There is no better way to spend the spookiest season than with a bucket of popcorn, family, and a Disney Halloween movie. Curl up on the couch and binge a few favorite films on October 31st, or watch one movie a week in the month leading up to Halloween. Disney has gifted the universe with tons of Halloween-inspired flicks, so all you have to do is break out the snacks, the flannel pajamas, and pumpkin-spiced beverages and enjoy!
Animated Disney Halloween Movies
Nobody does animation quite like Disney. These animated films are perfect additions to a spooky Halloween evening. No matter the ages of your kids, they are a perfect mesh of fight, fright, and family-friendly.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
While the movie isn't Halloween-based per se, Halloween plays a major role in the film. Protagonist Jack is the decorated Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, where people look forward to the holiday to scare children. The holiday is largely planned around Jack's efforts to understand Christmas. Popular songs from the film include This Is Halloween and The Pumpkin King. Though Jack ends up discovering the wonders of Christmas in the film, the movie's Halloween focus makes the film a great October movie pick!
Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat is a fun classic that was first introduced back in the 1950s. It centers around the iconic Disney character, Donald Duck, and his wiley nephews as they take on Hazel the Witch with a series of well-pulled Halloween night pranks. There is nothing too scary about this watch, and people of all ages can enjoy it as the plot is a piece of cake for even young children to follow.
This 1937 Disney animated Mickey Mouse short film is based around four lonely ghosts left with no one to spook. The spirits take on Mickey and his gang with a series of funny, lighthearted jests and pranks. Kids of all ages can watch this movie, and because it is the epitome of family-friendly. No one will be giving you problems comes bedtime.
After Young Victor Frankenstein's pup Sparky bites the dust, the quirky scientist brings his fur friend back to life with the help of his science teacher. The experiment is a success until Victor's secret is discovered and Frankenweenie is no longer the only animal resurrected from the spirit world.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
The 1971 movie is set during World War 2 and mixes live-action with well-thought-out animated elements. A smart and determined witch-in-training, Miss Eglantine Price, played by Angela Lansbury, hatches a plan to take on enemy forces. Her plan's success hinges on three sidekick kids and a trip through fantasyland on an enchanted bed.
While not a Halloween film per se, Monsters, Inc. is a great film to watch around the season. One of the things that makes people think of Halloween is fright. The monsters work so hard to scare little kids in the film, but one child changes everything. The most established scarer then becomes interested in making the young girl smile. But will fright be replaced with delight?
Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie
Another winner in the Winnie the Pooh series, this direct-to-video movie features new friend Lumpy who has never been trick-or-treating. Tigger scares Lumpy and Roo into fearing the Gobloon, who will turn young children into jaggedy lanterns if they are caught. As a result, the children begin to rethink their Halloween plans, but braveness sets in, and the boys enjoy their treating. However, they're also on a mission to catch the Gobloon and make a wish before they are caught. Follow the story of Roo, Lumpy, and Pooh as they discover the value of storytelling and friendship.
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is broken up into two major sections, The Wind and the Willows and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The second part features Ichabod, the Headless Horseman, and Brom Bones. Headmaster Ichabod is trying to reign in young Bones but becomes infatuated with Katrina Van Tassel instead. On Halloween, Tassel invites Ichabod to a party where, by comedy of errors, he is 'dejected' by Tassel. He also hears the story of the Headless Horseman and begins to fear a meeting with the ghost. On his lonely ride home, will Ichabod meet the ghost or make it home safely?
Live-Action Disney Movies to Delight
If animated films aren't up your family's alley, Disney has put out plenty of live-action movies to evoke spirits, spooks, and smiles for the entire family.
This 90's made-for-television movie is based on three preteens who have a run-in with a real mummy! While the creature from the dead at first spooks them, they come to realize he is kind, lovable, and friendly. They accidentally bring the ancient mummy back to life and then must figure out how to return him to his resting place before the clock strikes midnight on Halloween.
Twitches is an original Disney Channel movie that stars 2000s icons Tia and Tamera Mowry. The twins with witch powers, who were separated at birth, meet at age 21 and must use their supernatural powers to save the world they were born in, where their birth mother still resides. The movie is a fun adventure for the whole family to watch unfold.
The Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion stars Eddie Murphy as a workaholic real estate agent who agrees to take his family on a well-deserved vacation. Before some family R&R, Murphy has to make a quick stop at a mansion that they soon discover is haunted. Spells must be broken, plans must be hatched, and the patriarch of this family learns some key lessons along the way.
When a family follows granny home to her community, they discover their origins are unlike anyone else's. They come from a family of witches and the entire town is comprised of supernatural beings. All isn't well in Halloweentown, and danger lurks and looms, threatening the main character, Marnie, and her loving coven.
Marnie is back with this sequel to the original Halloweentown movie! She has convinced Halloweentown's Council to allow her to bring a group of the city's teens to the mortal world. Problems arise at the school carnival, and Marnie must make things right before disaster befalls her magical world and the mortal one.
The 1993 children's film Hocus Pocus is a great family comedy featuring Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker. It features three sisters who start the film vowing to return to witching after a bad experience with the Salem Witch Trials in Salem, MA. The film jumps forward to October of 1993, which features the antics of the three sisters, including thinking that a man they meet is their true Master. To survive, the witches must absorb the life force of a child. The film presses on with the witches being lured by Max to different locations in an attempt to spell their doom. But who will win: the young boy with love in his heart or the wicked witch sisters of Massachusetts?
Escape to Witch Mountain
In this 1975 film, two siblings named Tony and Tia are a part of an orphanage where they've developed psychic powers. The two don't know how to handle the powers until they come across a map and are able to see an accident. They're taken in by the wealthiest man in town when he discovers their powers. Finding an ally along the way, the children look to follow the map Tia holds on to. The map helps them find their way to Witch Mountain, but why? Pick up a copy of the popular movie to find out!
Tower of Terror
In the Disney thriller Tower of Terror, a cunning journalist and his team of helpers dive deep into the mysterious disappearance of five missing people, last seen entering a hotel elevator on Halloween night decades prior. What they discover leads them on a thrilling, winding adventure no one way coming.
The Scream Team
Grandpa needs some help from this kin; the only issue is, he is no longer among the living! In The Scream Team, the living son of eccentric Frank Carlyle and his offspring return to Gramp's old stomping grounds, a town known for its Halloween connections. Mysteries unravel, and things get set right, even when family must do so while literally worlds apart. There are some feel-good moments and lessons learned in this family film, but some parts of the plot may be too heavy for very young kids (for example, burning down a home with family members still inside.)
Create Family Fun With Film
There are tons of family activities to do in the fall, especially around Halloween time. Be sure to work in a frightful family movie night with your gang and make it a part of your holiday tradition. Disney has plenty of seasonal movies suited for kids of all ages, from very young to big kids at heart.