Friday, October 17, 2014

Family Friendly Halloween Movies

I absolutely LOVE Halloween and am so blessed that my five year old son also shares in my passion for the holiday and everything spooky about it--including the movies!  This is a really fun age for him, because he's still young enough to really enjoy his favorite cartoon characters and their crazy Halloween hijinks...but he's also getting to the age where he can really watch and understand some spookier tales.  In no particular order, here's a list of 11 of our favorite Halloween movies to watch together as a family!  Some are more suited for little kids, while many of them are really meant for a slightly older audience.  Almost all can be appreciated, at least in part, by the grown-ups!

1. Paranorman (2012)-- A young boy has the ability to see dead people.  It's kinda like The Sixth Sense in CGI, but with more of a purpose.  I really like this movie.  It's a cute kid's movie, but there are some rather adult innuendos thrown in for the parents, which hopefully, will go right over the heads of most children.  Oh, and there are zombies...lots and lots of zombies.  If you have a Netflix account, you can watch this one on there.

2. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow/Disney version (1949)--This is an annual tradition for us, and we even named one of our kitty cats Ichabod after Mr. Crane and his thin frame and voracious appetite.  The atmosphere is delightfully spooky and there's just something about vintage Disney that puts me in the Halloween spirit.  It's a wonderful adaptation of the Headless Horseman tale with wonderful music thrown in.

3. Hocus Pocus (1993)--One of THE best Halloween movies ever made, in my opinion.  Its exciting, its spooky, and the kids win!  It also has one of the best adaptations of 'I Put a Spell on You' that I've heard.  Since 1993, this tale of the Sanderson Sisters of Salem, who are resurrected on Halloween night by an unwitting virgin has captured the hearts of cult movie lovers, lol.

4. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!  (1966)--Another timeless classic that is at the top of every family's Halloween season viewing!  Linus awaiting the Great Pumpkin in the pumpkin patch, Lucy's terrifying witch mask, and poor Charlie Brown's candy bag full of rocks will never get old.

5. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)--Dark and spooky and quintessentially Halloween. There's really not much more I can say about this one.

6. The Worst Witch (1986)--Mildred Hubble is a witch; possibly the WORST witch!  This classic 80s coming of age tale with a twist covers all the cliche themes of being yourself, doing your best, and the value of friendship...but with witches!  For the parents, especially the mommies, Tim Curry makes a spectacular appearance as the Grand Wizard, and wows students and teachers alike with his funky dance moves, catchy Halloween song, and high tech 80s special effects.  This one is available to watch for free on Youtube.

7. The Witches (1990)--Based off the Roald Dahl book, this film has one of the creepiest moments in cinematic history as the head witch peels off her face mask to reveal her true form.

8. Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest--I absolutely love Curious George and this one-hour long Halloween special is really cute and cleverly done.  It's a spin-off of the cherished Headless Horseman tale, but its done is a very non-scary, yet mysterious way.  Little kids will love the twist at the end, and even those a little older will appreciate some of the jokes.  This one is available on Netflix if you miss it on PBS.

9. Ghost Busters (1984)--This is probably Luke's favorite movie out of all these mentioned.  I'm not sure what it is about a group of guys running after some actually pretty scary ghosts, but he'll watch it over and over again and sing "Who Ya Gonna Call?"  until you physically make him stop!  The part where the evil dog-thing attacks Rick Moranis' character is a little intense for him, but the rest of the movie doesn't faze him a bit...and its one of my favorites, too.

10. Halloween is Grinch Night (1977)--Until this year, I had no idea this movie even existed, but found it in its entirety to watch FREE on Youtube.  Obviously, nothing can replace the Grinch's timeless Christmas tale, but this Halloween prequel had its moments and plenty of catchy lil' tunes.  At a little over 25 minutes long, this is a perfect pre-bedtime quickie. 

11. Winnie the Pooh's Halloween Stories--I actually found this one while posting the Youtube link to Halloween is Grinch Night and had to post it!  It's your classic Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends from the Hundred-Acre Wood telling spooky stories.  At one hour long, this collection of tales is great for movie night with even the youngest of family members.

There are tons of awesome family-friendly Halloween movies and specials out there.  If you or your family has a favorite that you didn't see mentioned here, head over to Theresa's Haunted History Facebook page and let me know about it!  Happy Halloween!

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