Halloween is approaching fast, and we know you want to get into the spirit of the holiday. However, with the lockdown, it may be a bit more difficult to do, considering that kids are at home all day, every day. So, we’re going to check which are some not-so-scary Halloween movies you can watch with your kids.
Of course, Disney+ has more than movies and shows for kids and has plenty of content dedicated to adults. With Halloween, it’s a bit difficult to navigate the titles that are appropriate for kids and those that aren’t.
Nonetheless, the titles we’re going to discuss are here to evoke the holiday spirit and put us into the mood without too much gore or too many scares. After all, we want the kids to sleep at night, right?
Here are 10 options you’ll want to take into consideration this Halloween on Disney+!
1. Coco (2017)
- Running time: 1h 45 minutes.
- Age rating: PG
- Best for ages: 7+. Parents believe this movie has some positive messages and offers good role models and representations. They do believe some of the scenes may be too violent for younger children.
- Cast: Anthony Gonzales, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renee Victor
- Plot: Coco is about Miguel, a young boy who dreams of becoming a musician, something that his family strictly forbids. The reasons behind these restrictions are revealed throughout the movie, as his great-great-grandmother was married to a man who left her and their daughter Coco because he wanted to pursue a career in music. Miguel finds a photo of his great-great-grandfather holding Ernesto’s famous guitar, a legendary local musician, and assumes he’s his relative. On the Day of the Dead, he ends up visiting the Land of the Dead, meeting all sorts of interesting characters. By the end of the holiday, he discovers the truth. Throughout the movie, he encounters ghosts and skeletons, as well as people with traditional Day of the Dead face paintings, so if you think your child will get spooked by that, you might want to avoid it. Coco is a great movie and doesn’t feature extremely scary situations, but if you have an overly sensitive child, you may want to avoid it since there are a few scenes that are not appropriate for all ages. The film features some stunning animations.
- Ratings: IMDb gives Coco 8.4/10 stars from over 360,000 reviews, while Rotten Tomatoes gives it a fresh rating of 97% from critics and 94% from audiences. Coco won two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song, as well as numerous other awards at the BAFTAs, Golden Globes, and others.
2. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)
- Running time: 1h 59 minutes.
- Age rating: PG
- Best for ages: 10+. Parents believe this movie offers some positive messages and good role models, but they also think it’s far too violent for some younger children.
- Cast: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Harris Dickinson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sam Riley, Chiwetel Ejiofor
- Plot: We return to the magical world of Maleficent, where Aurora has reigned as Queen of the Moors for the past few years, with Maleficent as its guardian and protector. As she prepares for her wedding with Prince Phillip, things take a turn for the worse as Queen Ingrith’s preparations for war are revealed. Before Maleficent returns to defend the fairies, she discovers she is not alone and learns more about her kind. There is a bit more violence in this movie than in the previous one, and there are a few topics being touched here like war, mass destruction, and the near-genocide of the fae, but it’s also obvious why these things are wrong. Ultimately, the love between mother and daughter – Maleficent and Aurora – along with empathy, collaboration, and teamwork prevail.
- Ratings: IMDb gives Maleficent: Mistress of Evil a rating of 6.6/10 out of nearly 80,000 reviews. Rotten Tomatoes critics give the movie a rating of 40%, but audiences are far more pleased with it, offering a score of 95%. The movie was nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling at the Oscars, as well as several other ceremonies.
3. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
- Running time: 1h 16 minutes.
- Age rating: PG
- Best for ages: 7+. Parents find the movie offers a positive message and good role models, but they also think it’s rather scary at times.
