Welcome to the first installment of Flavorpill’s Definitive Guide to Halloween Movies! In the coming weeks, we’ll be posting about some our favorite films in a variety of categories — from campy horror to slasher flicks. To kick things off, find 10 of the best kid-friendly Halloween movies after the jump. If we happen to have missed one of your childhood favorites, feel free to add to our list in the comments.
1. Corpse Bride (2005) – A stop-motion animation flick directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson, Corpse Bride tells the story of a complicated romantic triangle between a nervous young man (Johnny Depp), a girl whose family is bankrupt, and the Corpse Bride (Helena Bonham Carter) — who is dead.
2. The Halloween Tree (1993) – Ray Bradbury won an Emmy Award for this feature-length animated adaptation of his novel about a group of boys who must go on an epic search through time and space to find their missing friend on Halloween.
3. Halloweentown (1998) – The plot of this Disney made-for-TV movie gets complicated fast, but here’s what you need to know: Marnie is a girl who is about to turn 13. Her mom won’t let her and her younger siblings celebrate Halloween. Her grandmother — who’s in town for her annual visit — is a witch who loves Halloween. Oh, and if Marnie doesn’t start her own witch training ASAP, she’ll lose her powers forever. Only she has no clue.
4. Hocus Pocus (1993) – More than 300 years ago in Salem, Massachusetts, a trio of witches known as the Sanderson Sisters were sentenced to death. Now it’s 1993, and the witches are inadvertently brought back from the dead for one night only — Halloween. Unfortunately for everyone involved, they’re hoping to stick around a lot longer than that.
5. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) – Yes, we’ve all seen it before, but this one’s a classic for a reason. Even though everyone else thinks he’s crazy, Linus believes that the Great Pumpkin will visit him in the pumpkin patch — one of these years.
6. Mr. Boogedy (1984) – A gag gift salesman and his family move into a new house in New England only to find out that it’s haunted by a trio of Colonial-era ghosts — a grouchy old man, a beautiful widow, and her son.
7. Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – Another stop-motion animation Tim Burton film. Jack Skellington, the bored king of Halloween Town, accidentally falls down a hole that leads to Christmas Town. He likes what he finds there, so much so that he ends up trying to replicate (and improve on) the idea.
8. Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) Another one that’s based on a Ray Bradbury novel. The plot revolves around two 13-year-old boys who start having strange experiences after a creepy traveling carnival arrives in their hometown.
9. The Watcher in the Woods (1980) – A Walt Disney horror film about a young girl whose family moves into a country manor, only to have strange things start happening in the woods that surround them. Bonus points: It stars Bette Davis as Mrs. Aylwood, the owner of the house/mother of a missing girl.
10. The Worst Witch (1986) – Tim Curry. Charlotte Rae (playing twins, no less). Fairuza Balk. It seriously doesn’t get much better than this made-for-TV movie about a prestigious all-girls witches academy.