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This emoji calls for an investigation—the not-so paranormal investigation of Emojiology. Thanks to its playful look, the emoji can also convey that someone or something is fun, goofy, wild, weird, or downright crazy. Specific applications include references to Snapchat , whose logo is a ghost, and the slang term ghosting , or abruptly ending a relationship or leaving a place without explanation. Samsung made this suggestion unmistakable in its original, and adorable design , which showed a yellow smiley peeking timidly from under some linen. Come its Experience 9. The same was true for Google by Android 8.
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Casper The Friendly Musical
There's something about shared fear that cultivates strength and resiliency while bonding audiences. It can be a communal experience, especially for families. So, the Halloween season is the perfect time to dim the lights, pop some corn, and cuddle up for some seasonal frights that are almost guaranteed to bring everyone closer together.
As far as horror films are concerned, this forthcoming Halloween season arrives with the promise of several heavy hitters, among them "Halloween Kills" and "Last Night in Soho, " but family-friendly titles are in shorter supply. For those looking to cultivate an appreciation for the horror genre with something appropriate for the entire family, here are 16 of the best family movies to watch this spooky season.
Every one of the movies on this list is fun for both adults and children, and will spark either genuine chills or gut-busting laughs — or, in some cases, both. Let's get spooky. Produced by genre heavyweight Sam Raimi and directed by David Yarovesky, "Nightbooks" is the perfect gateway for burgeoning horror fans looking for something a little scarier than most family offerings.
Winslow Fegley stars as Alex Mosher, a young boy living in New York who loves nothing more than writing the scariest stories he can, which he calls his "nightbooks. Considerably scarier than most PG horror flicks, "Nightbooks" is sure to appeal to families looking for something accessible and funny, but with a little edge.
The effects are dazzling, the performances are pitch-perfect, and the message of finding one's courage and voice is universal. Young audiences are sure to love it, and with any luck, might find themselves inclined to peruse more of Raimi's offerings as they get older.
Arguably Pixar's last true classic, "Coco" is a gorgeously animated adventure that broadens Disney's conventionally Euro-centric horizons with a distinctly Mexican story. His family is more than resistant — they're downright antagonistic. They blame music for his father's absence, reasoning that he prioritized performing over family.
Miguel is told that he only has until sunrise to return to the world of the living, lest he remain trapped in the land of the dead forever. What follows is a deeply poignant reflection on family, memory, and the way we do and should honor the deceased.
Children will be enchanted by the bright colors and gorgeously rendered world of the dead, while parents will be susceptible to more than a few tears as Miguel reflects on his lineage and learns the truth about where he came from. Written by Ray Bradbury and adapted from his novel of the same name, the plot follows two young boys in Green Town, Illinois who find themselves enveloped in a plot involving the Halloween carnival that has arrived in town.
Led by the deeply sinister Mr. Dark Jonathan Pryce , the two boys discover that the carnival has been seducing the town's adults and making them younger — some by several years, and some reduced to infancy. No less scary than Bradbury's gateway text, "Something Wicked This Way Comes" throws spiders, witches, and genuine menace at its audience, never jeopardizing its thrills or sense of menace by conforming to the constraints of most family horror films.
Genuinely terrifying, "Something Wicked This Way Comes" is the perfect spooky season treat for families eager for a little danger alongside their candy corn. More than just a perennial offering — it often airs on Cartoon Network every October — "The Halloween Tree" is also a bona fide history lesson, as illuminating and probing as it is entertaining. Another Bradbury adaptation, "The Halloween Tree" follows a group of trick-or-treaters and their efforts to save their friend's soul when it's taken by the sinister Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud voiced by "Star Trek" legend Leonard Nimoy.
Moundshroud promises to return their friend Pip's voiced by Kevin Michaels soul if the children agree to join him on a journey to learn more about the history of Halloween. The children agree and travel to Egypt, Stonehenge, and several other famous locales to learn more about Halloween traditions and their costumes' historical roots.
