Monday, May 7, 2012

Kid Flicks for the Summer

Every family needs a photo like this...
This one goes out to all those Moms and Dads that read our blog. And by that, I mean... our own...

...and never one like this. Ever.
When deciding whether to let your kid see a movie, you like to have options, no doubt. Granted, especially if you have a little tike, these options are limited. It seems that the main complaint for parents of young children (under 13) is that there just isn't a whole lot of films they feel comfortable letting their kids go to. Sex, over-the-top violence, adult content, etc. seems to be the main attraction when it comes to the summer blockbuster.

Have no fear! When you just want to escape the summer heat and enjoy a nice cold (non-alcoholic) beverage with some popcorn with your kids, these films have you covered. This goes to babysitters, too...

While many of the kiddie flicks out there seem... well, just that, grown-ups may be pleasantly surprised leaving the theaters after seeing some of these movies.......

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

The next film in the family friendly Madagascar franchise will most definitely keep the kids laughing with the latest antics of the beloved talking-zoo escapees. The whole gang gets back together to, once again, get back to their New York City home. In the second Madagascar movie (there...was a second...?), the animals traveled through Africa, but now, their faced with traveling through Europe. No doubt, this will include some American tourist jokes, European snobbery, and other whimsical actions. However, the Madagascar franchise is surprisingly entertaining, as voice actors Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, and crew lend their talents to the franchise, and Noah Baumbach penned the script. The Squid and the Whale and Kicking and Screaming writer should have an entertaining screenplay for both kids and adults.
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted hits theaters June 8, 2012, but will also be featured in Cannes (out of competition). Spend the extra bucks and see it in 3D. Or don't. (Please don't)


In the latest sure-to-be-amazing Pixar film, Brave, the Award-winning studio jumps on the Princess Power bandwagon. While done well in films such as The Princess and the Frog and Tangled, Pixar will undoubtedly keep the film entertaining for both kids and adults, while working their gorgeous animated magic. Led by the storyboard director of The Incredibles (Mark Andrews) and Prince of Egypt dirctor (Brenda Chapman, also the first woman to direct an animated film with a major studio with Prince), Brave certainly is expected to pack a powerful punch. Taking place in the Scotland Highlands, the story follows the journey of the high-strung Princess Merida (voiced by Boardwalk Empire's Kelly Macdonald) as she must deal with the consequences and dangers she has put on the kingdom by being such a free spirit. It's nice to see Pixar finally making a female character their centerpiece, and also giving any character TWO PARENTS (or... parents, in general). Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, Billy Connolly, Emma Thomson, and of course, "good luck charm" John Ratzenberger. Brave should surpass the previous Princess Power bar set by Tangled, as it keeps both kids and adults alike entertained with Pixar's trademark roller coaster ride of emotions.
Brave bursts its way into theaters on June 22, 2012. Brave will also be released in 3D. Sigh.

Ice Age: Continental Drift

How many Ice Age films are they going to make...? Or should I say... How "Manny"? Sigh, once again, the motley band of misfits elude extinction, and cause all sorts of mayhem. The fourth installment to the franchise features the same cast of voices (Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Denis Leary, etc.), and that should at least keep things entertaining. While their romps and escapades are getting a bit tiresome, Ice Age 4 features the gang to once again keep moving onward, avoiding the inevitable disaster and doom and death (just... don't tell your kids that). As the ice continues to melt, Captain Gutt (voiced by Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage), an orangutan pirate, tries to stop the merry band of misfits from returning home. The inclusion of Dinklage, Jeniffer Lopez, Aziz Ansari and Wanda Sykes should keep the fourth movie fresh.
Ice Age: Continental Drift attempts to not melt in the summer heat on July 13, 2012. Yes, yes, it will also be in 3D.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

Perhaps animated films aren't really up your alley, then the third installment to the Wimpy franchise may intrigue you. I for one, did not even know there were three... Yet I digress. As with the book series, the movies following the life of Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) has been a surprise hit. Out of school with nothing to do, Greg and his best friend, Rowley (Robert Capton), take part in many an adventure that are sure to lead to disaster. Slapstick, toilet humor, and the like should be heavily featured, as in the prior two. But hey, sometimes you just need that kind of laugh. Wallace Wolodarsky (writer of some Simpsons episodes and Monsters vs. Aliens) should have a lively script, as well, based on the books The Last Straw and Dog Days by Jeff Kinney.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days hits theaters August 3, 2012.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green

If talking animals and potty humor don't suit you, perhaps Disney's latest feature film will suit your fancy. The story follows the lives of two parents unable to conceive (Jeniffer Garner and Joel Edgerton).,Obviously frustrated, the parents make a list of everything they wish their child to be and bury that list in the backyard. One stormy night, 10-year-old Timothy (CJ Adams) arrives and they unofficially adopt him into their home. The parents's lives are changed in magical and mysterious ways as there is more to Timothy than previously thought. Led by Peter Hedges (Dan in Real Life), The Odd Life of Timothy Green should be entertaining for adults and kids. With Hedges helming the project with the talents of Garner and Edgerton on board, this off-beat fantasy film should be a very well done character drama for the whole family.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green grows into theaters the 15th of August, 2012.


Once again, another animated flick. However, before you roll your eyes, ParaNorman is from the same studio, Laika, that created the phenomenal stop-motion film, Coraline. Following the life of a social outcast, Norman (voiced by Let Me In star Kodi Smit-McPhee), must use his supernatural powers of ghost whispering to save his town from the centuries-old curse of an evil witch. Like Coraline, this film may be a bit too dark and creepy for young kids, but ParaNorman looks like another beautifully crafted stop-motion picture by Laika. This film should definitely appeal to adults, but also kids who can relate to the social outcast source material and/or those youngsters who are budding horror and monster movie fans.
ParaNorman creeps into theaters August 17, 2012.

While the summer of 2012 features many a superhero flick, there is more than enough good ol' fashion family films out there.

Happy Family Movie Watching!

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