Animated movies are written off as being child friendly only because of the fact that they’re animated/not live action.
This assumption can be tricky to navigate when it comes to animated movies marketed as Halloween/spooky movies because, to keep that aspect of horror or spooky/creepy, some subject material is too much for younger viewers.
When it comes to Tim Burton films, especially his clay-animation works, he captures the scary fall vibes October holds while still keeping things friendly enough for young watchers.
“Corpse Bride” is a clay-animation Tim Burton film that members of Gen Z watched during their childhood.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas,” another one of Burton’s films usually watched around Halloween, has frightening aspects to it. Between Oogie Boogie and his bugs, Jack the Pumpkin King, the inhabitants of Halloween Town and Sally’s detachable limbs, it’s understandable why the movie is rated PG and typically recommended for elementary students and above.
However, Burton does make the movies palatable towards younger crowds and parents alike by maneuvering around darker topics and adding bright colors and non-clay aspects to his movies to make them more visually pleasing and less scary to the eyes.
The same can be said for other Burton films and other clay-animation movies like “Coraline,” “ParaNorman” and “Frankenweenie.” The movies have dark academia vibes while still being classified as good children’s Halloween movies.
Other popular children’s Halloween movies outside Burton films and clay animation films include shows like “Halloweentown” (film series), “Monster House,” “Hocus Pocus” and “Scary Godmother: Halloween Spooktakular.”
Halloween movies fall into two classifications: one being graphic and scary while the other being fall vibes and magic.
Children’s Halloween movies typically fall into the latter category, but “Monster House” by Gil Kenan, which came out in 2006, is a movie that handles the darkness of horror while still finding itself popular.
“Monster House” has horror as well as heartbreak, while following the storyline of three youths. Being animated, being “scary” and it literally being set right before Halloween, it’s a movie that is closely associated with being a children’s Halloween movie. It does a good job of conveying the overall message that bullying is the true horror of the world.
“Halloweentown” is a film series set half in a magical world of monsters and half in the human world that deals well with the subject of Halloween and magic without being traumatizing to anyone. Being a popular Disney series, as well as being live action, it’s made its mark in the Halloween scene.
Just because it’s animated does not mean it’s child friendly, an example of this would be Adult Swim shows.
This is Zeke La Mantia’s third year on with Echo publications. He has earned multiple awards for his photographic contributions.