The ending is poignant and raw — without spoiling anything, it's realistic and deeply meaningful, and doesn't pull any punches. Ray Bradbury is the master of gateway horror for a reason. With the inimitable Bing Crosby as both narrator and protagonists Ichabod Crane and Brom Bones, the segment is an incredibly faithful adaptation of Irving's original short story. The hand-drawn animation is stellar and the music incredible — Bing Crosby's "The Headless Horseman" is exceptional — and when Ichabod finally makes his way into the dark woods for his trip home after a Halloween party, it becomes genuinely frightening.
The sound design brings every snapped branch and whisper in the wind to life. For young genre initiates, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is poised to terrify.
This is classic Halloween animation at its best. While the stories in Schwartz's collection are good, it was the original illustrations by artist Stephen Gammell that cemented the series' legacy.
How, then, does one go about adapting that to film? As it turns out, with the guidance of gothic maestro Guillermo del Toro. In an overarching narrative written for the screen, Zoe Colletti stars as Stella, a young writer who comes into possession of alleged witch Sarah Bellows' collection of horror stories on Halloween. These stories are directly culled from Schwartz's collection, illustrations and all, and within hours, Stella realizes that the tales are coming to life and targeting her friends.
Genuinely frightening without ever being explicit — "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" is a firm PG — it's the perfect foray into the horror for older kids and teens who want a scare that isn't going to push things too far. With dazzling production design, poignant messages about prejudice and persecution, and some gangbuster scares, "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" is a spooktastic contemporary classic.
Sorry, "Coraline" fans. Beyond the incredible animation on display — in that regard, Laika never disappoints — "ParaNorman" is a heartfelt ode to not just the horror genre, but to an entire community of people who feel like they don't belong.
Bonus points must be given to Mitch's character voiced by Casey Affleck : He's animation's first openly gay character. Often, this includes pleasant exchanges with his late grandmother, but occasionally, another ghost will chime in, upending Norman's entire day.
He feels different and unwelcome, and to the bullies in town, Norman is a freak. However, when the ghost of the town's resident witch curses the town on Halloween and brings the dead back to life, Norman must figure how to use his gift to complete an ancient ritual to stop further destruction.
It's a story about prejudice and persecution wrapped in a creepy Halloween bow, and it's sensational. Though suitably scarier than most of the other films on this list — it's helmed by "Hostel" creator Eli Roth — it's still appropriate for audiences of all ages and boasts a truly heartfelt story to boot.
Roth's first film to not receive an R-rating, "The House with a Clock in its Walls" follows Lewis Barnavelt Owen Vaccaro , a year-old left orphaned after his parents are killed in a car crash. He moves in with his eccentric uncle, Jonathan Barnavelt Jack Black , a warlock living in an old house that has, yes, a clock hidden in its walls.
Jonathan and his neighbor, Florence Zimmerman a beguiling Cate Blanchett , have been searching for the clock every night, eager to discover its purpose, especially since the clock itself was hidden by sinister warlock Isaac Izard "Twin Peaks" alum Kyle MacLachlan. Roth wanted to make a family-friendly horror film that didn't skimp on scares, and with "The House with a Clock in its Walls," he delivers.
There are monstrous jack-o-lanterns, sentient dolls, and a delightfully menacing performance from MacLachlan. Blanchett and Black provide the requisite heart, and balance it nicely with the finely-tuned scares.
Though intermittently juvenile — it is a children's movie after all — "The House with a Clock in its Walls" has plenty of craftsmanship and genuine thrills that should appeal to the entire family. Skip "Haunted Halloween" and stream the first movie, a delightfully spooky and fitfully funny monster mash.
Jack Black stars as R. Stine Black's contemporary niche appears to be frightening family flicks, and I'm not complaining , who explains to his new neighbor Zach Dylan Minnette that the "Goosebumps" series, though originally a method to cope with bullying, exists to imprison monsters. When Stine realized that his creations came to life, he continued writing to keep the horrors locked away in the dusty spines of his original manuscripts.
