10 New Halloween Specials to Watch With Your Kid

10 New Halloween Specials to Watch With Your Kid
Screenshot: The Snoopy Show/Apple TV+

If you and your kids are tired of watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and The Paul Lynde Halloween Special over and over and over every October, these 10 new Halloween specials, special episodes, and series are kid-friendly spooky alternatives, and fresh-as-a-newly killed corpse — and all of them are streaming now.

Lego Star Wars Terrifying Tales

This spooky special fits simultaneously into the Lego universe, the Star Wars universe, and the Halloween universe, which has to be a record of some kind. The constant stream of goofy Star Wars and Lego jokes keep this trio of animated tales from getting too scary for the little ones (and too boring for you) and the stand-out voice work of Dana “Master Shake” Snyder as Graballa the Hutt steals the show.

Muppets Haunted Mansion

The muppets have been hit-or-miss for decades now (remember 2015’s regrettable The Muppets?) but this Halloween special is a definite hit. It applies the classic Muppet formula — puppet production numbers, loveable characters, surprisingly funny jokes, and unexpected celebrity appearances — to a by-the-numbers Halloween plot featuring Gonzo and Pepe the King Prawn spending a night in the haunted mansion from Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride. Yeah, it’s a corporately synergistic leveraging of two Disney IPs to captures a programming demographic, but it’s still got a little magic in it.

Escape the Undertaker

Like professional wrestling itself, Escape the Undertaker, a Netflix interactive movie featuring wrestlers of the WWE, is the dumbest and most awesome thing imaginable. Young wrestling fans will legitimately love seeing their favourites like New Day and The Undertaker (“Taker” to his friends) in a new medium, and parents with an eye for the ridiculous will shake their head at how shoddy but strangely sincere it is. Plus, the “choose your own adventure” interactive gimmick is novel enough to keep anyone’s interest. At least for half of it, which — full disclosure — is all I could handle.

Sharkdog’s Fintastic Halloween

Sharkdog is the half-shark, half-dog star of this animated Netflix Jr. Halloween special. The friendly-but-forgettable CGI creation will entertain smaller kids with its lightweight spooky thrills and won’t cause nightmare in any but the most sensitive. It’s the kind of thing that you put on to keep ‘em occupied while you grab a shower. “Can I just have five freakin’ minutes to poop?” television is an important and too-often overlooked genre of children’s programming.

Night of the Ghoul Log

Taking a cue from the many yule logs broadcast around Christmas, horror-streamer Shudder is presenting an hour-long video of a jack o’ lantern, uncut, with no commercials. It’s just something seasonally appropriate to have on in the background as you carve your own own pumpkins and/or check your children’s Halloween candy for razor blades and weed edibles.

Just Beyond

Sadly, this is not a child-friendly reboot of Lucio Fulci’s 1981 horror classic The Beyond. Instead, it’s an eight episode supernatural anthology series inspired by R.L. Stine, the Stephen King of kid-lit. I sat down to watch an episode last night for this list, and I ended up watching four in a row. Just because it’s good: funny, weird-but-not-too-scary, and Tim Heidecker even shows up at one point. It’s the perfect show for 11-year-olds to watch at a slumber party.

Jack and Kelly Osbourne: Night of Terror

I’m including this 16th-minute-of-fame Halloween special starring Ozzy Osbourne’s children because I love the endless possibilities created by the mordern mediascape’s never-ending hunger for content. With 78 billion streaming services that need fresh content, eventually every kind of show possible will be produced. It’s like the infinite monkeys with infinite typewriters theory in action — eventually, one of them typed, “a Halloween reality special where Jack and Kelly Osbourne search the Queen Mary cruise ship for ghosts,” and poof. Should you watch this with your children? I don’t know. You’re the parent.

Halloween Harmony Holiday Special

Even the smallest kids need some Halloween fun, and this special episode of Prime Video’s CGI-animated series Do, Re, & Mi will give it to ‘em. It presents two short, Halloween-themed stories starring the titular songbirds. Despite the Halloween trappings, this friendly, colourful series about the power of music is for very little kids, so it’s designed to be as unthreatening and positive as possible. But you never know — when I was a kid, I was couldn’t-sleep-terrified of a picture in my favourite picture book. So maybe Do, Re & Me’s Halloween adventures will traumatize your kid for life!

Scaredy Cats

In this harmless supernatural series, a trio of 12 year-old-girls gain the power to turn into cats, but some evil witches want to steal the powerful necklace they possess. Throughout its eight episode run, many animals talk. Little girls/cats are chased around. The “power of friendship” is demonstrated. Character actors and grips get a nice (probably non-union) gig for a couple months. And somewhere, a 7-year-old girl who loves cats and witches discovers her favourite television show ever.

The Snoopy Show: The Curse of Fuzzy Face

When you’re making a Peanuts Halloween episode, you have some big shoes to fill. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is the Halloween special against which all other Halloween specials are measured, so even trying is commendable for the courage it took. Does “The Curse of Fuzzy Face” measure up? No. But it’s good enough. It’s respectful and enjoyable, and kids aren’t discerning critically anyway.

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