Room on the Broom, Casper, and 13 Other Halloween Movies That Aren't Scary For Kids
Because spookiness is an overarching theme during the Halloween season, it can be difficult to navigate certain aspects of the holiday with younger children who scare easily, especially when it comes to spooky movies. With Halloween films playing on every channel all October long, it’s definitely tempting to get in on the fun of watching one as a family – especially if it’s one you loved as a kid – so we’ve compiled a list of features we think your little ones likely won’t be afraid of.
However, fear is relative, so we’ve listed anything you should know before watching these movies with your kids. You know your child best – if they scare extremely easily, most of these have at least one spooky or jumpy part, as they’re all Halloween-themed (basically, watch at your own risk, but be ready to hit the pause or fast-forward button for the parts we mention just in case!).
Double, Double, Toil and Trouble
Why it might be scary for some: Like most Olsen twin movies, this one staring the adorable twins is more silly than scary. However, younger kids might be scared of Aunt Agatha, who lives in a creepy house and talks about grave-digging, blood, and being cruel to others. She’s trapped her nice twin sister in a mirror for seven years but gets pushed into the mirror and stuck behind it herself, which younger kids might need to know is actually impossible.
Why it might be scary for some: This Disney Channel Original is mostly fun and games, but younger kids might find the battle at the end in which a few of the characters are frozen into a trance-like state a little frightening. Really young kids may be upset simply by the appearances of some of the Halloween characters.
Why it might be scary for some: This adorable Disney movie is so wholesome and hilarious, that is, until you factor in Randall. In the scenes toward the end when he has Boo strapped to a chair to steal her screams and then runs away from Mike and Sully with her, little ones might get a bit upset.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Why it might be scary for some: This Tim Burton classic isn’t so much scary as offbeat; however, younger children may be frightened by the fact that Jack is a skeleton or by the other Halloween creatures. If they can get past that, though, they’ll love this classic.
Why it might be scary for some: Although the Sanderson sisters are mostly hilarious and the spunky main characters handle themselves around the witches, there are still a number of spooky scenes in this one that younger kiddos may not like. A zombie with his mouth sewn shut crawls out of his own grave and follows the kids, the sisters suck out the soul of a little girl, and Thackery Binx, the lovable black cat, gets run over by a bus. Regardless, this ’90s classic is a must see.
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Why it might be scary for some: As long as your kid can get past the fact that the headless horseman is, well, headless (though really it’s just the town bully in disguise) and that he wants to chop off Ichabod’s head with a sword, this Disney tale is mostly a tame one.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Why it might be scary for some: The only things that might be perceived as scary in this claymation flick are when the rabbit transforms into the were-rabbit and the scenes where the townspeople attempt to go after it with guns and garden tools.
The Worst Witch
Why it might be scary for some: Unless your child is very sensitive, most of the scariness in this movie is comedic, and no one is hurt as a result of any of the violence. Elementary-age kids should have no problem with this one, but if there are toddlers in the room, they could get frightened.
Why it might be scary for some: Although this film gives a lovable spin to vampires, there are a few little things that might give young kiddos a fright – Dracula’s “angry” face, which he flashes a few times, and a scene in which zombies pretending to be a human mob set themselves on fire with torches meant for the main character, Mavis.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Why it might be scary for some: Harry and his friends fight off a troll, Voldemort appears as a face on the back of someone else’s head, and there is a flashback of Voldemort killing Harry’s parents, but most of the violence and scariness are made perfectly manageable by the gang’s bravery.
Why it might be scary for some: This children’s Halloween classic takes place in a supercreepy house, and though Casper is a friendly ghost, his three ghost uncles are not. Although the violence is cartoonish and silly for the most part, there are a few instances of characters dying and immediately becoming ghosts, which could frighten those with vivid imaginations.
Why it might be scary for some: Ironically, one of the scariest parts of this movie is when the characters are watching a horror movie – the scene featured shows a man about to get impaled by a kitchen knife lodged in a sink drain thanks to a scary-looking creature, but you don’t actually see it happen. In the actual movie, the kids get into a few sticky situations, including being chased by a pretty aggressive dog, but other than that, this one’s pretty tame and the mummy is actually really sweet and adorable.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Why it might be scary for some: Even though E.T. is one of the most likable creatures to appear in a film, his appearance may frighten much younger children before they get to know him and his loving personality. The government agents who track down E.T. and capture him are very serious, which is a little frightening, and E.T. doesn’t look too hot (he looks like he’s dying) while he’s in their care, which could scare your kids.
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Why it might be scary for some: Honestly, like all Peanuts tales, this one is the epitome of wholesome family fun. However, your adorable scaredy cat might be a little spooked by the sounds of gunshots when Snoopy is imagining he’s a WWI fighter pilot.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown usually airs on ABC closer to the holiday – stay tuned!