Saturday, October 8, 2016

Halloween Movies for Preschool-Aged Children

Being a mother of young children (ages 2, 4, and 7), I am always on the lookout for ways that they can take part in the fun of Halloween without getting spooked. No parent wants to wake up to the screams of a child who is having a nightmare (or a child who will not fall asleep). Some cable television stations have provided Halloween movie marathons in the month of October, but some of the movies are not appropriate for children of all ages and the commercials throughout the movie are sometimes worse.

My family has turned to online movie streaming and our home movie library for entertainment during Halloween. Here is a list of some of my favorites, both old and new, that I have enjoyed watching with my children, and a few more that your little one might like!

1. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) 

As a child of the 80's and 90's, I looked forward to this Peanuts special every October. This October will be the 50th anniversary since its original television debut back in 1966! It was a hit with children then, and now my own children love Charlie Brown. It is a beloved Halloween tradition and will remain so for many years to come. [Rated: NR; Running Time: 25 minutes]

2. Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest (2013)

I don't know what it is about this little monkey, but my children love him (and I admit, he is quite cute). This Halloween special is very gentle and the material is presented in the least frightening way possible. It has provided much enjoyment for the youngsters.  [Rated: NR; Running Time: 57 minutes]

3. Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Not technically a Halloween movie, but a movie about monsters, particularly the ones that hide in your closet. These monsters are trained to be scary, but turn out to lovable characters with the help of a little girl they've named Boo. [Rated: G; Running Time: 92 minutes]

4. Spookley the Square Pumpkin (2005)

Based on the book The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin. Spookley is a pumpkin who gets teased by the other pumpkins because he is square. Three spiders befriend him and help him, and Spookley is later able to forgive the other pumpkins who teased him by saving their lives. [Rated: G; Running Time: 45 minutes]

5. Eloise's Rawther Unusual Halloween (2008)

I find Eloise delightful, though if you have an extra sensitive preschooler, you may want to watch this film ahead of time to determine whether it is suitable for your youngster. It begins with a short scene of Diamond Jim Johnson crashing his automobile into a horse and carriage on the way to the Plaza. He loses his life and becomes the ghost of the Plaza hotel. The rest of the movie is your typical kid-friendly Halloween movie with ghosts and surprises. [Rated: NR; Running Time: 45 minutes] 

6. Winnie the Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie (2005)

If you are familiar with any of the Winnie the Pooh films, you'd know that they are very gentle and appropriate for youngsters. My children love the cute characters and this is not at all spooky. [Rated: G; Running Time: 67 minutes]

7. Room on the Broom (2013)

Based on the book of the same title by Julia Donaldson. A witch and her cat invite other animals onto her broom as they travel along. Other than a scary dragon, this short film is very kid-friendly. [Rated: NR; Running Time: 27 minutes]

8. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey's Monster Musical (2015)

Not at all scary (but provides gentle suspense), and has the typical educational interaction you'd expect from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse TV show. Join in with "Count Mickula", "Goofymonster", and "Ludwig von Drakenstein". [Rated: NR; Running Time: 115 minutes]

9. The Berenstain Bears: Halloween Treats (2009)

The Berenstain Bears is our favorite children's book series. I read them as a child and my own children now read them. I do not know if the cartoon was around when I was a child, but I have watched the episodes with the children and love to see my favorite childhood books come to life. The episodes are short (about 10 minutes) but there are seven many of them: The Great Bat Cave, The Spookiest Pumpkin, The Trojan Pumpkin, The Missing Pumpkin, The Wicked Weasel Spell, Bust a Ghost, and The Spooky Old Mansion.  [Rated: NR; Running Time: 84 minutes]

10. Magic School Bus: Creepy Crawly Fun (2002)

Includes three episodes of The Magic School Bus, compiled into one DVD. The episodes are in the Haunted House, Going Batty, and Spins A Web. Not only does this Magic School Bus film offer a mild element of creepy, but it is educations, too! [Rated: NR; Running Time: 90 minutes]

Additional Halloween movies for preschoolers:


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