Best Halloween movies and shows on Disney Plus to watch in 2021

Zombie Iron Man from What If...?
(Image credit: Marvel)

It's a tough balance to strike trying to find something suitably spooky for the kids to watch over Halloween that won't completely scar them for life. But you need look no further. There are plenty of Halloween movies and shows on Disney Plus to stream and we've compiled a list of the best creepy delights.

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Disney's streaming service has an excellent selection of TV series, short-films, feature-length movies and October 31-themed specials, all available through its Halloween Collection hub. 

This includes brand-new Disney Plus Originals like the Muppets Haunted Mansion and fantasy series Just Beyond, in addition to creepy classics like The Nightmare Before Christmas – which was initially “too dark and scary” to be released by Disney.

There’s enough grisly entertainment and spooky fun here amongst Disney Plus' best shows to keep both young and older viewers happy this Halloween, and below we’ve rounded up 10 of the very best movies and TV shows on Disney Plus for all you ghouls and goblins to enjoy.

Just Beyond (2021)

Megan Sott in Just Beyond

(Image credit: Disney)

This recent addition to Disney Plus promises lots of creepy mysteries with a twist in the tale. It’s an anthology series based on horror fiction writer R.L. Stine’s graphic novel of the same name, and features eight episodes in which school-age teens confront theater-dwelling ghosts, secret societies and alternative dimensions – something like a Young Adult take on The Twilight Zone. 

It boasts a fantastic pedigree of actors well versed in the horror-fantasy genre too, including McKenna Grace (Annabelle Comes Home), Gabriel Bateman (Child’s Play), and Henry Thomas (The Haunting of Hill House). Expect a gleefully weird show packed full of quick wit, suspense, and supernatural beings that lurk “just beyond the world you know”.

Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021)

Muppets Haunted Manion on Disney Plus

(Image credit: Disney)

In development hell since the 1990s, three decades later and the Muppets finally have a hallowed Halloween special. Based on Disneyland's The Haunted Mansion, it follows Gonzo the Great and Pepé the King Prawn as they blow off Kermit’s Halloween party to spend 24-hours at the titular mansion, so Gonzo can prove his daredevil reputation is still intact. If they survive the night, they are free to leave. If not, they’ll be trapped there forever!

Of course, Muppets Haunted Mansion has some brilliant celebrity cameos. Yvette Nicole Brown (Community) appears as a limo driver whose passengers never book a return trip, Danny Trejo cameos as a graveyard spectre alongside caretaker Darren Criss, and Taraji P. Henson plays a murderous widower looking for her next husband/hatchet job. It’s entertainingly spooky, with some spirited (!) songs featuring your favorite felt friends, including Miss Piggy as Madame Pigota and Fozzy Bear – the latter booed off stage for cheesy jokes like, “What happens if you don’t pay your exorcism bill? You get re-possessed!” Waka waka!

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas

(Image credit: Disney)

Produced by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick, The Nightmare Before Christmas is an animated stop-motion classic. One-part pitch black fantasy and one-part candy-colored stocking stuffer, it’s guaranteed enduring appeal by ingeniously blending together our two favorite holidays, with a soundtrack full of memorable songs like ‘This is Halloween’ and the rapturous ‘What’s This?’.

Disney initially distanced themselves from the film, distributing it through subsidiary company Touchstone Pictures instead. They felt the story of a melancholy “Pumpkin King” stumbling upon Christmastown, kidnapping Santa and commandeering the beloved holiday with the help of Sally the Rag Doll (Catherine O’Hara), mad scientist Dr Finkelstein, and the bug-filled Oogie Boogie (Ken Page), might alienate their core audience.

But the answer to the opening lyric, “Boys and girls of every age, don’t you want to see something strange?”, proved to be a resounding YES, because the movie became a sleeper hit and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects – a first for an animated film.

What If…Zombies? (2021)

Zombie Iron Man from What If...?

(Image credit: Marvel)

Even MCU fans get a Halloween-themed monster mash-up. The animated anthology series What If…? explores what would happen if major events in the MCU movies occurred differently. And for episode 5, that involves Hank Pym entering the Quantum Realm and coming back with something worse than a cold.

Yes, inspired by the Marvel Zombies comic series, we get to see Iron Man, Captain America and more as shambling, ravenous brain-munchers, while the remaining Avengers attempt to quell a zombie apocalypse. Luckily, Peter Parker is available with a tongue-in-cheek video tutorial on how to survive (tip 1: wear long sleeves).

