There’s nothing like a slate of classic Halloween cartoons to get you in the *ahem* spirit of the season while still making you feel all warm and fuzzy.
Too bad that’s a werewolf you’re cuddled up to!
Check out these scary-not-scary classic Halloween cartoons any time throughout the year you’re feeling a little nostalgic.
Mickey Mouse in Lonesome Ghosts (1937)
Mickey, Donald and Goofy work as ghost exterminators, but in a haunted house they end up getting pranked and spooked by four mischievous ghosts. The cartoon is full of humorous gags playing off common ghost movie tropes.
Casper the Friendly Ghost (1945-1959)
The lighthearted animated series follows the adventures of Casper, a friendly ghost, along with his ghostly uncles and friends like Wendy the Witch. The cartoons have a playful take on ghosts that made Casper a popular Halloween icon.
Disney’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949)
Ichabod Crane’s hollow pursuit of the lovely Katrina is interrupted by the Headless Horseman in this animated adaptation of Washington Irving’s story. The film’s stylized visuals of ghosts, ghouls and the lanky Ichabod make it a perfect cartoon for the Halloween season.
Donald Duck Trick or Treat (1952)
Witch Hazel helps Donald Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie get revenge after getting tricked out of their Halloween candy. This Disney short is an amusing Halloween tale of tricks, pranks and retribution.
Looney Tunes – “Broom-Stick Bunny” (1956)
Witch Hazel tries to make Bugs Bunny into a witch’s brew, but he tricks her with disguises and reverses her magic spells. This classic Looney Tunes episode is filled with Halloween magic and mischief.
The Flintstones – A Haunted House is Not a Home (1964)
In this 1964 episode, Fred and Barney agree to stay overnight in a haunted house on a bet from the Water Buffalo Lodge. After entering the creepy abandoned home, Fred and Barney encounter strange happenings like ghosts, floating objects, and mysterious music. Their attempts to be brave are constantly thwarted by their fear of the paranormal. Eventually, it’s revealed that the whole haunting was a prank orchestrated by their wives Wilma and Betty to teach their husbands a lesson. All the tricks were special effects rigged up by a producer friend. The episode is a fun, lighthearted take on a classic haunted house story with the goofy twist of it just being Fred and Barney’s wives playing tricks on them. Though not genuinely scary, the humorous hijinks and haunted house icons like ghosts and levitating objects make this a fitting Flintstones cartoon for the Halloween season.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
In this Peanuts TV special, Linus believes in the mythical Great Pumpkin and spends Halloween night waiting for him in the pumpkin patch while the other kids go trick-or-treating. Charlie Brown gets rocks instead of candy and Snoopy’s World War I flying ace battles the Red Baron. The show captures the fun, imagination and disappointment of childhood Halloween nights.
Mad Monster Party? (1967)
Baron Boris von Frankenstein throws a dinner party and ball for monsters and ghouls like Dracula, the Werewolf and the Creature, with zany results. Rankin/Bass’ monster mash-up is ideal Halloween fun.
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (1969-1970)
The classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon series features Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma solving supernatural mysteries, which always end up being elaborate hoaxes. With its goofy characters and formulaic plot lines, Scooby-Doo became the definitive Halloween cartoon series for generations of kids.
Bugs Bunny’s Howl-oween Special (1978)
This 1978 TV special features three spooky and humorous Bugs Bunny cartoons linked together by new animated segments. In “Broom-Stick Bunny,” Bugs feuds with Witch Hazel. “A-Haunting We Will Go” shows Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales exploring a haunted house. And in “Bewitched Bunny,” Bugs matches wits with Witch Hazel again. The new animated segments show Bugs Bunny at home carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating, and telling stories to his nephew Clyde. The special captures the fun and mischief of the holiday as Bugs plays pranks on witches and ghosts while collecting candy. Despite the supernatural elements, Bugs ultimately outsmarts every challenge using his cleverness and humor. The blend of classic cartoons and new segments makes this a festive Bugs Bunny treat for Halloween.
The Smurfs – All Hallows’ Eve (1982)
In this 1982 episode, the Smurfs are preparing for the Halloween festival of All Hallows’ Eve. Brainy Smurf strongly disapproves of the holiday, believing it to be nothing but silly superstition. Through the night, Brainy denies being scared by spooky stories, jumping jack-o’-lanterns, and haunted houses. But when the witch Chlorhydris actually curses the other Smurfs to transform into monsters, Brainy has to overcome his skepticism. He seeks help from a wizard who tells him only the power of love can break the spell. Brainy realizes the meaning of Halloween and gets his friends to change back by apologizing and affirming their friendship. The episode provides a heartwarming message about overcoming biases and bringing people together, teaching Brainy to not judge the holiday but embrace its worthy values.
Garfield’s Halloween Adventure (1985)
Garfield the cat has an appetite for candy, trouble and adventure in this TV special. Garfield and Odie go trick-or-treating in a haunted house, where they encounter ghosts and pirates while collecting piles of Halloween loot.
The Real Ghostbusters – “When Halloween Was Forever” (1986)
In this episode, an ancient evil spirit named Samhain is accidentally released and wants to make Halloween night last forever. The Ghostbusters must travel back in time to capture Samhain and save Halloween.
Beetlejuice – “Laugh of the Party” (1989)
It’s Lydia’s birthday on Halloween, but instead of a party, she has to go to the Neitherworld’s “laughs-giving” celebration, where Beetlejuice and his friends try to find new ways to scare humans.
The Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror” Episodes (1990-Present)
These annual Halloween episodes feature the Simpson family in spooky paranormal stories, often parodying horror films and TV shows. The Treehouse of Horror segments are filled with humorous satire and Halloween-spirited mischief.
The Halloween Tree (1993)
Ray Bradbury wrote this animated fantasy about four friends who travel through time with a magical Halloween tree to learn the origins of Halloween customs. The striking visuals and enchanting story make it a distinctive Halloween journey.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
This stop-motion musical fantasy film by Tim Burton follows the Pumpkin King Jack Skellington as he stumbles upon Christmas Town and becomes obsessed with celebrating the holiday. With its creative character designs and catchy Danny Elfman soundtrack, this film has become a Halloween and Christmas classic.
Room on the Broom (2012)
This delightful animated BBC Halloween short based on the picture book is about a friendly witch and her cat who invite animals to join them on their broom, only to run into a dragon who threatens their new friends. The witch and animals work together to defeat the dragon through teamwork.