By Joules Dellinger
I’m a scaredy-cat when it comes to scary movies… so I’m quite picky about my Halloween choices. I also have a 7-year-old at home, which makes it even more important that I not scare the bejesus out of him. I still remember when my parents let me watch Nightmare on Elm Street at my uncle’s house when I was just about my son’s age. I couldn’t walk the dog alone again for YEARS because I was terrified of the dark!
Here are my five favorite kid-approved Halloween movies for the season:
Synopsis: Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy star in this supernatural family comedy as a trio of 17th-century sibling witches who are accidentally resurrected in the 20th century by teenager Max.
My thoughts: I loved Hocus Pocus when I was growing up, but I waited until last year when my son was 6 to let him watch it for the first time. There is nothing too scary in the movie and he thought it was super awesome and funny with just the right amount of spookiness. There is a bit with a zombie that I was curious if he’d get a little nervous about… but thankfully he thought the zombie was hilarious.
Synopsis: Stepping out of the pages of Charles Addams' cartoons and the 1960s television series, the beloved macabre family takes to the big screen in a tale that centers on con artists out to swindle them by introducing a bogus Uncle Fester into their home.
My thoughts: We watched this as a family for the first time when Jack was five and he loved the slapstick humor parts of the movie. Once again, nothing too scary here… just a bit of spook. It has plenty to keep both adults and kids entertained throughout the whole movie.
Synopsis: In this live-action feature, Scooby, Shaggy, Daphne, Fred and Velma journey to Spooky Island, where a magical force is awakened that could spell doom for the human race. But the Mystery Inc. gang remains skeptical that there are any ghosts at work.
My thoughts: While neither Jack or I was very into the Scooby Doo cartoons, we both really liked the live-action Scooby Doo movies! It’s totally goofy and silly with a bit of mystery and ghosts thrown in for fun. Bonus points if you also want to check out the sequel, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.
Synopsis: Bill Pullman plays James Harvey, a ghost doctor hired by Carrigan Crittendon (Cathy Moriarty) to rid Whipstaff Manor of spirits so she can find a treasure trove rumored to be hidden there. But her plan backfires when James's daughter Kat (Christina Ricci) befriends Casper, the friendly phantom who inhabits the place along with The Ghostly Trio, who disdain humans.
My thoughts: Casper isn’t called the “friendly ghost” for nothing! This is a perfect sci-fi/Halloween movie for kiddos and I think Jack was around five the first time he saw it. It has some awfully cute parts and a nice message, so this one is great for families.
Synopsis: As Halloween approaches, Charlie Brown receives a long-awaited invitation to a Halloween costume party. Meanwhile, Linus eagerly awaits at the pumpkin patch for the arrival of the Great Pumpkin -- hoping it will finally make its big appearance. And let's not forget Snoopy, who plans to augur in Halloween by donning his World War I goggles and scarf and battling his archenemy, the Red Baron, in this beloved television special.
My thoughts: Growing up, this short movie (it’s only 25 minutes) was on television every year in the fall. While I’m not a huge Charlie Brown fan, it has the nostalgia factor working for it and still entertains the kiddos. This one has no scary bits at all and was totally appropriate for 4 and 5-year-olds to watch.
Joules Dellinger has been blogging since 2011 at Pocketful of Joules on everything from fashion, travel, parenting, thrifting and lots of lots of silliness.
She likes movies where the women kick butt and the men are goofy (and shirtless). She doesn’t care which Kardashian is pregnant and thinks Beyoncé is overrated. Follow her on Twitter at @JoulesDellinger or on Instagram at @PocketfulofJoules.