Although horror movies have managed to dominate the Halloween film market, it's important to realize that there are also a number of other, family-oriented films that make for good viewing on Halloween for both adults and children. These films, from both the past and the present, offer a great way to spend an evening together on the couch.
Perhaps no cartoon has come to be associated with Halloween as much as this one, based on the comic of the same name by Charles Schulz. At times both enormously funny and sometimes a little chilling (particularly the scenes where Snoopy pretends to be a fighter pilot from World War I), the film has also been endlessly parodied and imitated by shows ranging from "The Simpsons" to "Robot Chicken," thus revealing its essential place in the pantheon of animated Halloween classics.
A relatively recent film, this incarnation of the ongoing "Scooby-Doo" franchise finds Scooby and Shaggy attempting to rescue Princess Fairy Willow while also contending with goblins and a magician set on taking over the world. Featuring a number of very talented voice actors (including the inimitable Lauren Bacall), the film has a lighter touch to it that makes it ideal for younger viewers, with snappy and witty dialogue that ensures adults will enjoy it as well.
Finally, we come to the immortal Garfield and his adventures and, although this film has somewhat fallen through the cracks in recent years (you rarely see it broadcast on television), it still stands as one of the finest examples of Halloween animation you're likely to find. Without a doubt, the ghostly pirates that are the film's primary antagonists are some of the most frightening creatures you are going to see in an animated film. Fortunately, however, the whole thing has a very happy ending, which makes it a perfect view for all members of the family.
If you're snuggling up on a cool October evening in preparation for Halloween, these animated classics are a great way to spend a family movie night. They provide the simple entertainment many younger children will enjoy while also providing intelligent, coherent storylines (and a little bit of the nostalgia factor thrown in for good measure) to also make watching them a viewing treat for some of the older children and, of course, the parents.
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- horror movies