Most of the Halloween binge-guides you’ll find around this time of year will be filled with hauntings and demonic possessions and Swedish cults but not this one.
No, Disney+ isn’t where you go to have the sh*t scared out of you, it’s where you go for more lighthearted, Halloween-themed fun. For witches and talking cats, for skeleton kings and Boogeymen under the bed. It’s where you go for a bit of nostalgia to remind you of the joy of the holiday — joy that might spook you a bit, but it won’t leave you with nightmares afterwards.
Here are our picks for the best Halloween movies on Disney+ right now.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
Run Time: 96 min | IMDb: 6.9/10
Few Disney films about a trio of bumbling witches have influenced the cultural lexicon like Hocus Pocus. Sure, no other Disney films about sister witches terrorizing a sleepy New England town on All Hallow’s Eve actually exist, but that doesn’t diminish the legacy of this ’90s film starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy. All three women are having the time of their lives here, playing the Sanderson sisters, a group of supernaturally powerful beings, who are summoned when an out-of-town virgin lights a cursed candle. Their goal is to suck the life from all the children in Salem and live forever, and honestly, they’re such a good time, it’s hard not to root for them to succeed.
Run Time: 97 min | IMDb: 7/10
Angelina Jolie stars in this retelling of Sleeping Beauty. It’s not strictly a Halloween-themed, but it does center on a vengeful fairy who curses an infant and then stalks her into puberty. Jolie plays the titular character, a supernatural being betrayed by fickle humans who wants revenge. Her plan to get it: by harming the child of the man who wronged her, starts to fall apart when she begins to care for the young girl (played by Elle Fanning). There’s an otherness to Jolie’s performance — and her prosthetics — that gives the movie its darker moments.
Run Time: 125 min | IMDb: 7.7/10
This animated interpretation of classical music is all kinds of weird, which is why it feels like an appropriate watch this month. There are a handful of scenes that surprise with just how creepy they feel, whether it’s Mickey Mouse as a sorcerer’s apprentice who can’t control his magic, fairies, and mythological creatures having tame orgies in the woods, or a devil summoning spirits to the top of a mountain. It’s certainly one of the strangest, oddly-mesmerizing watches on the streaming service.
Run Time: 84 min | IMDb: 6.8/10
No self-respecting Halloween lover wouldn’t have this made for TV movie on their binge-watch list this month. The late, great Debbie Reynolds plays a grandmother witch raising her teen granddaughter, who discovers she too has powers and is fated to save Halloweentown from dark forces. It’s a classic Disney Channel creation — lots of cheesy dialogue and a few noticeable plotholes — but damn if it doesn’t hold up all these years later.
The Haunted Mansion (2003)
Run Time: 88 min | IMDb: 5/10
Eddie Murphy stars in this early aughts family-friendly thriller, playing an out-of-touch dad who has a run-in with some malevolent spirits. Murphy’s Jim Evers is a busy real estate mogul who doesn’t have time for his wife and two kids, until the family is summoned to a haunted mansion and held hostage by evil forces inside. While trying to escape, he’ll learn about the importance of the relationships he’s neglected in his life. It’s the closest thing Disney will get to a The Conjuring movie, but grown-ups will appreciate the comedy Murphy brings to this.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Run Time: 76 min | IMDb: 8/10
This movie is a staple of every 90s kids’ childhood, but we’re still a bit confused as to its genre. Is it a Christmas flick? An animated ode to Halloween? Something in between? That third option is most likely. Created by Tim Burton, who has a degree in crafting genre-bending movies with gothic settings and spooky characters, the film follows Jack Skellington, the king of Halloweentown who tries to bring Christmas to his village of ghouls, ghosts, and ghastly monsters.
Run Time: 86 min | IMDb: 5.7/10
Tia and Tamera Mowry play twin witches in this Disney Channel favorite based on a popular book series. Alex and Camryn are twins separated at birth and raised by their adoptive families. They meet on their 21st birthdays, discovering they’re the daughters of powerful witches and that they’re destined to save their magical homeland from an evil darkness terrorizing its people. It’s basically Sister, Sister, but with magic and it’s terrific.
Don’t Look Under The Bed (1999)
Run Time: 100 min | IMDb: 6.9/10
Another Disney Channel creation, this ’90s movie capitalizes on the one fear every kid has growing up: the Boogeyman lurking under the bed. Francis is a teen girl who’s wiser than her years; she teams up with an imaginary boy named Larry Houdini to take care of a Boogeyman framing her for his attacks and pranks around town. She ends up discovering the Boogeyman’s origins, but not before she survives some spooky situations, loses a few friendships, and causes her parents to think she’s gone off the deep end.