5 Non-Scary Halloween Movies for Kids

5 Non-Scary Halloween Movies for Kids | Writing Between Pauses

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I love all the movies related to Halloween. I think I've written so many lists of my favorite Halloween movies that it would be impossible to round them all up. But trust me when I say: if a Halloween movie exists, I've probably watched it. 

Now that I have a toddler, I've had to adjust my favorite Halloween movies. Some are just too scary for Forrest to watch, especially if they have dark scenes or any really suspenseful parts. For my fellow moms out there, I've put together a list of our favorite non-scary (or not too scary movies) for kids. You'll notice one of my favorite movies ever is not on this list; I find Hocus Pocus to be just a little too scary for Forrest yet. But maybe next year! Here are our favorites right now. 

1. Halloweentown 

I love Halloweentown and thankfully, Forrest does too. This is one of those movies that has some slightly scary parts, but not scary enough to really scare a toddler. I have great nostalgia about this movie because it was one of my absolute favorites when I was little. We recently bought the double feature of it from Amazon. 

2. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! 

This is such a classic; everyone loves this movie! I've been searching for this movie relentlessly for months and finally, it popped up on Amazon for $10. Thankfully, though, it starts being played on TV as Halloween gets closer so we've watched it several times already. 

3. Trick or Treat on Sesame Street 

Forrest's number one obsession is Elmo and Sesame Street. He loves this DVD. It's basically a collection of Elmo trick-or-treat episodes and scenes. There are also some great special features on it about dressing up in costumes that aren't along the gender binary, which is my favorite part. As with any Sesame Street DVD, there is lots of subtle teaching: counting, learning how to talk to others, being creative, and how to deal with jealousy are the biggest themes. 

4. Spookly the Square Pumpkin

This is a TV movie (that you can buy on Amazon) that came out when my oldest nephew was a toddler. It's about a square pumpkin named Spookly who is different from the other pumpkins. It's a really cute, slightly spooky (but not scary) movie with lots of cute Fall imagery and a really great message about how being different makes you special. It's one of Forrest's favorites. 

5. Hotel Transylvania 

This is one of those movies that... really starts to grate on me after a while. But as a parent, I have to put up with it a little bit! It's definitely not on my list of favorite movies, but Forrest really enjoys it, it's not scary, and it doesn't have anything that I particularly object to (unlike other movies). 

My Top 5 Must-Watch Scary Movies

My Top 5 Must-Watch Scary Movies | Writing Between Pauses

When it comes to October, and Halloween, I’m a bit of a scary movie fanatic. My husband and I own almost every scary movie ever made—and every year, we get a bit optimistic and try to make a list of all of them with the plan to watch one every day until Halloween. This never happens because the idea of me staying awake through an entire movie every night is incredibly low, but we can dream. 

This year, we’re going to keep it simple with just our favorites—which got me thinking, what are my favorite scary movies? What are my must-watches every year? These are them—I highly recommend these movies to everyone who loves being scared. 

1. Trick or Treat 

This is, hands down, my favorite movie to watch right before Halloween or on Halloween. It’s so good! I love the vignette style; I love the stories; I love how they are all intertwined by the end. It’s just a good ol’ fashioned, spooky Halloween movie: a little gory at times (I look away; I can handle scary, but not gory), but overall really, really fun. 

2. Coraline

My husband gave me such side eye for including Coraline, but here’s my logic: This movie is terrifying. Forrest keeps bringing me the case and asking to watch it, but I won’t let him. The concept of having your eyes replaced by buttons? That’s scary. There are some scary scenes in this movie! I love watching it throughout October, because it’s the right amount of Autumnal, spooky, and whimsical. Just like Autumn itself. 

3. Cabin in the Woods

Another movie that doesn’t get the credit it deserves, I absolutely love this movie. I love that it is scary, while also spoofing horror films, while also being very, very funny at times. I also love that the end is so totally an end: the world ends! Nothing good happens! It’s such a fun, goofy movie to watch close to Halloween and my husband and I always end up having long conversations about the same things (such as the recurring mermaid joke). 

4. Halloween

This is such a classic movie. Jamie Lee Curtis plays the perfect, slightly nerdy babysitter with frankly awful friends; the kids are bumblingly awful; and the killer is immortal. It’s perfect! Even after watching it a hundred times at least (it’s perfect for watching on Halloween), there are still parts that scare me, like when the killer is standing in the bedroom wearing the sheet and glasses. 

5. Scream

An absolute 90s classic and one of my favorites. I own all 5 of the Scream series; you read that right, I own all 5 of them. This movie had such an impact on me as a kid and I still find myself idolizing Sidney. (And also, this was the movie that introduced me to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, one of my absolute favorite bands of all time.) Scary, goofy, and nostalgic all at once. Plus, this movie gave us a revitalized Drew Barrymore career; I mean, what a gift. 

My Favorite Movies to Watch in October

Scary movies are some of my absolute favorites. Every time a new horror movie comes out--no matter how horrible the reviews for it are--Danny and I rent it and watch it. And sometimes, we buy them--even when they're not super great. Sometimes that's the allure, right? That it's so bad, it's good. 

However, every October, I make sure to watch the classics--my absolute favorites. These are them. 

1. Halloweentown

I don't care what anyone says--this is a classic. It's so good! I still identify with Marnie: she is pretty much every girl in the mid- to late-1990s, right? The aesthetic of this movie is perfect childhood nostalgia: the clothes, the colors, the dialogue. It's just so October. 

2. Coraline

This is one of those movies that Danny often says isn't an "October movie"--but I disagree. Coraline is a horror film--it just happens to be for kids. And to be perfectly honest, it is really scary. It's one of those movies that I would not let Forrest watch until he's a certain age! I love the look and feel of this movie as well--it's a very beautiful movie for being animated! 

3. Trick or Treat

If you want a good classic-yet-creative horror film to watch, this is the one. Really. It's so good. When I first watched it with Danny years ago, I was sure I would hate it--but I get excited to watch it every Halloween. This is the one movie I make myself wait to watch until Halloween day: it's the perfect Halloween movie. 

4. Hocus Pocus

Is there a more perfect Halloween movie than Hocus Pocus? I've loved this movie since I was a little kid and for good reason. Bettle Middler is the perfect witch. This movie is the perfect not-too-scary movie for kids on Halloween. Plus, it's fun to sympathize with the parents now that I'm older. 

5. the Saw Series

Yes, Danny and I own all 7 Saw movies. Yes, they get really bad the further into the series we watch. But they're also really good. They are gory, overly complicated, and hilarious at times--but I still find myself jumping at the scares, even after tons of watches. 

6. the Nightmare Before Christmas

Could I get through this list without mentioning the Nightmare Before Christmas? No. Goodness, no. I really thought I would--I told myself to try--but after listing 5, I knew one was missing. It's this one! This is the classic emo kid October and holiday season movie. Who doesn't love singing along to the opening sequence? 

What are your favorite movies to watch in October--spooky or not?