The Autumn holidays are now here, and we all know that a very important day is coming: Halloween. The way this day is celebrated in France is generally nothing like what we see in movies. While some French people like to celebrate with carved pumpkins, make-up and fancy dress, the “Trick or Treat” tradition with knocking on doors to receive candies is sadly not yet very popular here. In France, we traditionally celebrate LeToussaint – All Saint’s Day – and the shops are full of chrysanthemum flowers for people to take to the cemeteries.
So, if you are not going out with your little monsters to collect sweets, why not choose this special night to discover or re discover the best Halloween themed movies and plan a scary evening together! (Or perhaps a very scary afternoon – you choose!)
I’m not including The Nightmare before Christmas (L’étrange Noël de Monsieur Jack) as this movie is the first one above all the others that we think about when it comes to Halloween s. This masterpiece is of course a must-see film and Tim Burton is an amazing film maker.
Here’s my own personal selection of the best Halloween movies to watch with your children, classified by age. In brackets, I’ve added the movie’s title in French, just for fun! This selection is totally approved by Stacha and Chiara, my own daughters!
For 3 to 5 years old:
- Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween movie (Lumpy fête Halloween): Heffalump doesn’t know anything about Halloween so all his friends try to explain it to him. But someone ate all the sweets!!!
- Mickey’s House of Villains (Mickey, le club des Méchants): Mickey, Donald and the whole gang will have to deal with the bad guys – Jaffar, Cruella, Hades and all the Disney villains!
- Monsters, INC (Monstres et Compagnie): Sully and Mike are in charge of Boo, a little human who arrives in their Monster Company by mistake.
For 6 years old:
- Casper: the cutest ghost ever becomes friends with a nice young girl who moves into his haunted house with her father.
- Wallace and Gromit, the curse of the were-rabbit (Wallace et Gromit, le mystère du lapin-garou): based on the werewolf myth, a great adventure to follow with the famous clay pair.
- Kiki’s delivery service: a beautiful Japanese cartoon by Hayao Miyazaki where we follow the initiatory journey of Kiki, a 13 year old witch, and her cat, Jiji.
For 8 years old:
- Hotel Transylvania (Hotel Transylvanie): In a world where humans and creatures live separately, a young human arrives by mistake in Dracula’s castle, which is transformed into an hotel for all kind of monsters. He then meets Dracula’s daughter, Mavis…
- The book of life (la légende de Manolo): In this film, we discover the Mexican myth of Dias del los Muertos (Day of the dead) and its coloured Calaveras (decorated skulls), with a young boy named Manolo.
- Spirited away (Le voyage de Chihiro): another Miyazaki’s anime. Chihiro needs to fight the dark world to find her parents who were turned into pigs by a witch.
For the 10 years old:
- Frankenweenie: a Tim Burton’s movie based on the Frankenstein’s myth. Victor is devastated when his beloved dog Sparky dies. He decides to resuscitate him.
- The Addams Family (La famille Addams): one of the most popular Gothic-styled movies where we follow the life of a spooky family, the Addams: Morticia, Gomez and their children, Wednesday and Pugsley. They have to deal with a strange member of the family – Uncle Fester…
- Corpse Bride (Les noces funèbres): another Tim Burton’s movie. For Victor and Victoria, it was love at first sight. But Victor accidentally got married to Emily, a dead woman…
For the 12 years old and over:
- Hocus Pocus: Max, a teenager just moved to Salem with his family. He doesn’t believe in all the stories about witches in the neighbourhood. But on Halloween’s night everything will change…
- Sleepy Hollow: In 1799, Ichabod Crane, a scientific police officer, is sent to the village of Sleepy Hollow where a lot of crimes have been committed by a mysterious headless horseman. (Tim Burton)
- Beetlejuice: Adam and Barbara, young newly-weds, suddenly die in a car crash and come back as ghosts in their own house. But a new family moves in it and decides to change everything… (Tim Burton)
As you can see there’s a lot of Tim Burton’s films in our selection, but he is our favourite movie-maker and his vision of the fantastic and magical world fits for a lot of different ages. From James and the giant peach (James et la pêche géante) to Sweeny Todd (16 years and over) he always writes great stories full of poetry.
Now, just grab a blanket, sort out the snacks (perhaps a cheeky glass on wine for yourself) and cuddle up – it’s time to watch a movie!