Disney Plus is one of the most fascinating streaming platforms currently operating. Due to Disney’s recent acquisitions, many unexpected movies and shows can be found on the service. This is especially true in regions where Disney Plus comes with Star. In fact, people in those regions can boot up Disney Plus and use it to watch legendary horror films like Alien.
Even without Star, American subscribers have plenty of Halloween-themed movies available to watch. If you’re looking for fun seasonal ideas, here are some of the best Halloween movies on Disney Plus.
14. Growing Fangs
This short film is part of Disney’s Launchpad initiative. It follows Val Garcia, a Mexican-American teen who is secretly a vampire. However, an unexpected visit from a friend forces Val to face her secret head-on. A fun and uplifting short, Growing Fangs shows how monsters can be used to tell deeply human stories.
13. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Released in 1949, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad consists of two unlinked segments, the first based on Sleepy Hollow and the second on The Wind in the Willows. The Sleepy Hollow segment is perfect for Halloween as it has a fabulous atmosphere. Disney’s vintage animation style perfectly suits the setting of Sleepy Hollow and gives it a wonderfully spooky vibe. In fact, this may be the best version of the headless horseman to ever hit the silver screen.
12. Phantom Of The Megaplex
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Disney became famous for its Disney Channel movies, and the Halloween ones are some of the most endearing due to their wonderful atmosphere and delightfully camp style.
Phantom Of The Megaplex landed on screens in 2000. It is an updated retelling of Phantom Of The Opera. However, rather than a theater, it is now set in a cinema, and it follows Pete Riley and his younger siblings as they try to stop the phantom from ruining a big premiere. While the idea seems weird on paper, this is a great way to introduce younger kids to the Phantom Of The Opera concept, and it nails the cheesy action and comedy blend that made Disney Channel movies so successful.
11. Under Wraps
While Disney Channel movies are less common now due to the rise of streaming, Disney still sometimes returns to that style of film, as seen in 2021’s Under Wraps. This film is a remake of the 1997 film of the same name. A group of kids stumbles on an old mummy, only for the creature to return to life. However, this mummy isn’t evil. In fact, it’s pretty chill, and thus the kids befriend it and try to protect it from those who would capture and sell the creature. A fun take on the creature feature format, Under Wraps, proves that Disney’s brand of silly live-action hijinks still works in the modern age.
2012’s Frankenweenie sees Tim Burton remake a short film he made in 1984. The stop-motion film follows young Victor Frankenstein, an amateur scientist, and home movie maker. When Sparky, Victor’s dog, dies after a baseball accident, Victor attempts to bring the dog back to life. This experiment soon has far-reaching consequences, and the town is soon thrown into chaos. The show is a loving tribute to classic horror movies and sci-fi B-movies. The stand-out element is the stop-motion animation that perfectly encapsulates the movie’s retro-horror vibe, making this a visual treat.
In recent years, Disney has had a lot of success with film musicals, especially after High School Musical became a media juggernaut. 2018’s Zombies continues that trend but puts a horror spin on it. When a power plant accident turns half of a town into zombies, those who turned get put into a quarantine zone called Zombietown. However, when the government develops a wristband that removes the zombie’s brain cravings, zombies are allowed to attend human high schools. Unfortunately, issues soon arise as many at the school refuse to accept the zombies. When Addison, one of the school’s cheerleaders, starts a relationship with a zombie, they both have to deal with pressure from both sides of society.
This film proved popular enough to spawn a franchise that includes a few sequels.
8. Mom’s Got A Date With A Vampire
Landing on screens in 2000, Mom’s Got A Date With A Vampire follows Adam, Taylor, and Chelsea Hansen. Everything is normal until their mother starts dating a mysterious man called Dimitri. The kids suspect that Dimitri is a vampire, so they embark on a quest to prove their suspicions while also trying to free their mother from his clutches.
A fun romp that was likely many kids’ first introduction to vampire lore, Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire is still an enjoyable film with enough gags and twists to keep older viewers interested.
1998’s Halloweentown is likely the most fondly remembered Disney Channel original movie, and it’s easy to see why, as it feels like someone condensed the Halloween season into one film.