Featuring the vocal talent of Mark Ruffalo, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany and Evangeline Lilly, anything goes in this animated, alternative dimension. Which makes for a fun, fast-paced and gory addition to the MCU, with an increased quota of carnage rarely allowed in a live-action entry.

You can now watch all episodes of the regular series now!

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Hocus Pocus

(Image credit: Buena Vista Pictures / Disney)

“Three ancient hags versus the 20th century.” That’s a pretty neat summation of this supernatural comedy from Kenny Ortega, which opens in 1693 as a trio of witches are executed for draining the life from Salem’s children.

300 years later and they’re resurrected by cynical teen Max Dennison after he tries to impress a girl on Halloween. This gives Winnie, Sarah, and Mary Sanderson (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy respectively) 24 hours to enchant a child and regain their vitality. But first they have to contend with a bewildering modern world and deceptively dressed trick or treaters.

It’s a brisk, entertaining blend of hocus pocus and OTT, colorful characters, including Winnie’s zombie ex-lover Billy Butcherson (played by Hellboy’s Doug Jones). Midler’s rendition of “I Put A Spell On You” is a movie highlight, while the sight of an airborne Kathy Najimy straddling a vacuum cleaner never fails to raise a smile. There’s a Disney-produced sequel in the works too, so prepare to be bewitched again next Fall.

The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episodes (1990 - present)

Homer in 'The Shining' Tree House of Horror V

(Image credit: Fox)

Since 1990 the Halloween-themed episodes of The Simpsons have been giving us an extra dose of gore with our guffaws, and Disney Plus has all 31 specials ready to stream. They’re often the highlight of each season, in which Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa appear in three or more tales of sublimely stupid terror.

They lampoon everything from slasher flicks, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Psycho, literary classics like Harry Potter and Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, to science fiction series such as The Twilight Zone. And, proving that nothing’s off limits in a Treehouse of Horror episode, they recently delivered a demented take on Toy Story (dubbed “Toy Gory”).

Yet probably everyone’s favorite is the first segment of Treehouse of Horror V (“The Shinning”) in which Groundskeeper Willie tries to save The Simpsons from their father’s homicidal rage after they’re stranded together in a haunted hotel. “No TV and no beer make Homer go crazy!” Either way, they’re all brilliant, binge-worthy, and guaranteed to break your funny bone.

Trick or Treat (1952)

1952 Trick or Treat

(Image credit: Disney)

This charming 9-minute short from Walt Disney Productions is full of macabre whimsy and has a moral all children can agree on when it comes to trick or treating: “better not be stingy or your nightmares will come true!”

Taking place on Halloween night, Huey, Dewey, and Louie knock at their uncle's house dressed in ghoulish disguises and anticipating sweet treats. Instead, Donald Duck gleefully places firecrackers in their bags and douses them with water before retreating in quacking hysterics. All the while, an actual witch named Hazel has observed these events, and decides to intervene on behalf of Donald's dejected nephews. Thus ensues an battle of wills between the two, with the powerful Hazel hounding the belligerent duck with an enchanted fantasia of household items.

Directed by animation legend Jack Hannah, who’s been credited with developing the character of Donald Duck, this is a good-natured hoot for all ages, featuring an excellent score and exuberant animation.

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad (1949)

The Headless Horseman in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad

(Image credit: Disney)

Bringing Irving Washington’s short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to life is this animated double-feature. However, you’ll want to fast-forward to around the 36-minute mark if you plan on skipping the Wind in the Willows segment that opens the film.

Ichabod’s story is both jaunty and suspenseful. The lanky oddball arrives in a small village outside of Tarrytown to take up the position of schoolmaster, and quickly falls for the charms of Katrina Van Tassel. His luck in love, however, is resented by the bullish Brom Bones, and not long after the town’s big Halloween celebration, Ichabod finds himself pursued by the headless horseman, “looking for a top to chop”.

Disney’s eleventh animation, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad is artfully executed and boasts toe-tapping songs, with bouncy lyrics like “ghosts are bad but the one that’s cursed, the Headless Horseman, he’s the worst.” Plus, it’s narrated by Bing Crosby! But when Ichabod travels through the murky glen in the dead of night, thinking every hooting owl is an apparition? That’s genuinely nerve-wracking.

Frankenweenie (2012)

Victor and his dog Sparky in a dark graveyard

(Image credit: Code List)

Tim Burton brought the majority of his Corpse Bride (2015) animators and crew on to produce this feature-length stop-motion remake of his 1984 live-action short. That film – also called Frankenweenie (and also on Disney Plus) – actually got Burton fired from Disney for “wasting company resources,” at a time before he was a household name.

