Tales of Witchcraft and Wizardry For Halloween

“Hank, you know what instrument I’m best at playing?”


“The organ.”

“I’d groan, but then my leg would fall off again.”

Hey, I’m alive, but today we’re going to talk about the undead, the spooky, and the not-too grotesque.

I love Halloween for all the fun, costumes, and general silliness we allow ourselves to enjoy. And, of course, as Garfield says, “The candy, candy, candy!”

I have a few friends who are posting their “30 Halloween movies in 30 days,” or other variations in the month of October. I thought of sharing many Halloween classics – like It’s A Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Hocus Pocus, or Nightmare Before Christmas, but decided to share three tales of witchcraft and wizardry which may not be queued up on your list.

These films:

  1. Are fun.
  2. Are family-friendly.
  3. Have witches, and, perhaps, wizards, and other magical happenings.

So, without further ado…


This fun take on Roald Dahl’s protaganist has a wonderful mix of bright colors, dastardly villains in the form of Matilda’s parents and Ms. Trunchbull, and plenty of telekinesis powers to fulfill all of your magical dreams.

Not to mention the giant chocolate cake.

I think all of us have had dreams of such a cake.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

This oft-lookedover Disney live-action isn’t the greatest of all time (that would be Mary Poppins, by the way… You know what, considering that Mary Poppins is basically a friendly witch, you should add that to your list for Halloween too), but it’s fun and has a lot of heart. The songs are fun, Angela Lansberry (AKA Mrs. Potts in her pre-teapot days) makes a lovely witch, there’s some fun underwater adventures, a rip-roaring animal soccer game, and a bit of witchcraft to save England from the Germans in WWII.

You know what – a women takes care of children who aren’t her own, is no-nonsense, and takes them on adventures to magical places, until the Germans and WWII show up and ruin everything? It’s basically Mary Poppins meets Sound of Music.

Okay, it’s not, but it is fun in its own right.

Howl’s Moving Castle

For the more romantic souls, or those who just love Calcifer – the most cuddly fire god in all of literature and cinema, this movie is a great whimsical addition to the Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli canon. We have Howl the wizard, Sophie – who has been transformed, the Witch of the Waste, magical scary beasts to give you just enough of a chill, and an anti-war message.

Okay, maybe that last part isn’t so Halloween-esque.

But, it’s a fun, sweet movie that takes you on a magical ride.

So, there are three more movies to add to your Halloween list. If you need more, just do a Harry Potter marathon.

I hope you have a spooktacular month and I hope to return in November to provide some very exciting announcements for the next chapter of The Pippington Tales.

So, readers:

  • What are your favorite non-traditional Halloween movies?
  • What are your favorite traditional Halloween movies?
  • What are you doing for fun this Halloween?
  • What is your favorite costume?
  • Have you seen Tim Curry’s tambourine? (See below)

Side Note 1: Honorable Mention to The Worst Witch (1986) – a tale of witchcraft school before Harry Potter came around. The current Netflix/BBC series is well-made, but cannot compare to the 80’s versions level of corniness, let alone Tim Curry doing a David Bowie impression for a song about Halloween. You can find the whole TV movie on Dailymotion.com.

Side Note 2: Speaking of Mary Poppins, how do you feel about the upcoming sequel with Emily Blunt? I think the production value might be higher than the video above.

Side Note 3: Last year, a local art museum had an exhibit of Nightmare Before Christmas sets. It was very, very cool.

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