Taking the kids to the movies is a great way to spend time as a family, and generally these days kids movies are as much for the kids as they are for the adults.
Here are our kids and family movie reviews - which include a age recommendation and caution about any violence and any rude bits!
As a Ghostbusters fan from way back I was very intrigued to see how the new Ghostbusters compared to the iconic 80's classic! I had also heard it was a little scary - so wasn't sure about taking my 10 year old along but none the less we prepared ourselves, put our brave pants on and went along. The rumours were right it was pretty scary at the start with a couple of horror style scenes to get you out of your seats. Read more...
The movie starts with adorable Dory as a little one with her parents.
Much like Marlin protecting Nemo when he was young in the original
movie, Dory's over protective parents are trying to prepare her for the
real world. One year on and while "helping out" on a school excursion,
one thing leads to another, Dory remembers her family and convinces
Marlin to help her find them. Read more...
Meet Judy Hopps (voiced Ginnefer Goodwin), just a little bunny from a small carrot farming town who is determined to be the first bunny cop to walk the beat in the big smoke of Zootopia and make the world a better place. Against all odds she gets through the police academy and is pumped and ready to serve the citizens of Zootopia - only to be issued with parking ticket duty of her first day while the other new police recruits are given an tough and exciting assignment to find 14 animals that have gone missing across the city. Read more...
The Good Dinosaur is a movie that is all about finding yourself, in your own way and in your own time and enjoying all the adventures along the way. Arlo is the awkward youngest sibling in this lone dinosaur family. He struggles against his older brother and sister who seem to have easily found their lot in life. Read more...
Pixels brings the old school together with the new school in this action packed and hilarious movie about the time when computer games attacked and tried to destroy planet earth. Read more...
Meet the voices inside your head in Disney Pixar's latest movie, Inside Out. You'll me Joy, Fear, Disgust, Anger and quiet but influential Sadness, and find out how they all work together to ensure happiness. Read more...
Imagine a world, in another dimension, where all the dreamers are put in one place to bring their ideas to life to make the world a better place to live – this is Tomorrowland where the future is now. Read more...
The Book of Love is a beautiful and vibrant film about love not just in life but in the after life too. We weren’t convinced we would enjoy this movie, from the shorts we were a little put off wondering how enjoyable a kids movie about a love triangle that was partly set in the afterlife on the “Day of the Dead” could be. But this movie is far from boring, lovey dovey or morbid. Read more...
The new 2015 release of Disney’s Cinderella (PG) is not far removed from the traditional Cinderella story, so don’t expect any twists or turns to deepen the plot of this well known fairy tale. Read more...
Dreamworks “Home” starts straight out the gate with a breed of aliens called the “Boov” invading earth and taking humans from their homes and taking over planet Earth under instruction from the Boov “Captain Fleck” (voiced by Steve Martin) who has told the Boov, humans are inferior and that it’s Boov’s duty to teach them to be better . The alien takeover is narrated by alien “Oh” (unmistakenly voice by Jim Parsons AKA Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory). Read more...
In The Penguins of Madagascar we find out how this elite team of penguins came together. Going back to when Kowalski (Chris Miller), Skipper (Tom McGrath), Rico (John DiMaggio) and Private (Christopher Knights) where just hatchlings in the Antartic - we find out how these four became "brothers" and then became secret agents. Read more...
Big Hero 6 starts with two robotic genius Tadashi (Daniel Henney) helping to guide his younger brother Hiro (Ryan Potter) to apply his robotics skills by enrolling in the robotics school that he also attends. Big brother Tadashi is like a father to Hiro, as their parents died when they were young and they are now raised by the flamboyant Aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph). Read more...
Disney's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY loosely based on the book with the same name by Judith Viorst, begins with an average day in the life of Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) - days filled with clumsy trip ups and disasters! Read more....
The House of Magic is a good wholesome movie for younger kids with a familiar storyline and adorable characters your kids will fall in love with. Read more...
Everyone' beloved postman, Postman Pat, hits the big screen August 16th, 2014! I was pleasantly surprised by this movie it has a great storyline and will change the way you think of Postman Pat - by the end you won't think he's just the daggy postman for the kids show, you'll know him as Postman Pat, the superstar! Read more...
Planes – Fire & Rescue is the sequel to the first movie Planes. Leading in from the 1st movie Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook) continues he’s winning streak, taking part and winning air races all over the world.
His racing career is booming and he is surrounded by his wonderful supportive friends at Propwash Junction Airport.
But when Dusty has a mid air incident, caused by a fault with is gear box, he’s told that he can no longer race unless a new gear box can be found, which is unlikely. Read more...
In Rio 2 we pick up not long after the end of the first movie with Blu & Jewel and their family of three kids living a semi wild – semi domesticated life, the best of both worlds you might say! And the perfect life given the complete opposite upbringings of Blu & Jewel. Read more....
