Thursday, October 3, 2013

31 Days of Halloween: Halloween Television & Film Classics

I am not ashamed to admit that TV shows and movies are a large part of my childhood memories about Halloween. TV & movies are a large part of my childhood memories, period. Here are but a few of my favorite family friendly* films/TV movies. I literally could go on forever, but I forced myself to narrow the list down to my top 5:

Garfield's Halloween Special or Garfield in Disguise (1985)-

I still watch this every year at Halloween. My brother bought me a Garfield Holiday set a few Christmas' back and I couldn't be more thankful. This segment is a cautionary tale of gluttony, not listening to your parents and trick or treating at scary, probably-haunted-houses on Halloween. Alright, maybe not that last one, but you'll see what I mean!

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949)- 

This may be my favorite classic version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow ever made. I love everything about it. I love the animation, the look of Ichabod and the narration, voiced by silver tongued Bing Crosby, who also voices Braum Bones. One of my favorite Halloween scenes of all time contains his tune, "The Headless Horseman".

Disney's Halloween Treat (1982)-

My family watched this every year on the Halloween episode of The Wonderful World of Disney. I believe it aired on Sunday nights. We even taped it so my brother and I could watch it at other times during the year. My favorite parts of this special was the tour through the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland and the segment with the mirror from Snow White. Admittedly some of the segments are too scary for some viewers. The Night on Balm Mountain scene from Fantasia STILL scares the pants of me, but it's classic Disney! They don't make them like this anymore, folks! If you're interested you can watch the full Disney Halloween Treat here.

The Halloween Tree (1993)- 

Now, I'm not going to lie. This one scared the pants off me when I saw it as a child. Upon recent viewing, I realized it covers some fairly deep material for kids to grasp; issues that I don't think I fully understood the first time I saw it, but clearly have stuck with me all this time. 'The Halloween Tree' is based on the masterfully written 1972 Ray Bradbury novel of same name and boasts such names as Leonard Nimoy (the voice of Moundshroud) and was produced by the talented Hanna Barbera. Bradbury himself actually narrated the film and won an Emmy for the screenplay. 'The Halloween Tree" intelligently discusses the origin of Halloween and it's place in cultures all over the world. What I like best about this film is that it doesn't patronize kids. It's scary and deep and doesn't assume kids are idiots like so many cartoons today. I appreciate that and I think children appreciate that, too, even if they can't vocalize it at the time.

Hocus Pocus (1993)-

I couldn't not include 'Hocus Pocus' on this list. This film is quite literally a new classic. I don't know anyone my age that didn't see this movie in the theater, on the Disney Channel or on The Wonderful World of Disney. This was one of the first films we saw a young Thora Birch. It had Bette Midler. A talking cat (voiced by Jason Marsden. If you're a disney geek, you know who I'm talking about), magic, slapstick comedy, Gary & Penny Marshall and so much more! I watch this several times every year and at least twice in October. If you haven't seen it, I urge you to check it out this Halloween. You won't be sorry!

What have I missed on my list? Did  I neglect one of your favorites? Do you have any classic Halloween films I need to see? I am always looking for something new to add to my collection!

*I say these films are "family friendly" because I saw them when I was a kid and I plan on showing all of these films to my future children. If you feel that any of my choices might be at all questionable, I urge you to pre-screen them for content. 


  1. I have determined that THIS is the year that I am going to watch Hocus Pocus!

    1. Oh, do it! You won't be sorry! It's just too fab to be missed!


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