- Cast: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara,
- Plot: The Nightmare Before Christmas is an impressive film produced by Tim Burton and based on a poem he wrote a decade prior to the movie coming out. The film is a stop-motion animation that is considered to be great for families. The story takes place in Halloween Town, a fantasy world where monsters live together. Jack Skellington, the town leader, also known as the Pumpkin King, stumbles across trees containing doors leading to towns that represent other holidays, and he enters Christmas Town. There, he decides that it’s unfair for his own citizens to miss out on Christmas, so he wants to take over. With Jack taking over Santa’s chores to deliver gifts across the world, his gifts become Halloween-themed, too, terrifying the world. In the end, all ends well, and the citizens of both towns learn from one another. If you’re somewhat familiar with Tim Burton’s style, you’ll know that the characters are somewhat scary looking, and the film features skeletons, twisted toys, and some creepy characters, so it’s not advisable for younger kids.
- Ratings: IMDb gives The Nightmare Before Christmas 8/10 stars out of over 289,000 reviews. Rotten Tomatoes The film was the first to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
4. Frankenweenie (2012)
- Running time: 1h 27 minutes.
- Age rating: PG
- Best for ages: 9+. Parents think the film pushes a positive message and has some great role models, but it also features some violent and somewhat questionable scenes that are not suitable for younger kids.
- Cast: Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder
- Plot: The Frankenweenie film is a remake of the 1984 short film of Tim Burton, which is loosely based on Mary Shelley’s book. The movie tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young boy who loves his dog Sparky. As he is encouraged to step out of his comfort zone and join a baseball team, his dog chases the ball that Victor hits and is struck and killed by a car. Later on, Victor digs up Sparky and reanimates him with lightning. Once Sparky starts roaming the neighborhood, Victor’s secret is revealed, and he is forced to share it with other people in town. With way too many experiments bringing various dead animals back to life and turning them into monsters, this isn’t necessarily a scene you want to expose younger kids to.
- Ratings: IMDb gives Frankenweenie a 6.9/10 score with over 96,000 reviews, while Rotten Tomatoes critics give it an 87% score and audiences a 70% score.
5. Hocus Pocus (1993)
- Running time: 1h 36 minutes.
- Age rating: PG
- Best for ages: 10+. Parents think the movie gives off a good message and presents some good role models, but the film also features some violence, some bad languages, and mild sexual references.
- Cast: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz.
- Plot: Hocus Pocus is a dark fantasy comedy horror film under the direction of Kenny Ortega. The film follows three witches that are resurrected by a teenager in Salem, Massachusetts, the famous witch town. The film is not necessarily suitable for younger kids, as the plot involves sucking the life force out of children, leading to one little girl’s death. The witches are ultimately defeated after a lengthy battle. There are also stories about the devil, some mildly bad language, and several sexual references, including teasing the main character for being a virgin.
- Ratings: IMDb gives Hocus Pocus 6.9/10 stars with over 97,000 reviews, white Rotten Tomatoes critics give it a 37% rating, although the audience seems to like the film, with a 71% score.
6. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
- Running time: 1h 8 minutes.
- Age rating: G
- Best for ages: 6+. Parents love that the movie has a positive message and has an educational value, but they also note there are some violence and scariness in the film. The film is from the ’40s, so the characters also smoke cigars and pipes and drink beer.
- Cast: Bing Crosby, Basil Rathbone, Eric Blore, J. Pat O’Malley.
- Plot: The movie features two stories – one is based on a children’s novel from 1908 called The Wind in the Willows and the other on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The first part tells the story of Mr. Toad, who recklessly drives around in a horse and gypsy cart. He is arrested and charged with car theft at one point, and he defends himself in front of the judge, but he is ultimately sentenced to jail. On Christmas Eve, as he realizes his careless ways, he is helped to escape. After even more adventures, his innocence is finally proven. The second part of the movie is based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and follows Ichabod Crane, the new schoolmaster in town. The Headless Horseman makes multiple attempts to behead Ichabod, so that might be terrifying for a younger audience.
- Ratings: IMDb gives The Adventure of Ichabod and Mr. Toad 7/10 stars out of over 12,700 reviews, while Rotten Tomatoes critics give it a whopping 94% score. The film received the Golden Globe award for Best Cinematography Color back in 1950.
7. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
- Running time: 1h 31 minutes.