Muppets Most Wanted is the latest of the many Muppets movies and features a very different plot to the last one, The Muppets Movie (staring Amy Adams and Jason Segel).
If you didn't like the soppy, corny singing in the last one, don't worry this one still has lots of singing (it's a Muppets Movie what more would you expect) but there is only one soppy type singing sequence, the rest are quite funny and more sinister. Read more...
We've spend decades awaiting this moment, but Lego Movie is finally here! And it was worth waiting for!
This movie captures all the Lego fads over the generations with the very new characters as well as the old classics like the good ol spaceman who's spacesuit is all worn and his helmet is cracked, featuring in the movie. It's bright, and action packed right up until the end so is bound to capture the attention of kids of all ages. Read more...
Disney's Frozen is a little bit like the creators other movie Tangled, in that it is about a young girl who grows up to become a teenager, hidden away from society, because she has a power that must be kept secret. There is quite a bit of singing. like in Tangled, but don't let this put you off taking boys to the movie.
The movie is set in medieval times and bases much of the laughs on the innocence of the people of this time. When Princess Anna (Kristen Bell) discovers her much loved, but estranged sister Princess Elsa (Edina Menzel) - who has also just been crowned Queen of Arendelle, has powers she immediately vows to help her. But Elsa, afraid her powers will hurt her sister and others flees their castle in Arendrelle and is determined to live alone.
But it is Anna's love for her sister that keeps her going determined to bring her sister home and unfreeze Arendelle from the eternal winter that has been placed upon it, and the not so nice guy Prince Hans (Santino Fontana) who plans to rule it.
If I had only see the first 15mins of this movie I would say it was mostly suited to older girls, but once we are introduced to Kristoff (Jonathon Groff) & his trusty reindeer Sven and an animated and very naive snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad), this movie surprisingly turned into something for all ages, boys and girls - and certainly had the parents laughing the whole way through too!
While there is some love interest in the movie, the real story is about the love of two sisters - although Anna does not remember why her sister Elsa has shut her out when they were younger, she never forgets the love they had for each other in her heart and never gives up trying to be close to her.
There is a scary snow monster in the story - and there are some scenes in the movie that are quite sad and heart wrenching between the sisters.
Don't let the singing scenes put you off, this is much more than your typical princess movie - they have snuck lots of the gags into the lyrics of these songs and the princesses show us they they are much more than just giggling beauties.
There are lots of laughs for adults in this movie, the animation is amazing and both my boys 3 & 7 thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved that this wasn't your typical boy meets girl love story - you wont see the ending coming! You may find younger one's are a bit restless at the start, but once the other characters are introduced they will love it! This is one movie I can't wait to see again - oh and there is a great Disney Mickey Mouse short movie before the movie starts.
Frozen - 9 /10!
* Recommended for children up to 12 yrs * a kiss at the end * lots of action * some low level violence * some emotional scenes
Inventor Flynn (Bill Hader) is has just been asked by his idol Chester V (Will Forte), to join the Live Corporation. But when he finds out his famous invention, that turns water into food, that he thought had been destroyed was still functioning, he sets out with his inventor friend Barb (Anna) to find it, motivated by his idol Chester V who convinces him it must be shut down - so that the dangerous "foodimals" it has been creating don't swim to civilisation and destroy it.
What they find is that this island of foodimals, is amazing and mostly living in harmony. There are lots of food pun gags, as they discover these new animals all made from food.
But Flynn's drive to find his invention to impress Chester V and save the world, blinds him from his friends advice, they just maybe all these creatures are living in harmony and should be left be.
Younger kids might find the cheese spiders a little scary, but they are only on for a short time and then you just might find they are not as scary as they look.
This movie, much like the first, is pretty way out there, even for a cartoon - there are several laughs throughout the movie, and it was definitely a hit with the kids. The storyline was pretty far fetched which makes it a bit hard to get into and connect with the characters, also there were not as many laughs as some other family movies we've have seen. Not the best kids movie I have every seen but still a good family movie that we all enjoyed.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - 7 /10!
* Recommended for children up to approx 8 yrs * no controversial themes * no sexy stuff * lots of action * low level violence - some mildly scary characters
Turbo (by Dreamworks) is a feel good movie for the whole family that shows us that anyone, even the smallest of us, can achieve their dreams, but no matter what good fortune we have along the way to help us get there, when it comes to the crunch it’s what we have deep inside that will get us over the line!
I wasn’t sure how funny a movie about a fast snail could be, but I was pleasantly surprised and delighted to hear the hysterical laughter in particular from my 3 year old throughout the movie.
