Pumpkins, cider, and ghouls oh my! Halloween is right around the corner and for many people that means costumes, candy, parties, and, of course, movies!
While most people opt to watch haunting, scary movies this time of year, there are still those that prefer the light-hearted nostalgic movies of yesteryear. It’s getting tougher and tougher each year to sort through the movies that drape themselves in gore, screams, and truly terrifying scenes, to find the movies that touch on the older traditions like bobbing for apples, or befriending witches and ghosts. Thankfully, Disney has that covered!
I’ve compiled my top 10 favorite Disney Halloween movies below, that I’m sure will delight anyone’s inner child, and make you crave candy corn, cider doughnuts, popcorn balls, and candy! So, pull up your favorite beanbag, cozy into your sweater, pour some hot cider, and get ready for some feel-good movies!
10. Haunted Mansion (2003 Release)
Okay, okay. This one is admittedly a bit spooky with small jump-scares, walking zombies, and spiders (ew!). But, it does include the comedic style of Eddie Murphey’s acting and it does bring attention to one of Disney World’s most beloved attractions, so it can’t be all bad I suppose. I was not super impressed by this movie due to the overabundance of dialogue and some of its predictability, still, it’s worth watching if you haven’t seen it in a while or if you’re a die-hard Haunted Mansion attraction fan. Fun side note: After seeing the trailers for the new Haunted Mansion (2023 Release) I have high hopes and can hopefully bump it up a couple of notches on next year’s list!
9. Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge
The Piper children are at it again with their grandma Agatha! I really enjoyed watching the dynamics of the children unfold in this movie as they race to rescue their beloved Halloweentown! It did seem a bit predictable and a bit slower at some parts (hence my rating), but overall, it did inspire me to grab a pumpkin candle or two!
8. Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie
Hear me out. This is an adorable movie filled with your childhood favorite characters BUT DRESSED UP! This cute movie is full of lessons about friendship, trust, and encouragement, all while pursuing a T-I-double G-Er (that spells Tigger) adventure!
7. Lonesome Ghosts
This is a personal favorite! Released in 1937, this super short film features our traditional heroes, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy, as ghost exterminators! Their latest clients request their help with some ghosts in the house, but little do our heroes know, that their clients are hiding something…Full of fun, comedy, and Walt Disney’s own voice (as Mickey), this movie is sure to become a tradition year after year. Side note: I highly recommend turning the subtitles on for this due to the grainy sound of the voices.
6. Hocus Pocus II
The Sanderson sisters are amongst the living once more! This time there are even more modern amenities to contend with (automatic sliding doors anyone?). I love how the original sisters reappear in this sequel and do such a great job at being…well, themselves again! This movie brings in the old but ties in with new people and new experiences - engaging my attention at almost every turn. Hide your black-flame candles while watching!
5. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Looking for an animated adventure that can still send slight shivers down your spine? This is it! In this two-for-one feature, I’m focusing on The Adventures of Ichabod. Based on the legendary stories of Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod finds himself in quite a predicament at a local harvest party. This movie has everything nostalgic; one room schoolhouses, romance, local farm festivities, horse-drawn wagons, and even Bing Crosby’s voice...sigh…But, there is also the sense of something supernatural haunting the town that draws in my attention and doesn’t allow me to sink into that happy warm feeling of safety…even the end of the movie, there is a feeling of unease that hangs in the air…
Nothing like the original! Ah…to live in a New England town full of autumn leaves, jack-o-lanterns, crisp nights with a full moon, a huge pumpkin in the middle of town…and of course your local cab driver, Benny, who happens to also be…a skeleton? I adore how this movie sends me right back into feeling the thrill of dressing up for trick-or-treating! Watch as 3 siblings discover an unknown realm and a family secret! Definitely worth pulling out the bucket of candy for this one!
3. The Nightmare Before Christmas
There it is! Tim Burton’s legendary work with Jack, Sally, Zero, and so many more familiar faces come in at number 3 on my list! This movie shows that even skeletons and ghouls have hearts too. Trying to find your place in the world is tough, but doing it while dead? Near impossible! The songs, the imagery, and the action keep me watching it year after year!
2. Hocus Pocus
Sailing in on a vacuum at number 2 on my list is Hocus Pocus. There’s nothing out there quite like it! (Except maybe Hocus Pocus 2) A town with an old secret, a cat that wasn’t, 3 sisters resurrected, a zombie lover, and more! I fall in love with this movie year after year and can especially appreciate Winifred's disgust for mornings now that I’m older (lol).
1. Donald Duck in Trick or Treat
My number one all-time favorite! Halloween would not be Halloween without watching this good old classic! Released in Technicolor in 1957, this movie has captured my ghoulish little heart with its singing ghosts, floating pumpkins and more! This is nostalgia at its finest! I never get bored of watching Huey, Dewey, and Louie go out in their innocent little costumes to trick-or-treat, only to find themselves befriending a witch and cashing in on Uncle Donald Duck (who rightfully deserves it).
Well, there you have it folks! My ultimate top 10 Disney Halloween movies sure to inspire a little friendly mischief, and old-fashioned fun right in your own home! Whether your planning a night for the kids, or a Halloween movie marathon for yourself, grab your Disney lovers out there and start getting into the Halloween mood you remember and love!
Happy Halloween and remember: “When ghosts and goblins by the score, ring the bell on your front door, better not be stingy or your nightmares will come true…”