1. The Nightmare Before Christmas
1. The Nightmare Before Christmas
See this post . . .
Stephen Graydanus also has a great review at Decent Films.
Like the movie above, what I enjoy about these cartoons is that they ARE a little scary. I think my kids can handle that. I want them to be able to handle that.
The individual cartoons vary in style and substance, but I wasn't troubled by any of them. The first, especially, is definitely in the "make fun of the devil" (in this case a witch with a broom named Beelzebub) tradition championed by some. While that's not the focus of OUR family's Halloween, it doesn't bother me any. There's one starring Mickey about how too much technology in your home could well result in your house attacking you. Pay attention kids. The one starring Goofy is wordless, which always enraptures my little ones.
This isn't a Halloween movie, per se. But it is magical and creepy, both good ingredients for Halloween. The giant bugs and the evil aunts are both pretty monstrous, but for different reasons.
The movie is very true to the spirit of the book, and I didn't notice any major plot deviations (except that in the movie the aunts survive being squished by the titular giant peach).
It's an intense story that includes James being mistreated by his aunts, and the fanciful, stylized deaths of his parents (they are eaten by an angry rhinoceros). There are scenes of peril, but it's a story about teamwork and making the best of things.
This indie musical cartoon from France (but in English now) has a VERY devoted following. We watched it on the airplane a couple years ago, before I was watching things with blog-eyes, so I'm not ABSOLUTELY certain that there's nothing questionable in it. But the kids and I enjoyed it. There's singing, and action, and perilous situations, and bad guys who aren't who you think they are and vice versa. Lessons are learned about not jumping to conclusions about people.
It doesn't reference Halloween that I recall, but there's a monster and some steampunky mad science.
If you're looking for a seasonal movie the whole family can sit through, and Tim Burton isn't your cup of tea, A Monster in Paris should do the trick.
5. The Munsters
Not to worry, everyone, The Musters IS available via Live Streaming on Netflix. I know you've been concerned. I tried watching a few of the Halloweeny shows in the category below with the kids and they were just so. very. very. dumb. that we decided to put on an episode of The Munsters instead.
And, granted, it's also kinda dumb. But it's dumb in an old fashioned, campy, occasionally clever way. We watched the very first episode and it was fun to see how they introduced all the characters. My kids all thought it was hilarious, and it was a show that was in a spooky setting, about creepy characters, but with lots of winking humor and without any real scares that would be too much for little ones. All my age groups enjoyed it.
I watched a couple of episodes of this show from the mid-90s on my own, and was really pleasantly surprised. It's suspenseful and pretty darn scary, without being gory. And, unlike the newer R.L. Stein show I tried (see below) the kids and families in the two episodes I watched were likable.
If you have middle grade kids who are looking for a good clean scare, check it out.
And one more . . . with a caveat
This newest incarnation of the iconic series is really, really well-done. It's smart and funny and stylish. And it's COOL. They made Scooby Doo cool again.
But. But. But.
It's not a kids' show. Really. It's not intended for kids. It's intended for grownups who liked Scooby Doo when THEY were kids. So it's just too edgy for my twelve and unders. The girls are rather . . . forward. Velma and Shaggy are a couple, and Daphne is after Fred, but he's oblivious, being utterly obsessed with building traps for monsters. It's pretty funny, but, ya know, a bit much for kiddos. When she asks him about the swimsuit magazine in his couch, he says he only reads "Traps Illustrated" for the articles.
*I* just might watch it again though.
Some of these my kids have watched, some of them I have watched some of, some of them we haven't watched at all. But to my knowledge there isn't anything objectionable in any of them. It's just that they're SO LAME.
I'd much rather my kids watch something clever, even if it's scary, than watch an insipid super duper Halloween fun cartoon. I'm pretty sure I'd sit my kids down to watch Psycho before I'd sit them down to watch Barney's Halloween Party.
But that's just personal preference. Maybe you feel differently. And I couldn't find a comprehensive, recent list of kids' Halloween shows available on Netflix Streaming anywhere on the internet. Including on Netflix Streaming.
So here are ALL the Halloween shows and movies I could find.
1. Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest
Frankie loves Curious George. Maybe we'll watch this at some point. But I like scary for Halloween.
This is one of the Netflix customer reviews:
The music was... ok. The plot was down-right pathetic. Really, a headless scarecrow that kicks off people's hats? How is that scary in the least bit? Even to a kid! Stupid. There are so many more better movies that they could've used. I enjoy the show, it's pretty cute (except the Man with the Yellow Hat really needs to not let George get away with so much stuff). Oh... And one more thing, how does everyone, including the "intelligent" adults, believe in No-Noggin? And seriously... No noggin? Really? That's supposed to be scary.I don't have if a Halloween movie is scary, especially with the kids that can't handle scary movies (I couldn't, myself). But, don't pretend to be scary just because it's a Halloween movie. Just take the "no-noggin" part out and put in a usually Curious George story. About him getting into shenanigans.BUT, on the other hand... My son did like it. And that's the most important part. It doesn't matter if I liked or not, it matters if HE likes it or not. So, 4 out of 5 stars just for the simple fact that my son liked it. If he didn't, it probably would have been a 2 (and that's only out of respect for Curious George).I like how this guy thinks. I think we can trust him.
2. Barney: Halloween Party
Don't know, didn't watch it. Won't. Ever.
3. Dreamworks Spooky Stories: Scared Shrekless and Monsters vs Aliens, Mutant Pumpkins
My kids watched this one and found the three shorts just really loud and confusing and odd. And they like pretty much everything, so that's really saying something.
4. Casper's Scare School
Weird computer animation. Stars Bob Saget.
*"bad" as in "not great cinema," not "you shouldn't let your kids watch this."
There aren't a ton of scary movies aimed at kids available on streaming, so I was tempted to watch these with my kids.
But the reviews I found on them were troubling, so I thought I'd better preview them before I let the kids watch, but I haven't had time to get through all (most) of them.
So, if you've seen any of these, I'd love to hear what you thought of them.
1. The Addams Family
I know I saw this as a kid, and liked it. I remember it as being about a quirky but loving family. But the Common Sense Media review of it freaked me out a bit. "Strong sexual innuendo, especially between Gomez and Morticia. The couple can be heard having an orgasm while in public. There are several subtle references to sadomasochism, and a quick reference to child molestation relating to Uncle Fester. Much of this will go over the head of young viewers."
Please tell me they're overreacting?
Common Sense Media didn't mind this one, but Stephen Graydanus was pretty convincing in his dislike.
3. The Haunted Mansion
The Common Sense Review: "Go on the Disney ride instead. It's over sooner." Ouch.
4. R. L. Stine's The Haunting Hour
This one is a TV series from 2010, based on the author's book series. I was intrigued, because the girl who plays young Snow White in Once Upon a Time is on the cover. But I quit watching after just a few minutes of the first episode. It's probably fine, but it was all her demanding dolls and stuff and her parents giving in to her. Maybe she learns her lesson, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-style, but I wasn't getting a good vibe from it, so I moved on.
*potentially, you tell me
Okay, first sponsored post in the books. I'm supposed to put in the logo. Done.
And, now, it's your turn. Tell me in the comments about what you've been watching on Netflix Streaming and/or for Halloween. Or, for this month, if you've got a blog, link up your Hey Watch This! posts below and let us know what we should or shouldn't be watching.