And for the grown ups, if you work in industry and are involved in lots of safety meetings at work you will love the funny digs at the whole safety process in the workplace, and those in the safety profession will enjoy having a little laugh at themselves.
This movie is great for all ages particularly the younger ones as there is no real villain in the movie. No scary characters to be worried about, the bad guy is not so much bad as he is really arrogant and just a big meanie.
Turbo is all about a not so ordinary garden snail named Theo (Ryan Renyolds), who refers to himself as Turbo. He knows that there is something more out there for him than just going doing his work, slowly, about the garden day in and day out. He is met daily with scorns from his work colleagues and in particular from his disapproving brother Chet (Paul Giamatti) to get his head out of the clouds and accept the reality, that he is nothing more than an ordinary garden snail.
When one of his daydreams nearly turns out badly, Turbo is ready to give up when fate steps in and he wakes up one day to find out he is turbocharged! Fate continues its work linking him up with some other not so ordinary, high flying garden snails, lead by Whiplash (who is un-mistakenly voiced by Samuel L Jackson), that show Theo just what he can do with his new found powers combined with his determination.
His new found friends help him find his way into the elite race, the Indi 500 – but the current race champion and the movies only “bad guy” Guy Gagne (Bill Hader), who also happens to be Turbo’s idol – crushes his dreams the night before the race by contradicting all the big speeches he gives in front of the media and tells him he should give up as he simply doesn’t have what it takes. But Turbo doesn’t give up – even when he does his best to crush him on the race course.
The movie is a little slow to get started, and it may be difficult to keep the under 5’s engaged at the beginning, but hang in there once his new found powers kick in the laughs roll on!
We loved this movie, my boys 3 & 7 thoroughly enjoyed it and talked about Turbo the whole way home! Highly recommended for a young family, and the perfect movie for parents concerned about scary characters or mature themes – this movie is child friendly from start to finish, and will leave you with that warm feel good feeling too!
Turbo - 8 /10!
* Recommended for children up to approx 10 yrs * no controversial themes * no sexy stuff * lots of action * no scary characters
The latest movie from Disney/Pixar, Monsters University, takes us back to a time way before the friendship between Sully and Mike formed... way, way back in fact to when Mike first started school.
My 7 year old had some trouble understanding why Sully wasn't in the movie at the start and why Sully and Mike didn't know each other when they first met - and of course like how all good friendships in Hollywood begin, he couldn't understand why they didn't like each other at the beginning. So might be a good idea to try to explain all this before you go - as kids are used to movies continuing on from the last!
Monsters University is a feel good movie, where Mike (voiced by Billy Crystal) plays the primary role in the movie as the underdog. But this is not your typical underdog overcomes the odds to win it all type of movie. It shows us that life is not like in the movies and it is much more complicated and challenging than that.
The movie starts with Mike learning and deciding from a very young age that he wants to be a Scarer when he grows up! Fast forward to university and that is where the odd couple in Sully (voiced by John Goodman) and Mike meet. They don't realise it yet but they both have very different plans for achieving the same dream, and hence they do not start off as the best of friends, in fact they are quite the opposite, they really don't like each other.
But it's this common dream that forces them reluctantly together and they learn from each other about what it takes to be the most awesome Scarers ever!!
There are minimal subtle jokes for the adults in this movie for parents (not that I got anyway!), but the monsters antics are very funny for both parents and kids and the colours and monster characteristics will have your kids memorised!
We loved this movie it's a simple, fun, feel good movie with strong messages for children about bullying and the role of self confidence and self esteem in dealing with life's set backs. The movie challenges stereotypes and reminds us that it is not how we look or how popular we are that will get us where we want to go in life - but our own determination and belief in ourselves.
We are also reminded that the best layed plans often don't work out - because, well life isn't that simple and there is much more to learn! But that just means you have to follow a different path to your dreams, and along the way have fun, nuture friendships and keep believing in yourself. And that way, when you arrive at your dream, it will be so much better than you ever imagined.
Monsters University - 8 /10!
* Recommended for children up to approx 10 yrs * no controversial themes * no sexy stuff * some action * monster characters not too scary
Well if you loved Despicable Me, you will also love Despicable Me 2. It's much on the same par for laughs, but the lovable Minions play a more prominent role in this movie.
Despicable Me 2 sees former Supervillan Gru (Steve Carell) now playing the role of loving father to his 3 adorable adopted girls. Reluctantly drawn back into the villan world, this time to catch a villan, rather than to be one, Gru finds himself balancing be a father and a spy at the same time.
We also meet his spy partner Lucy (amazingly voiced by Kristen Wiig) who quickly shines as a mother figure, in particular to the youngest of Gru's girls, Anges, who, might I say is just too cute in the touching father/daughter scenes.