Naturally, those books are opened, and a menagerie of monsters swarm their small town. Stine can only capture them by writing a new manuscript, but for some reason it must be done with a magical typewriter that's held in the local high school. Series favorite Slappy the Dummy also voiced by Jack Black leads the monstrous charge, and he's an absolute delight.
Gorgeously rendered and genuinely frightening, "Goosebumps" is the perfect way to kick off a creeptastic Halloween season. One's tolerance for Adam Sandler's Netflix hit hinges entirely on their predilection for Sander's silly accents.
Fresh off his acclaimed role in "Uncut Gems," Sandler assembled a comedic troupe for the ages with "Hubie Halloween," a goofy, low-stakes story about Sandler's Hubie, who saves his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts from a kidnapper. Hubie is routinely ridiculed, both for the way he talks a riff on Sandler's "Little Nicky" voice that's never explained and his penchant for being easily scared. He's joined by the likes of Julie Bowen as his love interest and June Squibb as his mother, along with Sandler stalwarts like Kevin James, Maya Rudolph, and several others.
For those who can get past the first five minutes, "Hubie Halloween" is a beautiful love letter to both the town of Salem, where it was filmed, and the season itself. Quite simply, there too few Halloween comedies out there. Families will also be happy to know that, while "Hubie Halloween" has its share of laugh-out-loud moments, it never gets as juvenile or off-putting as some of Sandler's earlier work.
It's funny, frightening in spurts, and a grand old time. The Sandersons intend to lead the children of Salem to their cabin in the woods, whereupon they plan to absorb their youth and make themselves young again. In recent years, "Hocus Pocus" has become something of an arbitrary litmus test. As with "Harry Potter," some hang onto the nostalgia of it all, while others detest the film, stridently urging older adults to give up the shtick — in their words, "Hocus Pocus" isn't good.
Reasonable persons myself included can concede that, while "Hocus Pocus" isn't the masterpiece we might remember it being in our youth, it's still an incredible time. It's stacked with quintessential Disney magic, fantastic performances, and more menace than most contemporary Disney offerings. Plus, its rendition of "I Put a Spell on You" is intoxicating. Keep an eye out, too, for the long-awaited sequel.
Like "Hocus Pocus," "Casper" is a millennial Halloween classic. Just as younger adults are eager to summon the Sandersons with kids of their own, so too are they thrilled at the prospect of introducing the little ones to everyone's favorite friendly ghost.
Kat has moved into Whipstaff Manor with her father Bill Pullman , a paranormal investigator, at the behest of the Catherine Crittenden Cathy Moriarty , a greedy old woman who's looking to rid the house of ghosts and find its hidden treasures. What follows is an innocent and sweet, though never saccharine, tale of first love and a ghoulish coming-of-age. Ricci and Pearson have profound chemistry, united by their respective grief and inability to find stability.
Though the plot gets fairly dark — there are several deaths — it never gets too scary, and its final message about sacrifice and familial love resonates decades later. Both "Scooby-Doo! They're both animated forays into the best of what the horror genre has to offer, through the legacy of none other than Scooby-Doo. There, they find a number of seasonal festivities in full swing, most of which center around the legend of Sarah Ravencroft, a witch executed centuries ago.
But Ben disputes the legend, arguing instead that Sarah, a Wiccan, was unjustly persecuted — rather than using dark magic, she used her powers for good. Like many other '90s Scooby-Doo stories, the monsters here are genuinely supernatural. There is an actual witch's ghost haunting the town, and the crew are the only ones who can stop it. With the introduction of the Hex Girls — a gothic punk band — and some genuine chills, "Scooby-Doo! Unfortunately, it floundered at the box office.
Despite critical acclaim, the marketing for "Frankenweenie" made it look too juvenile for adults and too scary for children. Neither of those are true. A riff on Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," all of the Burton hallmarks are here, including big eyes, spectacular creatures, Winona Ryder, and a poignancy that balances out the darker elements.