- Age rating: G
- Best for ages: 9+. Parents say this movie has a positive message and some great role models, but it also features some scary and violent scenes, as well as a little too much sexual longing. Contains tobacco depictions.
- Cast: Jason Alexander, Mary Kay Bergman, Demi Moore
- Plot: The film is based on the Victor Hugo 1830s novel, and it follows the story of Quasimodo, a deformed bell-ringer at the Notre Dame. As he struggles to get accepted by society due to his hunchback, Judge Frollo tries to keep him from going out into the world. When his freedom is at risk, Esmeralda releases him, so they form a friendship. Later on, when Quasimodo confesses he loves Esmeralda, he is heartbroken to find out she is in love with another. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a story of love and heartbreak, of acceptance, of growth, but it also features some more mature themes like infanticide, lust, genocide, and sin.
- Reviews: The Hunchback of Notre Dame has a score of 6.9/10 stars out of over 139,00 reviews on IMDb and a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 71% from critics and 70% from audiences. The film was nominated for Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score at the Academy Awards, as well as for many other ceremonies.
8. The Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (2009)
- Running time: 1h 34 minutes.
- Age rating: TV-G
- Best for ages: 7+. Parents feel like this is an age-appropriate movie for the entire family, sending out a positive message, supporting positive role models, with no violence or scariness, no bad language, or questionable behavior.
- Cast: Selena Gomez, David Henrie, Jennifer Stone, Take Austin
- Plot: The film was created for the Disney Channel and featured the same cast that made The Wizards of Waverly Place show famous, including Selena Gomez. The film isn’t necessarily Halloween-themed, but it does have lots of magic in it. Alex, played by Gomez, goes on vacation alongside her siblings and parents, and she goes through a rebellious phase as most teenagers do. Ultimately, she learns how to work with her family, learns more about herself, and manages to save the day alongside her brother.
- Ratings: IMDb ranks this movie 6.2/10 with some over 15,000 reviews, while Rotten Tomatoes critics have abstained as of yet. Fans, however, gave it a 67% rating.
9. Twitches (2006)
- Running time: 1h 26 minutes.
- Age rating: TV-PG
- Best for ages: 8+. Parents believe the movie sends a positive message, even as the characters go through some difficult times.
- Cast: Tia Mowry, Tamera Mowry, Kristen Wilson
- Plot: We have another Disney Channel original movie here, and it features identical twin sisters Tia and Tamera Mowry. The film is based on the popular Twitches book series by H. B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld. The two sisters, Apolla and Artemis, are born to the royal family in Coventry. After their world becomes dangerous, the two sisters end up on Earth adopted by different families, finally finding one another on their 21st birthday. As they try to escape Darkness, they end up back on their world and vanquish those who want them harm with the help of their magic.
- Ratings: IMDb gives this movie 5.7/10 out of about 7,00 reviews, while Rotten Tomatoes gives it a solid 60%.
10. Halloweentown High (2004)
- Running time: 1h 22 minutes.
- Age rating: TV-G
- Best for ages: 8+. The film has a positive message, features minimal violence, and promotes positive role models.
- Cast: Kimberly J. Brown, Debbie Reynolds, Judith Hoag
- Plot: This is yet another Disney Channel original movie, but when you have kids and can’t risk them watching something too scary, this seems to be the recipe for success. Halloweentown is not a new series of movies whatsoever, as this is actually the third installment. Marnie Piper returns for a new school year, and she proposes to bring a group of Halloweentown students to the high school she attends in the mortal world. With her family’s magical abilities at risk, Marnie wants to back out of the plan at one point but decides to go through with it and hope that the Knights of the Iron dagger won’t intervene. Adventure, magic, inanimate monsters brought to life, and sparkling teenage love. It’s a cute movie with a Halloween theme that is not overly scary, so you can sit back and enjoy it with your kids without worrying too much.
- Rating: IMDb gives the movie 6.2/10 stars, while viewers on Rotten Tomatoes offered it a 65% score.