Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Halloween Edition

This week, Christy offers up some family-friendly alternatives for October 31st.

by | October 25, 2013 | Comments

Greetings, parents seeking guidance. Since Halloween is coming, I thought I’d devote this week’s column to some films and TV shows you could watch with your kids that are spooky/silly/suspenseful/all of the above. Cuddle up under a blanket in front of the TV and let’s go:




It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

94%

My almost-4-year-old son is totally into classic Peanuts cartoons lately, which makes me very happy. What’s so great about these old clips — and this one in particular — is the way it depicts the sweetly funny confusion and angst of childhood. This TV special finds Linus waiting for The Great Pumpkin (as usual) and having no one believe in its existence (as usual). Hopefully when you and your kids go trick-or-treating this year, no one gets a rock.



Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride

84%

Wondrous, strange, poignant and beautifully reflective of Tim Burton’s distinctive, darkly humorous style. With an all-star voice cast led by Burton regulars Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, the film follows the romantic troubles of a shy young man torn between the woman his parents have arranged for him to marry and the woman who rises from the Land of the Dead and accidentally becomes his wife. At a brisk 74 minutes, the whole family can enjoy it.



Frankenweenie

87%

I swear, I will do more than just pick Tim Burton movies, but so many of them are so very fitting in this category. Like Corpse Bride, this comedy features painstakingly detailed stop-motion animation. Based on his 1984 live-action short of the same name, Frankenweenie follows what happens when a science-obsessed 10-year-old brings his dead dog back to life. This is not really a movie for little kids. But it’s heartwarming, I promise.



Edward Scissorhands

90%

This one’s probably best for tweens and older – I saw it with my mother when I was 18 and home from college for Christmas break and we just cried and cried. This is probably still my favorite Burton film; absurdly funny and achingly melancholy, it’s the perfect crystallization of his signature themes and aesthetic. It’s also an excellent example of his longtime collaboration with Depp.



9

57%

Not to be confused with Nine, based on the Broadway musical, which isn’t scary in the slightest. The animation is breathtakingly original in this dark family tale of roughhewn rag dolls who represent the last vestige of humanity in a post-apocalyptic world. The story itself is rather thin but it’s always gorgeous to watch (although it’s probably not suitable for the littlest kids). Elijah Wood, Christopher Plummer and John C. Reilly are among the strong voice cast.



Sleeping Beauty

90%

Or if you really want to give your kids nightmares, show them Fantasia (1940) – it still scares me and I’m a grown woman. All classic Disney animated films contain some serious element of danger: a fire in the woods, an evil queen. Sleeping Beauty is my childhood favorite of the genre. The imagery is so vibrant and lush, it makes the film’s villain — the snubbed witch Maleficent, out for revenge against our fair heroine — that much more vivid and frightening.



Stand by Me

91%

Not exactly a horror movie per se, although it does originate from a Stephen King novella. What Rob Reiner’s film does so well is capture the sensation that there’s adventure and danger lurking in the prosaic activities of daily life when you’re growing up. Set in the summer of 1959, it’s also one of the best coming-of-age films you can show your kids as well as a wonderful (and poignant) time capsule of its stars, including the late River Phoenix.

Tag Cloud

See It Skip It Creative Arts Emmys San Diego Comic-Con Walt Disney Pictures spider-man Amazon Summer The Walking Dead Emmy Nominations dragons facebook USA binge CBS All Access crossover docudrama Apple TV+ Apple FX richard e. Grant Syfy TCM joker SundanceTV NYCC ghosts travel Biopics cinemax harry potter RT History spy thriller social media Tumblr Thanksgiving finale Showtime Schedule Pet Sematary Oscars spanish language Dark Horse Comics diversity 20th Century Fox book YouTube Premium Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt IFC Horror Anna Paquin TCA biography award winner Brie Larson witnail TruTV zombies CBS Red Carpet sports streaming DC Comics The Witch Sony Pictures what to watch Star Wars Nominations Teen series slashers Universal free movies crime thriller Awards Tour Pixar dramedy Trophy Talk Captain marvel comiccon Emmys Britbox political drama cancelled television Spike Grammys 2015 Marathons New York Comic Con GLAAD VICE El Rey tv talk Spring TV Superheroe adaptation VH1 First Look Adult Swim Rocketman 2018 First Reviews Election kids A&E comic CMT The Arrangement History DC streaming service Esquire YouTube Red CNN Disney Channel Martial Arts Cannes Sci-Fi Extras WGN BBC Writers Guild of America based on movie doctor who Binge Guide cults HBO Max GoT Comic Book sitcom revenge Stephen King Fall TV Awards MCU supernatural Disney streaming service serial killer Set visit Women's History Month MTV vampires Marvel golden globes GIFs video DGA Shondaland Starz DirecTV Acorn TV medical drama singing competition APB Lucasfilm Box Office Music Film Festival OWN NBC Super Bowl Country Character Guide IFC Films 2019 Spectrum Originals 21st Century Fox Disney Plus 007 justice league aliens Musical Quiz TV Land Toys Polls and Games Valentine's Day Columbia Pictures FXX TNT Epix Lionsgate Logo Photos LGBTQ Elton John halloween Reality Infographic Vudu USA Network renewed TV shows television toy story AMC SDCC Action SXSW canceled TV shows Rom-Com jamie lee curtis TV spinoff Fox News Food Network Mary Poppins Returns President Interview TBS Best and Worst transformers FOX theme song Netflix Heroines Cartoon Network foreign children's TV MSNBC Shudder game of thrones TIFF Mudbound cancelled TV series stand-up comedy Fantasy DC Universe Warner Bros. ESPN X-Men BET Winter TV LGBT Podcast Video Games Countdown science fiction 45 south america crime drama Opinion Television Academy mockumentary Trailer Kids & Family Tomatazos ITV National Geographic BBC America spain strong female leads Reality Competition talk show 2017 YouTube Rocky Rock Ellie Kemper ABC Family zero dark thirty Sneak Peek Sundance YA Superheroes Watching Series discovery Drama green book Holidays Bravo Ghostbusters Paramount Network Comics on TV PaleyFest cats blaxploitation Mary Tyler Moore Peacock PBS anthology cancelled TV shows period drama Comedy elevated horror canceled Amazon Prime Video Tarantino true crime RT21 Freeform 24 frames latino Crackle Nat Geo American Society of Cinematographers festivals Hulu historical drama Song of Ice and Fire crime dceu Animation quibi Ovation movies miniseries CW Seed cancelled Pop anime cops The CW sequel Christmas 2016 E3 Family Comedy Central Cosplay psychological thriller WarnerMedia TCA 2017 disaster game show Calendar Sundance Now robots Film ABC hispanic natural history TLC hist cooking adventure unscripted politics mutant nature casting HBO zombie Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Winners Paramount technology Musicals Western Star Trek Chernobyl teaser Certified Fresh Amazon Prime Nickelodeon 71st Emmy Awards Disney boxoffice batman Pirates Pride Month Black Mirror TV renewals war Lifetime romance animated Mindy Kaling E! Year in Review composers Masterpiece cars dc psycho ratings thriller Trivia Mystery Arrowverse Premiere Dates Mary poppins space police drama