Eight Halloween Themed Movies the Whole Family Will Enjoy

Happy fall and happy October! The leaves are changing colors, pumpkin patches are opening their gates, and neighborhoods are covered in fake cobwebs and other spooky decorations. It’s officially the best time of year (in my opinion): it’s Halloween.

Halloween was one of my favorite holidays as a kid, and not just because of the candy. I loved putting on a fun costume and roaming the streets with my friends, picking up sugary treats and donuts along the way. The energy in the neighborhood was always so palpable and electrifying, reminding me how much fun kids have outdoors. 

As I grew into adulthood, Halloween continued to be one of my favorite holidays but for a different reason: Halloween is an amazing excuse to spend time with family and friends. 

In addition to handing out candy and listening to “The Monster Mash,” one of my family’s favorite ways to celebrate Halloween is to cuddle up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and watch some great October movies. 

Unfortunately, it can be hard to find Halloween movies that the whole family can enjoy! So as you gear up for the spookiest holiday of them all, here is Troomi’s list of eight halloween-themed movies that you can watch (and enjoy) with your kids. 

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

Best for: Everyone!

It’s no secret that Charlie Brown is a classic, and there’s no better Halloween movie for the whole family than It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. This thirty minute short film finds Charlie and the gang celebrating Halloween while Linus chills in the pumpkin patch, waiting for the Great Pumpkin. Watch this one if you want timeless hijinx, nostalgic fun for the whole family (including grandparents!), and to experience what some critics have called an “animation masterpiece.”

Spooky Buddies (2011)

Best for: Everyone!

If your kids are anything like my first grade students, then they love dogs—and I mean LOVE. If you’re looking for an ooky Halloween movie that your resident dog lover will enjoy, Spooky Buddies is the perfect choice.

Taking a cue from earlier films like Air Bud, Spooky Buddies is about a litter of golden retriever puppies (affectionately called the Buddies) that go on an eerie ghost adventure to save their town from the Halloween Hound and his owner, Warwick the Warlock. It’s full of ghosts, laughs, and puppies in Halloween costumes. Like most Disney movies, it’s available to stream right now on Disney+!

Scoob! (2020)

Best for: Everyone!

Scooby-Doo was my favorite show when I was a kid. I spent countless October nights staying up late, solving mysteries with Scooby and the gang in the Mystery Machine. This recent iteration of Scooby-Doo from 2020 is a great way to introduce the classic series to a new generation, and have a little Halloween fun along the way! Scoob! tells the origin story of the Mystery Inc. gang—which takes place on a spooky Halloween night. If your kids like Scooby Snacks, teams that work together, and a whole lot of mystery, then this is the movie for you.

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

Best for: Everyone!

This movie is sure to make your kids laugh up a storm! The first in a series of four films, Hotel Transylvania tells the story of Jonathan, a human who stumbles his way into the titular Hotel Transylvania, which is owned by the one-and-only Count Dracula. A cast of Halloween characters stay at the hotel, including classic figures like Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, Quasimodo, and a whole host of witches, werewolves, and mummies. 

If your kids like the first Hotel Transylvania, there are three sequels to watch! My first graders absolutely adored these movies (and told me to watch them at least once a day), so your kids will too!

Monsters, Inc (2001)

Best for: Everyone!

A joint effort between Disney and Pixar, Monsters, Inc. was an instant classic. While it may not be distinctly Halloween themed, the thrilling story full of creatively designed monsters has the same spooky energy as many other movies on this list—and every generation will find something to enjoy. 

Mike and Sully are two employees of Monsters, Inc., a company that produces energy for Monstropolis by scaring human children. When one of these kids, Boo, sneaks into the Monsters, Inc. factory, it’s up to Mike and Sully to get her safely home before it’s too late. Along the way they’ll meet a whole cast of zany monsters, including the Abominable Snowman!

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Best for: Big kids, tweens, and teens

Hocus Pocus is my personal favorite movie on this list, and one I’ve watched every October since I was a kid. Bette Middler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker step into the pointed shoes of the Sanderson Sisters, three incompetent witches from 1600’s Salem that come back to life on a 90’s Halloween night. Teenager Max and his little sister, Dani, forgo trick-or-treating and team up with their neighbor, Allison, to put a stop to the witches’ tyrade, once and for all. If for nothing else, watch this one for Bette Midler’s iconic performance of “I Put a Spell on You.”

Halloweentown (1998)

Best for: Big kids, tweens, and teens

Maybe I’m making it obvious that I was born in the ‘90s, but Halloweentown is a close runner up to Hocus Pocus for my favorite Halloween movies on this list. This Disney Channel classic is the first installment in the Halloweentown series, and stars Hollywood icon Debbie Reynolds. It tells the story of 13-year-old Marnie and her siblings, Dylan and Sophie, as they learn they are descended from a famous line of witches. Their grandmother Aggie, a famous witch, takes them to Halloweentown, a fictional city that they have to save from a vicious threat, all while discovering what it means to be a family.

Ghostbusters (1984)

Best for: Tweens and teens

Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!

It seems like you can’t go anywhere around Halloween without the theme song from Ghostbusters playing on the radio. Even if they haven’t seen the movie, no doubt your kids know the iconic song—so why not introduce them to the movie that started it all?

Starring Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Egon Spengler as a trio of ghost catchers in New York City, Ghostbusters is full of smart dialogue, good jokes, and spunky ghosthunting action. Make sure to watch this one with your tweens and teens though; some of the jokes may not be suitable for younger kids.

Be a smart trick-or-treater! 

After you’ve watched your Halloween movies and you are getting ready to send your kids out trick-or-treating, don’t forget to review some basic safety rules. And if you’re nervous about sending your kids out on their own, check out Troomi! 

Our kid-friendly smart devices feature a Family Locator KidSmart™ app that lets you stay linked to your family members no matter which neighborhood they’re trick-or-treating in. It uses your phone’s GPS tracker to ensure family safety—and save you some stress. Click here to learn more!

Happy Halloween!

And if none of these Halloween flicks caught your fancy, here’s a longer list of some Halloween classics for the whole family:

  • Any Scooby-Doo film
  • Beetlejuice
  • Casper the Friendly Ghost
  • Coraline
  • Corpse Bride
  • Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest
  • E.T.
  • Frankenweenie
  • Goosebumps
  • Gremlins
  • Halloweentown
  • Halloweentown 2: Kalibar’s Revenge
  • Halloweentown High
  • Harry Potter
  • Matilda
  • Monster House
  • ParaNorman
  • Return to Halloweentown
  • Scared Shrekless
  • Spooky Buddies
  • The Addams Family
  • The Addams Family Values
  • The Haunted Mansion
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • The Witches (both the 1990 original and the 2020 remake)
  • Toy Story of Terror!
  • Twitches

Now get out there and have a great Halloween!