Guest Post-Spooky Top 5: Disney Halloween Movies

Here’s another great post from Ryan Wilson of the Main St. Gazette – enjoy! ~Zanna

The leaves have been rustling here, and it is getting darker earlier in the evenings, which can mean only one thing, in just a few days princesses, pirates, monsters, cowgirls, and bugs will be descending upon our streets in search of sweet treats! This, of course, makes it the perfect time to watch a spooky movie with the ones you love the most. Here are my top five Disney flickswhich are sure to give you just as many tricks as they do treats!I need to start off with two dishonorable mentions. Arguably, the two most frightening attractions in Walt Disney World and Disneyland are The Haunted Mansion and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Films based upon both of these attractions have been created, with all-star casts attached, but both features fall well short of their potential. Still, for images that remind you of your favorite attraction, or just a bit of family fun, they will do the trick in a pinch.

Number 5 – The Black Cauldron (1985)
The Black Cauldron, it is said, has the power to bring the dead back to life as a warrior horde. The Horned King, a villain who is sure to send shivers down your spine, seeks the cauldron in order to raise just such an army. However, this is a classic fantasy journey, and the scores of undead are met with plenty to smile and laugh about. This animated feature was seven years in the making, and it feels as if it could have used a couple more years cooking in the cauldron, but still manages to deliver the good vs. evil action!

Number 4 – Hocus Pocus (1993)
Set in Salem, MA in the 17th Century and the early 1990s, this film features a trio of inadvertently humorous witches brought back from beyond the grave. The Sanderson sisters, portrayed by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker, use their witchy ways to suck the life out of children in order to maintain the young(ish) beauty (if they say so…). After being summoned to the present day, it is up to the children who accidentally brought them back to stop them, along with their talking cat. This film shows that comedy really can be scary!

Sleepy Hollow's Headless Horseman

Number 3 – Animated Shorts
There are tons of animated shorts that would make for the perfect Halloween viewing. These are just a few of my favorites spooky shorts. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949) features Ichabod Crane who has run afoul of the Headless Horseman. Bing Crosby’s narration is sure to give you chills! Night on Bald Mountain (Fantasia– 1940) is the darkest segment of Fantasia and features the heavy Chernabog, the second most memorable character from Fantasia who remains a time-tested, fan-favorite Disney Villain to this day. Chernabog’s beckoning to the dead is sure to frighten even the bravest of souls. Lastly, The Skeleton Dance (1929). This short is the first of the Silly Symphonies and is sure to spark ghoulish grins for the whole family.

Number 2 – Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
This Halloween-Christmas hybrid, which fans watch all the year round, features jack Skellington, the King of the Pumpkin Patch who wishes for something more that scares and finds it in Christmas. While the citizens of Halloween Town may seem terrifying to adults at first glance, the non-menacing way in which they are utilized, along with the terrific songs, call kids back to this film again and again. Though the dastardly Oogie Boogie, may draw out a scream or two, especially from insect-phobic children and moms!

Mister Dark

Number 1 – Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)
This movie, featuring Jonathan Pryce as the enigmatic Mr. Dark, is the real deal folks. Based upon Ray Bradbury’s novel of the same name, Mr. Dark and his carnival blow into Greentown one fateful autumn evening. They’ve come to town seeking to grant the residents’ wildest wishes… for a price. What secrets are held within the Pandemonium Carnival and can Mr. Dark be stopped by a librarian and two young boys? You’ll have to watch the film to find out, but be warned, it is not for the faint of heart!

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About Ryan P. Wilson

Ryan P. Wilson is the editor-in-chief at The Main Street Gazette, bringing us "Perspective from the World of Yesterday, Today, and Fantasy" since 2007. You may also find him at @mainstgazette on twitter.