Halloween 2011 is upon us, and for families looking to celebrate the spirit of the season without spooking the kids too much, here are the Top 13 Halloween movies and DVDs for kids that are non-scary options. Most can be rented in Atlanta at any Blockbuster, Hollywood Video or on Netflix.
- Monster House: Released in 2006 by Columbia Pictures, Monster House was produced by Steven Spielberg and grossed $73,661,010 domestically. The film’s characters are animated by utilizing performance capture, a groundbreaking technology that records actors in wetsuits and adds in the background at a later time. Rated PG.
- Monsters, Inc.: This fantastic Pixar film was released in 2001. John Goodman and Billy Crystal provided the voices for the main characters, Sulley and Mike. It was a commercial and critical success, grossing more than $500 million worldwide. The animation and graphics are fantastic, making it a wonderful choice to celebrate Halloween with kids. Rated G.
- E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: When E.T. debuted in 1982, it was an instant hit with audiences across the globe. Directed by Steven Spielberg, it tells the story of how a family helps a stranded creature from outer space return to his home ship. It’s a tearjerker, for sure, but a great choice for Halloween. Rated PG.
- It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown: This Peanuts animated television special first aired on October 26, 1966, and it remains a Halloween classic more than 40 years later. The re-mastered deluxe version was released in 2008. Not rated.
- Bedknobs and Broomsticks: This is an oldie, but goodie from Walt Disney Productions. Released in 1971, the film is set in the streets of London and stars Angela Lansbury as Miss Eglantine Price, an apprentice witch. The deluxe DVD version was released in 2009. Rated G.
- The Haunted Mansion: Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Tily star in this 2003 Disney film. It grossed more than $100 million worldwide and remains a favorite family flick for Halloween. Rated PG.
- Casper: This 1995 comedy-fantasy film by Universal Pictures stars Bill Pullman and Christina Ricci and features a mixture of “real people” with computer-generated ghosts. The film was a huge box office success, grossing close to $300 million worldwide. Rated PG.
- Harry Potter Series: The Harry Potter film series is based on the best-selling books by J.K. Rowling. All of the movies follow the adventures of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Currently, these Harry Potter movies are available on DVD: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows – Part One. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part Two is available on November 11, 2011. All movies are rated PG or PG-13.
- Hocus Pocus: This entertaining and comical Disney film stars the three Sanderson sisters and witches: Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker. Released in 1993, the film didn’t do very well at the box office, yet it remains a popular classic for Halloween viewing. Rated PG.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas: This 1993 stop motion fantasy film by Tim Burton remains a cult classic. The Disney movie tells the story of Jack Skellington, a being from “Halloween Town” who opens a portal to “Christmas Town”. The film earned high praise from movie critics and has earned close to $75 million since its premiere. Disney has reissued the film annually under their Disney Digital 3-D format since 2006. Rated PG.
- Halloweentown movies: Four separate movies make up the Disney Channel original series: Halloweentown (1998), Halloweentown II (2001), Halloweentown High (2004), and Return to Halloweentown (2006). They star Debbie Reynolds as Aggie Cromwell, one of the films’ main characters. The movies can be rented and they play at various times on Disney Channel throughout the Halloween season. Rated TV-PG.
- Gremlins: The 1984 horror comedy by Warner Brothers is about a young man who receives a pet mogwai that looks lovable, but can transform into a destructive monster. It was directed by Steven Spielberg and features the voice of Howie Mandel as Gizmo. There are a few violent scenes, so it may be best for kids 8 and older. Rated PG. The sequel, Gremlins 2: The New Batch was released in 1990.
- Ghostbusters: The 1984 film was groundbreaking for its special effects, and 17 years later, parents are sharing this classic with their own children. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts star in this flick about a unique ghost removal service. Rated PG.
If you’d like to rent one of the movies above, or a scarier one this Halloween weekend, Blockbuster stores throughout Atlanta are offering a “Friday Fright Night” special. All Halloween and horror movies are just 49 cents tonight. For a list of Blockbuster store locations in Atlanta, click on the store locator.
For fun Halloween events in Atlanta, be sure to check out these articles:
- Atlanta’s scariest haunted houses for Halloween 2011
- Top 10 freebies for Halloween 2011
- Halloween Hikes 2011 at the Chattahoochee Nature Center
- Halloween events for kids at Atlanta malls
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