The film follows Marnie Piper, a young girl. Marnie has a tense relationship with her mother, and this tension only grows during Halloween as the mom refuses to let Marnie or her siblings do many Halloween-y things. When her grandmother Agatha turns up, Marnie learns that her mom and grandmother are both witches, even though her mom would like to leave such things behind her.
When Agatha leaves, the kids follow her and end up in Halloweentown, a place where the normal and the spooky live together. Soon the kids have to help protect this town from an evil force that aims to corrupt it. A fun adventure movie with some striking visuals, Halloweentown still holds up well today, making it a fun nostalgia trip.
6. The Haunted Mansion
Based on the ride found in the Disney theme parks, 2003’s Haunted Mansion sees Eddie Murphy take the role of Jim Evers. Jim is a workaholic, but when he and his family get stuck at the spooky Gracey Manor during a road trip, they soon find that the house is hiding a dark secret.
Cleverly working in several references to the classic ride and its surrounding lore, Haunted Mansion is an intriguing movie. While it is tonally inconsistent, going from silly to overly scary without warning, Murphy’s performance elevates the film and gives it an odd, if chaotic, charm.
5. Lonesome Ghosts
A classic slice of Disney animation, 1937’s Lonesome Ghosts sees Mickey, Donald, and Goofy setting up a ghost-busting firm. When they’re called to clear out a haunted house, they find that the ghosts are not keen on leaving, so Mickey, Donald, and Goofy get tormented by the various specters that haunt the house. Packed full of charm and personality, Lonesome Ghosts is a fun way to start your Halloween movie nights.
4. Bride of Boogedy
A sequel to Mr. Boogedy from 1986, 1987’s Bride of Boogedy tops the original while also delivering a fun twist on some classic Halloween scares. The Davis family are now residents of the town of Lucifer Falls, and life is peaceful. However, when a fake seance goes wrong, the evil Mr. Boogedy reappears and starts to cause chaos around the town, possessing people and even stealing away Eloise Davis, hoping to make her his bride. This forces the kids to once again knuckle down and find a way to defeat the evil ghost, leading to another fun adventure movie that perfectly balances horror and laughs.
3. The Black Cauldron
While not a horror film in the traditional sense, The Black Cauldron is one of the spookiest mainline Disney animated films today. Based on The Chronicles of Prydain books by Lloyd Alexander, the movie follows a young boy called Taran. When the Horned King starts to search for the Black Cauldron, an item that can raise an army of the dead, Taran is tasked with taking Hen Wen, a pig with oracle powers, to a safe place. However, this quest soon puts Taran in the thick of the action.
The imposing Horned King and the generally darker color palette make this film genuinely spooky at points, making it a fun Halloween-time movie for those who prefer atmosphere over scares.
2. Muppets Haunted Mansion
First released in 2021, this Disney Plus original follows two of the legendary Muppets, Gonzo and Pepe, as they venture to a haunted mansion once home to legendary magician The Great MacGuffin before he vanished. Once inside the mansion, Gonzo and Pepe will be confronted by ghosts that resemble their Muppet friends, and they will be forced to face their fears. Packed with catchy songs, clever jokes, and references to the ride that inspired it, Muppets Haunted Mansion shows that the Muppets are still a comedic force even after all these years. This movie shows off the timeless nature of their anarchic brand of comedy perfectly.
1. Hocus Pocus
1993’s Hocus Pocus needs no introduction. The film is a cult classic that has cemented itself as a must-watch Halloween film. In fact, some people will likely subscribe to Disney Plus this month simply to rewatch this classic bit of Halloween fun. When three witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy) are accidentally brought back to life by Max Dennison, they quickly plan to get revenge on the town that killed them many years previously. At the same time, they’re also looking for a child whose soul they can steal to make their resurrection permanent, forcing Max and his sister to stop them before it is too late.
Jammed full of memorable moments, great shots, fantastic costumes, and some delightful innuendo, Hocus Pocus is a film that has only gotten better with age. Also, if you watch it now, you’ll be ready when the sequel premieres on September 30!