• Happiest Jen on Earth

10 Must-see Movies You Need to Watch Every October

This list provides some great family lessons for kids and adults!

October started off with a kooky bang! We began our month of spooky fun films by attending an advanced screening of "The Addams Family" at Pacific Theatres inside the Grove LA. So, in light of Halloween, I'm beginning this top 10 Must-see movies list with meeting The Addams..

1. The Addams Family (2019):

I've watched every Addams Family everything..TV show, cartoon, and movie. This remake was just as I hoped it would be and more! Now, I don't know if I enjoyed this more because of its nostalgia or the adult jokes that I now understand as a parent. But I could not stop cackling throughout this 1-hour and 45-minute showing. And the kids enjoyed it, too! So you know it must have been good if you can have a 2-year-old and 4-year-old be engaged enough to sit down the ENTIRE movie. The movie played on themes like the pressure we feel to make our families proud and pass down traditions. As well as the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters. All of this ties into the main moral of learning how to accept each other as we are.

The next 8 movies are ones that you can watch at home with the family...

2. Coraline (2009):

There's nothing like a good stop-motion movie! Its classic feel brings more life and creativity to featured films. And for some reason, this is my favorite type of animation to watch during Halloween season. If you ask my husband, he'll say that it's because it breaks up the monotony of too many produced live-action films and cartoons. Coraline is a family-favorite that we like to watch even in the off-season. It plays off of the theme of learning to appreciate what you have and the family you're already a part of. Sometimes, we look at what others may have and fantasize living a different life. But, sometimes fantasies can be a pulled ghost sheet over your eyes.

3. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993):

Speaking of classic stop-motion movies, you didn't think we were going to forget about this one. Did you? The songs are catchy and the villainous Oogie Boogie is a sandbag of fun! This musical dark fantasy will keep the kids entertained and on their skeleton toes. The theme of the movie is trying to be someone that we aren't because we don't see how great we already are.

4. Hocus Pocus (1993):

1993 was a great year for Halloween-themed movies that would later become cult fan favorites. While the theme of the story isn't quite strong enough for a meaningful message (dismissing something as a bunch of hocus pocus) what you do enjoy about this movie is seeing a family transplanted from California to superstitious Salem. And well, watching a brother and sister come together to fight three witches, is the perfect concoction for a family movie night. It really knows how to gather up the family and just enjoy being together.

5. Casper (1995):

This movie appeals to small children in ways I can't even explain. I remember being drawn to this movie every Halloween season myself. Who could resist a friendly ghost who just wants a friend? While the in your face theme of the movie is friendship, the deeper meaning is the lessons we learn about dealing with death. Casper is the powerful introduction to children about the notions of death and what it means. He's not afraid to get dark and brings comfort in knowing that death is natural and not something to be scared of. In opposition of his scary uncles, Casper is the gentler approach to the unknown afterlife.

6. Coco (2017):

When Coco first came out, it was underrated. I don't think anybody knew just how good this movie was actually going to be! I cry every time I watch it and my kids know the words to all of the songs. This movie really knows how to bring a family together and can easily relate to Miguel's family's bond--even if they're a different culture from you. I love the way they explain the afterlife in this movie and how we must remember each one of our loved ones even after they pass--and no matter what mistakes they may have made in the past.

7. Double, Double, Toil and Trouble (1993):

Everybody loves a good Olsen twin movie! This movie is a true underrated Halloween favorite. It's a movie about jealousy, grudges and curses. And of course--a ridiculously cute twin movie! It'll have you nostalgic for more Olsen twin movies and get you in the Halloween spirit as these two sisters help their family break an old curse and come out of financial ruin!

8. Room on The Broom (2012):

This movie is a book-inspired, TV-short that you can find on Netflix. It's probably one of the most charming movies you'll watch all season. You'll love the kindness this movie teaches as the witch makes room on her broom for each animal friend. They in turn, help her out when she's in need of saving. This is a terrific movie for kids who have the wiggles during movies!

9. Halloween Town (1998):

If you loved Disney Channel Original Movies as a kid, then there's a high chance you've watched this one! It's a fun story of a magical realm as we follow Marnie on her adventure of finding out more about herself. Family-friendly themes you'll pick up while watching this movie include: Putting family over everything, fighting for what's right, learning about tolerance, being careful about who you trust..and most of all being yourself!

Finally..I urge you to see a different side of the story of a beloved fairy-tale favorite: Maleficent. This month, Disney pushed the opening of Maleficent: "The Mistress of Evil" for a fall release instead of its original 2020 date--and we're glad they did!

I went to the release of the Maleficent sequel with So Cal Disney Moms at The Pike in Long Beach which was goulishly hosted by Cinemark--popcorn and all! It's a completely different story, so you don't necessarily need to watch the first movie to enjoy this sequel. It goes deeper into Maleficent's origin story and ends with her rising from the ashes!

As always, be sure to check out the full event on my IG: @ happiestjenonearth for highlights of the event under "Disney: SoCal Moms."

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