Resurrected dog Sparky is one of the cutest things that Burton has ever conceived, and while children with pets might recoil from his death and revival, there's a lot worth watching for. The voice cast is sensational, and while watching, families are guaranteed to laugh, cry, and scream together. It's an utter delight.
Casper the Friendly Ghost
There are a lot of spooky ways to pass the time until October 31 rolls around this year. And what better way to spend the month of October than watching your favorite Halloween movies? Of course, this means you and the family have to agree on a feature to stream — which can be a battle over the remote when you have various age groups present. The kiddos are probably too young to watch some of those scarier Halloween movies that make even the adults quiver in fear. Everyone has their all-time favorite Halloween feature, whether it's a popular magical series like Harry Potter , Twitches , or Halloweentown , or a one-off animated classic that generations come back to again and again like It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. So, you're probably used to the arguments that can break out over what movie to watch on All Hollow's Eve. But this list of kid-friendly Halloween movies can entertain the whole family, regardless of age or genre preference.
Casper : It's no use I'm just a scary ol' ghost Sign In. Casper the Friendly Ghost. All episodes. Animation Short Comedy. Depressed by the antics of the other ghosts, Casper leaves home to make friends. After unintentionally scaring several potential pals, Casper befriends two young children. They take him home Read all Depressed by the antics of the other ghosts, Casper leaves home to make friends.
The 17 best family-friendly Halloween movies now on Netflix and other streamers
Carrigan Crittenden Cathy Moriarty is eager to get her claws on her dear departed dad's fortune, but discovers at the reading of his will that he Upon learning that the house may contain treasure, she drags her long-suffering lawyer Dibs Eric Idle to the Maine coastline, where they find the building is haunted by Casper and his three uncles. Carrigan eventually hires "ghost therapist" Dr. James Harvey Bill Pullman to get rid of them.
"The Ghost" Raiders HOF Tight End Dave Casper
Throw on your Halloween costumes and get ready for family-friendly scares with these Disney movies and more. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture over the past 15 years from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival. Trick or treat may be canceled this year due to coronavirus restrictions, but at least you can still snuggle on the sofa with the kids for a scary movie this Halloween. Put on your Halloween costumes or your warmest pajamas, fill up a bucket of popcorn and check out our roundup of classic and brand new Halloween films for children of all ages. It tells the origin story of Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and the Mystery Machine gang, with cameo appearances from other Hanna-Barbera animated characters.
Emojiology: 👻 Ghost
TCT takes Casper center stage in this world-premiere musical adaptation for young audiences! Fifty years after their lives were cut short in a lightning storm, Magdalena, their former maid, re-enters their after lives! As competition reality TV is all the rage, she hosts a live treasure hunt in the mansion on Halloween. It is up to young Casper and his new friends, the contestants, to save the mansion from Magdalena, and discover the greatest treasure of all. Attended a weekend public show? Take the survey. Attended a weekday school show? Casper The Friendly Musical 65 minutes.
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The cartoon opens with Casper sitting beside his grave which is decorated with the Bible segment 'love thy neighbor', reading a book on animal friends. The ghosts leave the cemetery, as does Casper, who wanders off looking for friends in a couple animals. However, when Casper tries to make friends with a baby calf, it runs away, calling for its "mama" ; when the calf's mother goes up to Casper, she runs away from the farm and jumped over the moon. Later, Casper comes across a skunk and asks it to be friends, but it sprays him and runs away in terror.
Pop some popcorn and gather up the family. It's movie night! You may have made your way through the best animated movies on Netflix and the best classic kids movies. And on this particular night, you might not be in the mood for funny family movies. Sometimes you just want to turn off the lights and watch a things-that-go-bump-in-the-night scary movie—one that will have you checking under the bed before you go to sleep if you dare! A note: Make sure to check the movie ratings before you press play. You know your kids best, and you don't want to be sitting up with them as a result of nightmares thanks to a movie selection that is too scary.
The Nightmare Before Christmas is more than just a movie. A feeling. A vibe.