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YumeTwins Kawaii Culture BlogBest Halloween Cartoon Movies to Watch This Year!

Best Halloween Cartoon Movies to Watch This Year!

By Devon Lord-Moncrief
September 28, 2023
An anime girl with a witch's hat that looks like she could be in one of many Halloween cartoon movies.

Halloween cartoon movies, better known as anime, are a fantastic part of the Halloween season. Whether you’re a fan of the spookier and more adult movies or simply like light-hearted Halloween aesthetics, there’s a fantastic movie out there just for you!

And if anime is your thing, some fantastic anime movies are perfect for Halloween! Here are five Halloween cartoon movies you can watch this season (but don’t stop with just these!)

Hells (2008)

The title of this movie might sound super scary, but Hells is anything but. Hyperstylized and frenetic, Hells is a visual and aural experience that must be experienced to be believed. When Amagane Rinne suffers an untimely accident on the way to school one day, she suffers an even untimelier death.

A classroom scne from the movie "Hells", one of many Halloween cartoon movies.
“Hells” is a comedy-horror anime movie Image via MUBI

Finding herself in Destinyland, aka Hell, Rinne undergoes the journey of a (un)lifetime as she attempts to find her way back to the world of the living. The movie Hells may be wild and loud, but check all the boxes for the perfect midnight Halloween movie. Demon girls, demon boys, and plenty of spooky imagery? Check, check, and check.

Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek (2005)

Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek may be a short movie, but it perfectly captures the spirit of Halloween. A young boy named Hikora decides to play a game of Otokoyo (“Hunt”) to find his lost sister, Sorincha. Kakurenbo is only 25 minutes long, but its messages and themes speak to the spirit and innocence of childhood.

A screenshot from "Kakurenbo", featuring a scary mask.
“Kakurenbo” is about abandoned children in a neighborhood. Image via Easternhicks

Like Ray Bradbury’s novel, The Halloween Tree, Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek mixes the whimsical love of childhood and Halloween with a sense of sadness and loss. It might not be the movie to end your night with, but it’s worth watching. Kakurenbo reminds us how important it is to cherish the years of childhood and never to let that sense of wonder disappear.

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Spirited Away (2001)

Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away is a classic in every regard and is also a fantastic movie for Halloween. When Chihiro, a young girl, steps away from her family for only a second, she returns to find them transformed into giant pigs. The mystery and chaos deepen further as Chihiro finds herself employed in a massive bathhouse for spirits.

A scene from "Spirited Away" with Chihiro and No-Face. It's one of many well-known Halloween cartoon movies.
Spirited Away is a spooky, yet heart-warming classic. Image via Turner Classic Movies

From the soot demons to the gluttonous No-Face, Spirited Away has one of the most unforgettable casts in all anime. Spirited Away is brimming with spirits and ghosts of all kinds, some kind, some not so much, but the otherworldly atmosphere and ghostly cast make it a perfect film to watch on Halloween.

Demon City Shinjuku (1988)

Based on the novel of the same name by Hideyuki Kikuchi, Demon City Shinjuku is the ultimate foray into spooky demon-filled action. Kyoza Izayoi is the last hope in freeing Shinjuku from the clutches of the evil Rebi Ra, who killed his father.

A scene from Demon City Shinjuku, where two people are surrounded by static televisions.
This film is for more mature audiences. Image via Japanese Film Reviews

As Kyoza travels more profoundly and deeper into the demon-infested Shinjuku, he encounters beings both helpful…and dangerous. With loads of monsters and ghosts lurking around every corner (and some of the very best animation ever put to film), Demon City Shinjuku is a Halloween treat for older viewers (but don’t worry, it doesn’t go over the top with its content.) 

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001)

Cowboy Bebop for Halloween? Oh yes. As surprising as this might seem, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie is set during the Halloween season and features a villain who loves jack-o-lanterns (but not for good reasons.)

A scene featuring the principal cast of "Cowboy Bebop" The Movie.
“Cowboy Bebop: The Movie” is an underrated Halloween classic! Image via New Zealand International Film Festival

As the crew of the Bebop race to apprehend a terrorist before he hurts countless innocent people, the stakes rise higher and higher in this fantastic addition to an already legendary anime. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie is definitely for older viewers, but it never jumps the gun with its content, and its super cool Halloween theme makes it a surprising hit for the season.

Again, you can watch only some Halloween cartoon movies this season. There are so many to discuss, which doesn’t even include all of the excellent anime series that are great for Halloween. Which ones are your favorite? Do you like cute witches or spooky monsters? Let us know in the comments which movie you plan on watching this Halloween!

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