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Monday, 24 October 2016

My Top Halloween Family Films // Halloween With Hannah

Unfortunately Halloween falls on a Monday this year and to top it off most children will be going back to school after the half term. If you want to do something a little more low key to celebrate Halloween with your children, how about a movie night? Here are my Top Family recommendations.

For younger children (Under 8) I'd say an animation would be best:
It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
As the Peanuts gang get ready for Halloween, It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown follows Linus's efforts to meet the Great Pumpkin, a holiday figure believed to bring toys to those good girls and boys who believe. 
This is a fantastic family film if you have toddlers or for children who are more into animation than live action. It's beautifully done, very autumnal and a classic to those who grew up with the Peanuts gang.
Wallace & Gromit - Curse Of The Were-Rabbit. 
It's Tottington Hall's annual Giant Vegetable Competition and there seems to be a problem with rabbits. Wallace and Gromit decide to start up their own pest control business "Anti-Pesto" but it's not just the rabbits that seem to be a problem. 
Brainwashing, 24 "Carrot" Gold Bullets and a lot of cheese; a true Wallace and Gromit classic using stop motion capture and a script full of British slapstick comedy.

For 8 to 11/12 years you have a bigger range between animation and live action (Please be advised that most of these are PG Rated):
Monster House
This film follows 12 year old DJ who spies on his elderly neighbor Horace Nebbercracker. Horace confiscates anything that lands in his yard and after a confrontation with DJ about him being on his property, he suffers a heart attack and ends up in Hospital. Later that night DJ overhears a conversation between his babysitter and her boyfriend about how the house is haunted and consumes anything and anyone...thus the plot thickens. 
Honestly this is brilliant, has the most amazing cast of voices - you'll be surprised.
The Adventures Of Ichabod & Mr Toad
This is a collection of short stories rather than a film, but perfect for a quiet night in. The first story, based on The Wind In The Willows, starts with Thaddeus Toad a wealthy "incurable adventurer". After an incident with a horse, cart and car, Thaddeus's friends put him on house arrest as he has become motor mad. Thaddeus escapes and soon finds himself charged with car theft. At the trial it becomes apparent that the truth isn't on Thaddeus's side and he needs the help of his friends to get him out of a sticky situation.
The second story is based on The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow and finds Ichabod, a hungry and charming school master in a new position in Sleepy Hollow. There he competes with the towns bully for the heart of Katrina, the daughter of the richest man in the village. What people may not initially know about Ichabod is that he is deeply superstitious. One night after hearing ghost stories about the headless horseman at a local Halloween Party he starts his travels back alone through the woods. He then comes across said headless horseman, but is everything as it appears to be?
This may be considered a little dark for Disney but it's got a Halloween theme without being overly inclusive of ghosts and ghouls - a great starter film.

Hocus Pocus
The Sanderson sisters are back! The three witches spent most of their lives obtaining the youth of children so they could regain their own. Thackery Binx tries his hardest to save sister Emily from the three witches when they turn him into an immortal black cat. Binx's father leads the town into a witch hunt where they hang the sisters for taking the children. Unbeknownst to them, Winifred had cast a curse which would see the sisters resurrected on "All Hallows Eve" once a virgin lit the Black Flame Candle. Fast forward 300 years, Max Dennis who is new to the area becomes the one to light said candle. The three witches are resurrected and on the hunt for the youth of children.  
This is the ultimate Halloween movie, if you have not shown this to your children yet I'd be shocked. One of my favourites if not my number one favourite!
This is another 90's Halloween film that has become a cult classic. Casper and his three uncles are ghosts who "haunt" Whipstaff Manor. Heiress Carrigan inspires Dr Harvey and his daughter Kat to Whipstaff as his work is primarily being a paranormal therapist. His passion however is to search for the ghost of his late wife Amelia. Casper, known as "the friendly ghost" wants to have Harvey and Kat living in the house as he likes them and their company. However his three uncles try their best to scare them off. Meanwhile at Kat's new school, once they learn where shes living, becomes popular for suggesting they have their Halloween party at the Manor. One thing after another and it isn't all going the way anyone wants. Will their be answers or a happy ending? 
This is a lovely film and definitely a family favourite, with famous actors starting out their careers you see the epitome of 90's American Culture. 

For 11/12 years and older:
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack Skellington is the Pumpkin King of Halloween town but has grown tired of the same thing year after year. After the towns Halloween celebrations he wonders through the woods and stumbles into Christmas Town. He decides that Christmas is what he's missing from his life and tries to get Halloween Town involved...then it all starts to go horribly wrong. 
This is another cult classic for Halloween and I would definitely recommend it as a family film. Another one of my favourites.
The Black Cauldron
The Black Cauldron is a brilliant Disney film rooted from "The Chronicles of Prydain" by Lloyd Alexander, fictional novels based on Welsh Mythology. Taran, a pig-keeper, learns that The Horned King is searching for a mystical relic known as The Black Cauldron. The Black Cauldron is the ultimate weapon and can create an invincible army of undead warriors. The only way The Horned King could find such a relic is with the unwilling help of a pig with oracle powers. This finds Taran and Hen Wen (the pig he keeps) in a dark situation...
I absolutely love this film, it is a little on the darker side despite it's U rating which is why I recommend it for older children.

I'd love to know what you think, use the hashtag #HalloweenWithHannah on Twitter & Instagram or feel free to comment below.

As always, thanks for reading...

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