Shot in striking black and white, Frankenweenie is a love-letter to the sci-fi genre, specifically the Universal Pictures classic Frankenstein. In the movie, Victor is an avid science enthusiast whose closest companion is his bull terrier Sparky. So, when Sparky is hit by a car, his grief leads him to reanimate the family dog in his makeshift laboratory. And it works! But once his fellow pupils get word, they’re clamouring for Victor to bring their pets back from the dead too.

Frankenweenie is a dream for Burton fans: dark, idiosyncratic, and populated by bizarre characters. Plus, it reunited him with regular collaborators like Winona Ryder (Edward Scissorhands), Catherine O’Hara (Beetlejuice) and Martin Landau (Ed Wood).

Growing Fangs (2021)

Keyla Monterroso Mejia in Growing Fangs

(Image credit: Disney)

Episode three of the Disney anthology Launchpad Presents is a fantastical tale about Mexican American teen Val Garcia, who's got a secret she’s been hiding from her friend Jimmy. She’s a vampire! And she’s half-human too. But she’s struggling to reconcile these distinct identities.

That means being able to go out in the day, but having to wear factor 10,000 sunblock, and having to hide evidence of her human nature while among the werewolves and wizards at Monster School. Because, popular opinion dictates – and its shared by her schoolgirl crush Elsie Fang – that mortals are violent, stupid and unpredictable.

Written and directed by Ann Marie Pace and starring Keyla Monterroso as Val, it’s an imaginative and warm-hearted short about diversity and the complexities of identity. Comforting Val when a test reveals her dual human/vampire nature, the school nurse affirms: “I’m a witch. I’m tall. I’m Muslim. And I am fabulous.” Here here!

All the Halloween movies and TV shows on Disney Plus available to stream

While we've picked out the most notable Halloween movies and TV shows on Disney Plus, there's plenty more readily available to stream. Whether you're after something seriously spooky, or a creepy tail to suit the little ones, here's a full list of everything you can watch on Disney Plus this Halloween.

Movies and Series:

  • Bride of Boogedy
  • Can of Worms
  • Don’t Look Under the Bed
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • Frankenweenie (2012)
  • Gargoyles
  • Girl vs. Monster
  • Gravity Falls
  • Halloweentown
  • Halloweentown High
  • Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge
  • Hocus Pocus
  • Invisible Sister
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • Maleficent
  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
  • Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
  • Mom’s Got A Date With A Vampire
  • Mr. Boogedy
  • Phantom of the Megaplex
  • Return to Halloweentown
  • So Weird
  • Spooky Buddies
  • The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
  • The Ghosts of Buxley Hall
  • The Haunted Mansion
  • The Scream Team
  • Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Twitches
  • Twitches Too
  • Vampirina
  • Wizards of Waverly Place
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie

The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror (I - XXX) and The Simpsons Horror Collection

Shorts and Specials:

  • Captain Sparky Vs. The Flying Saucers
  • Frankenweenie (1984)
  • Lonesome Ghosts
  • Mater and the Ghostlight
  • The Legend of Mor'du
  • Toy Story of Terror!
  • Trick or Treat
  • Vampirina Ghoul Girls Rock!

Haunting Episodes:

  • WandaVision - “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!”
  • What If...? - “What If...Zombies?!”
  • The Muppet Show - “Vincent Price”
  • Behind The Attraction - “The Haunted Mansion”
  • The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse - “Houseghosts”
  • The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse - “Once Upon An Apple”
  • Prop Culture - “The Nightmare Before Christmas”
  • Earth To Ned - “Night of the Living Ned”
  • The Incredible Dr. Pol - “Pol-Tergeist”
  • America’s Funniest Home Videos - “Scared Silly, Trick or Treat, and a Home Wrecking Rodent”
  • America’s Funniest Home Videos - “Tricks & Treats, Costume Party and Baby Monsters”
  • America’s Funniest Home Videos - “Halloween Classics, Magic Mishaps, and Spiders”
  • America’s Funniest Home Videos - “Halloweenies and Creepy Crawlies”
  • America’s Funniest Home Videos - “Halloween, Instant Karma, and Scared Stupid”
  • America’s Funniest Home Videos - “Halloweenies 2012 and Second Guy Bites It”

Disney Channel Halloween Episodes:

  • A.N.T Farm - “Mutant Farm”
  • Big City Greens - “Blood Moon Part 1 / Blood Moon Part 2”
  • Bunk'd - “Camp Kiki-slasher”
  • DuckTales (2017) - “Terror of the Terra-firmians!”
  • Even Stevens - “A Very Scary Story”
  • Girl Meets World - “Girl Meets World of Terror”
  • Good Luck Charlie - “Scary Had a Little Lamb”
  • Goof Troop - “Hallow-Weenies”
  • Gravity Falls - “Summerween”
  • Hannah Montana - “Torn Between Two Hannahs”
  • Jessie - “The Whining”
  • K.C. Undercover - “All Howls Eve”
  • Kim Possible - “October 31st”
  • Lab Rats - “Night of The Living Virus”
  • Liv and Maddie - “Haunt-A-Rooney”
  • Lizzie McGuire - “Night of the Day of the Dead”
  • Mickey Mouse (Shorts) - “Ghoul Friend”
  • Phil of the Future - “Halloween”
  • Phineas and Ferb - “Terrifying Tri-State Trilogy of Terror” (Part 1 and 2)
  • Raven's Home - “Switch-Or-Treat”
  • Recess - “Terrifying Tales of Recess”
  • Shake It Up - “Haunt It Up”
  • Sonny With A Chance - “A So Random Halloween Special”
  • Star vs. The Forces of Evil - “Hungry Larry/Spider with a Top Hat”
  • Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure - “The Wrath of Ruthless Ruth”
  • That's So Raven - “Don't Have a Cow”
  • The Proud Family - “A Hero For Halloween”
  • The Suite Life of Zack & Cody - “Ghost of 613”
  • The Suite Life On Deck - “Sea Monster Mash”
  • Wizards of Waverly Place - “Halloween”

Disney Junior Halloween Episodes:

  • Doc McStuffins - “Boo-Hoo to You! / It's Glow Time”
  • Doc McStuffins - “Hallie Halloween / Don't Fence Me In”
  • Doc McStuffins “Mirror, Mirror On My Penguin / Hide and Eek!”
  • Fancy Nancy - “Nancy's Costume Clash / Nancy's Ghostly Halloween”
  • Goldie & Bear - “Witch Cat is Which? / Trick or Treat Trouble”
  • Handy Manny - “Halloween / Squeeze's Magic Show”
  • Henry Hugglemonster - “Halloween Scramble / Scouts Night Out”
  • Henry Hugglemonster - “Huggleween Moon”
  • Imagination Movers - “A Monster Problem”
  • Imagination Movers - “Haunted Halloween”
  • Jake and the Never Land Pirates - “Escape from Ghost Island / The Island of Doctor Undergear”
  • Jake and the Never Land Pirates - “Night of the Golden Pumpkin / Trick or Treasure!”
  • Jake and the Never Land Pirates - “Phantoms of Never-Nether Land / Magical Mayhem”
  • Jake and the Never Land Pirates - “Pirate Ghost Story / Queen Izzybella”
  • Jake and the Never Land Pirates - “Tricks, Treats and Treasure! / Season of the Sea Witch”
  • Little Einsteins - “A Little Einsteins Halloween”
  • Mickey and the Roadster Racers - “Goof Mansion / A Doozy Night of Mystery”
  • Mickey and the Roadster Racers - “The Haunted Hot Rod / Pete's Ghostly Gala”
  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse - “Mickey's Monster Musical” (Part 1 and 2)
  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse - “Mickey's Treat”
  • Miles from Tomorrowland - “Ghost Moon / Stormy Night in a Dark Nebula”
  • Muppet Babies - “Happy Hallowocka!/The Teeth-Chattering Tale of the Haunted Pancakes”
  • Out of the Box - “Trick or Treat”
  • Puppy Dog Pals - “Return to the Pumpkin Patch / Haunted Howl-oween”
  • Sheriff Callie's Wild West - “The Great Hallow”
  • Sofia the First - “Cauldronation Day”
  • Sofia the First - “Ghostly Gala”
  • Sofia the First - “Princess Butterfly”
  • The Lion Guard - “Beware the Zimwi”
  • Vampirina - “Hauntleyween / Frankenflower”

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Daniel Pateman

Daniel Pateman is a freelance writer, producing articles across the cultural spectrum for magazines like Aesthetica, Photomonitor, The Brooklyn Rail and This is Tomorrow. He also provides text-writing services to individual curators and artists worldwide, and has had work published internationally. His favourite film genre is horror (bring on Scream 5!) and he never tires of listening to Absolute 80s on the radio.