The Haunted Manson
It seemed odd that Disney released their new Haunted Mansion movie in July this year instead of October, but clearly, that was so that by the time Halloween rolled around, it would already be available for us to watch on Disney+.
If you want to see the latest from Disney's spookier line of movies, The Haunted Mansion is ready and waiting for you if you missed getting to see it in theaters earlier this year. And if you want more Haunted Mansion options, you can see the original 2003 movie which is also available on Disney+ as well as the Muppet's take on the franchise where Gonzo tries to spend the night in the scariest place on earth in Muppets Haunted Mansion.
This might be one of the quintessential cult classics for the Halloween season. Seen as a box office disappointment in 1993 when it was first released, the movie's well-balanced blend of horror, humor, and charm made it perfect for family viewing, and its frequent rotation on television year after year helped the movie build a following as people watched it growing up.
As our viewing habits have moved from broadcast television to streaming, Hocus Pocus has made the move as well, perfect for people to continue the annual tradition on their own schedule. The eventual success has resulted in a sequel getting released almost two decades later with a third movie announced earlier this year if you want more than one Hocus Pocus this year.
The Skeleton Dance
One of the wonderful aspects of Disney+ is that there are now thousands of hours of classic Disney content at your fingertips at a moment's notice. While it's great to get new exclusive episodes of the latest Marvel and Star Wars TV shows, it's just as great to be able to see some of the original pieces of animation that helped build the company into what it is today.
This Silly Symphonies short that was released in 1929 and is only five minutes long features a group of four skeletons dancing through a graveyard. Like most of the early Silly Symphonies shorts, the premise is simple, but the memorable parts of the short are the gags that it is able to create. It's incredible to see how well this nearly one-hundred-year-old cartoon holds up even today, and how well it still fits into a modern Halloween marathon of things to watch throughout the spooky season.
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Speaking of classic Disney movies, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad from 1949 is a perfect way to spend a fall evening. The movie is really two shorter Disney movies combined into one, and the really spooky part is the second half of the movie.
Adapting The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the movie has some of the scariest images in the Disney lineup when the Headless Horseman shows up. It is a great movie that has the feel of a traditional classic Disney movie, similar to other films that were made around the same time, but with a great Halloween feel throughout the whole movie. Even the first half of the movie (based on The Wind in the Willows) has a nice autumn feel that is perfect for setting the mood for the second half of the movie.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
What was once a forgotten stop-motion animated movie, has become the ultimate Halloween movie so of course it has to make it on this list. With so many people making it an annual tradition to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas every Halloween, it can be hard to believe that when the movie was first released it was considered to be a modest hit.
Disney originally released the movie under their adult-oriented Touchstone banner with no mention of Disney at all, because it was thought that the movie would be too scary for kids.
Time has proven The Nightmare Before Christmas to be an inarguable smash hit, with the movie continuing to find new fans to add to the ever-growing group of people who watch it every year. So look out for this movie again in a few months when we add it to the list of five great Christmas movies to watch on Disney+