Its becoming to see Gru following his inner villan instinct, only to drop everything (including the fate of the world) because he finds out his oldest girl Margo has headed out on a date with a boy! He proves that even while he is now a devoted father, his inner villan instinct is still well in tact.
Kids will love the potty humour throughout the film, what could be funnier than a fart or poop reference, you even get to see a Minion doing a nudey run! Yes they have bottoms.
The laughs also roll on with lots of Looney Tune type antics seeing the characters falling down, getting hit by flying objects throughout the movie.
The whole family with love this movie, the spy plot will entertain the older kids and the antics of the Minions will keep the younger ones engaged too. We loved Despicable Me 2 probably just as much as the original
Despicable Me 2 - 8/10!
* Recommended for children up to approx 12 yrs * high action / low violence * no sexy stuff (oh just a little kiss at the end)
The Croods is a fantastic movie for the whole family - because it is about just that FAMILY!
This faced paced, action packed animation gives you a funny look at the typical (in this case not so modern) family!
Whilst over protective father, Grug (with the unmistakable voice of Nicholas Cage) and rebellious teenage daughter Eep, (Emma Stone) in a typical dad vs teenage daughter type headlock, this movie starts with a forced family road trip when the cave they have been living in for years is destroyed and the earth literally crumbles around them.
Ready for the main event! They loved the square "The Croods" cups!
This trip is particularly difficult for dad, Grug, who is used to spending his days protecting his family the very best way he knows how, in the safety and darkness of their family cave - instead he now finds himself and his family out in the open surrounded by the unknown and being led by the young, handsome, street smart and very much free spirited, loner Guy (voice by Ryan Renyolds).
Your kids will be rolling on the floor laughing at the "Funniest Home Video" style antics that see the movie characters hit by rocks and falling through holes throughout the movie. You know what I am talking about the irresistible urge to laugh when you see someone hurt themselves, even though you know its wrong!
The Croods reminds us that change has been around since the beginning of time, as mother nature throws this family challenge after challenge. But Guy helps the family learn to embrace change and in the process they see many new things and they realise that life has so much more to offer - than just surviving! We also see that when change really challenges us, it can help us find something inside of us that we didn't know existed and we can do things we never dreamed we could do!
We all absolutely loved this movie! We saw it with our 6yo & 2yo sons. Our 2yo watched most of it, he loved all the action scenes but did get a bit restless at the end, but neverless made it through to the end. The characters while not glamorous, are very becoming as they learn about things for the first time - the things that we would normally take for granted. The themes are non-controversial and even the scary creatures are cute. Leaves you with a warm feeling and you will love the hearing your kids laugh so hard they nearly fall of their chairs. Dads, in particular will love the mother-in-law jokes too!
The Croods - 9/10!
* Recommended for children up to approx 12 yrs * high action / low violence (just a few creatures being eaten by other creatures - no blood though) * no sexy stuff (just a near teenage kiss that is interupted)
Wreck It Ralph is a fun, feel good movie based on Wreck It Ralph (voice by John C Reilly – Step Brothers) who is the bad guy in the arcade game Fix It Felix. After the arcade closes and the lights go out Wreck It Ralph is outcast – tired of being unappreciated by his fellow game characters he decides to get himself a hero’s medal by sneaking into the new shooting game – in hope that when he returns with the medal they will treat him more like Fix It Felix (voice by Jack McBrayer – 30 Rock) – who is the hero in his game.
In typical Disney style there are a few gags for the adults – in particular from the very gladiator looking female Sergeant Calhoun from the game Hero’s Duty (voice by Jane Lynch – Glee). There are also a few old gaming references that adults will get a giggle out of. The little ones will love the potty humour that goes on between Wreck It Ralph and his new unlikely friend – Vanellope von Schweetz (voice by Sarah Silverman – School of Rock) – who is also an outcast in her game Sugar Rush.
Even if your kids aren’t game mad, they will love this Call of Duty meets Mario Karts movie – most of the movie is set in the candy filled land of the game Candy Rush, with a few gun scenes at the beginning and the end but nothing too scary.
Wreck It Ralph is a great movie for younger children, probably best appreciated by children around 8 and below. It explores messages about bullying, challenging the status quo, being a good role model, sometimes having to do something not so nice to protect someone, knowing that no matter what you do in life it is important, that others depend on you to be you, and most strongly at the end it teaches you to remember to look for the good in the bad – so that you might see that it isn’t so bad after all!
You’ll come away with a warm feeling after this movie, my 6 year old loved it. Not as many gags in it for the adults as other Disney films – but I loved the relationship that builds between Wreck It Ralph and Vanellope – it reminded me about the joy my children bring to my life, and that no matter what is going on around me if my kids are happy – I am happy too!
Wreck It Ralph 7/10!
* Recommended for kids 8 and below * Some rude humour *mild violence/action *tiny bit of sexy stuff (kissing)