies get themselves into trouble when Harry gets grabbed from the muggle world and thrust into a universe of magic and mayhem.
Monster House (PG)
When the house across the street becomes a living, breathing monster, it’s up to the neighbourhood kids to go inside and put a stop to it. The animation has a slight ‘polar express’ factor to it but it’s still an enjoyably creepy movie.
Book of Life (U)
Although mostly a harmless cartoon romp with a cast of awesome characters, this does have some mature themes with regard to traditional views of death and afterlife so I’ve included it in the scarier movies. An excellent movie with a plot surrounding the telling of south american-style lore and legends.
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