A Definitive Ranking of Disney Halloween Movies
Updated: Oct 3, 2022
Let’s set the record straight on the best Halloween movies of all time.
Halloween is arguably the best season for Disney. Not only do they have some of the best Halloween movies to binge, but the Halloween episodes of 2000s Disney Channel shows are unmatched. Of course some movies are better than others — we’ll get to that — but it’s clear that Disney puts their whole soul into making a Halloween season that we can enjoy as kids and, even more, as adults. Queue up your Disney+ accounts because these movies are going to have you feeling nostalgic and racing to re-watch them.
1. Hocus Pocus
They say it’s all just a bunch of Hocus Pocus, but the film was released in 1993, and it still reigns supreme as a top Halloween movie. And it was directed by the Disney Channel king himself: Kenny Ortega. The Sanderson sisters are the perfect mixture of scary, hilarious, and downright glamorous that make them three characters that we love to hate. And for the three main characters to sign on to a sequel nearly 30 years after the original, you know Hocus Pocus is something special.
If we didn’t want to be a witch after watching Halloweentown, we certainly did after watching Twitches. Plus to see our favorite sister, sisters working together again is enough magic in itself. Everything about this movie is great — from the punny name, to the casting, to the acting, to the storyline, it’s a must-watch this Halloween season.
Halloweentown is probably the most memorable Halloween movie from childhood because it was always on in October. And even though it has a very Harry Potter-esque vibe with the children finding out they are witches/warlocks and being transported to a magical land to immediately save it, Halloweentown really has something special. Maybe it’s Benny the cab driver, or Debbie Reynolds’ grandmotherly figure, or just the magic — but no matter what, Halloweentown is a Disney Channel treasure.
4. Twitches Too
We all know the sequel is never as good as the original, but Tia and Tamera still go hard in Twitches Too. Go Twitches, go Twitches!
5. Hocus Pocus 2
Is it a bold choice to put the Hocus Pocus sequel this high up on the list? Maybe, but I stand by it. Hocus Pocus 2 surprised us in the best ways and won its way into a top spot on our must-watch list for every Halloween here on out. Sure, it might just be nostalgic to see the Sanderson sisters on our screen again after almost 30 years , but we're certainly not complaining. Just to hear Bette Midler yell "Oh boooook" made my Hocus Pocus-loving heart so happy.
6. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Is it a Halloween movie? Is it a Christmas movie? That’s part of the beauty that makes this Tim Burton film a classic. Plus, the soundtrack is a BOP — I could have This is Halloween playing all October long. However, the movie is a little slow at times, especially if you aren’t in it for the Jack and Sally romance. But overall, this film has enough redeeming qualities that make you want to watch it every year, just maybe not first.
7. Halloweentown II Kalabar’s Revenge
Halloweentown II may have a very similar plot to the first film — Marnie saving the world — but it’s still a great, fun movie. You get a good mix of both the mortal world and Halloweentown and get to see more of the family development. Overall, I would still pick the first film, but if this one is on I’m not complaining.
8. Halloweentown High
Oh yeah, we’re going to high school. The Halloweentown residents in the mortal world is a fun twist and for once we aren’t fighting Kalabar, so the plot doesn’t feel super repetitive. But once they started giving Marnie a love interest, the plot about family love kind of falls to the wayside. Overall, it’s still a good movie, but I’m always craving the feeling of the first Halloweentown.
9. The Tower of Terror
You could tell me this movie was a fever dream and I would 100% believe you. Yet another ride-to-movie adaptation that went wrong, except no one talks about this one. In case you don’t remember, The Tower of Terror follows disgraced reporter (Steve Guttenberg) and his niece (Kirsten Dunst) as they investigate the hotel where five people mysteriously disappeared years before. It’s definitely worth digging out your old VHS tapes for this one.
10. The Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion gets a bad rep… probably for good reason. This ride-to-movie adaptation just didn’t go as planned, even with great actors like Eddie Murphy, Wallace Shawn, and Terrence Stamp. It’s not the worst Disney movie by any means, but it’s definitely one you can skip on your Halloween line-up.
11. Return to Halloweentown
They really tried to replace Marnie and act like none of us would notice. I will not be speaking further on the subject.