The summer film season is behind us. That means parents are being spared a constant diet of superhero movies and animated films–although Despicable Me 2 was pretty great. Now we have Hollywood breaking out the more adult fare as it gears up for Oscar season. The movie studios still want your children’s money, though. Which means our money. So get ready with this advance look at the kiddie films they’ll be talking about in the schoolyard as 2013 comes to a close…
The Little Mermaid in 3D
Opening September 13: Okay, let’s not pretend that this one isn’t exciting. We usually turn up our noses at 3D action as a fad, but Disney’s bringing back a real underwater spectacle with this one–and a lot of us are young enough to have been enchanted by The Little Mermaid on VHS back in the day. This might be the one that we’re dragging our children to next weekend. Some little boys will just have to accept that they’re too young for Insidious: Chapter 2.
The Wizard of Oz: IMAX 3D
Opening September 20: The Little Mermaid is exciting, but here’s the G-rated event of the year. It’s kind of a shame that The Wizard of Oz is only getting a deluxe reissue in the IMAX format. That’s going to get pretty pricey for some parents. Still, we’ll be among the adults who can’t wait to share the big-screen glory of the 1939 classic. Get ready, too, because this release is officially for one week only. That’s going to be a crowded opening weekend.
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2
Opening September 27: Did you see the first Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs in 3D? That had some pretty amazing moments. Especially when the two lead characters were stuck in the giant Jell-O mold. It was beautiful. We thought our older children had outgrown the appeal of this children’s book adaptation, but that was before they learned that this sequel has plenty of food monsters running around a jungle. That might also explain why it’s taken so long to get a final rating for this movie. It’s a children’s film, though.
Thor: The Dark World
Opening November 8: Did we just completely skip over October? Well, we know the Weinstein Company is trying to release an animated film called The Trick or Treaters. Look for that one around Halloween. For now, though, we’re rushing back to superhero territory with a new Thor movie. Thor: The Dark World has some pretty…um, dark moments in that trailer. There’s a lot of destruction, but we don’t mind exposing our children to a pretty classy superhero setting. Keep the younger children away, though. The plot is pretty epic (meaning complicated), and we’re also expecting this to be one of the loudest movies of the year.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Opening November 22: We didn’t really think we’d ever be encouraging our children to read books about children killing other children as part of a dystopia. Yet here we are with The Hunger Games as the Harry Potter series for a new generation–as both books and movies. Again, we’re keeping the younger children away, and being grateful that the film adaptations aren’t just mindless action films. This isn’t killing without consequences.
Opening November 27: Here’s the consolation prize for kiddies who can’t handle Thor and The Hunger Games. Frozen looks to be a fairly smart film, and offers some adventure of its own. The movie’s about a brave girl who goes into an icy mountain region to save her sister from trolls. There’s also plenty of comic relief from a mooose, a reindeer, and a rugged mountain man. Your older kids won’t mind being dragged to this one over the Thanksgiving holiday–which coincides with Hanukkah this year, too.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Opening December 13: Yes, the first entry in The Hobbit movies was pretty boring. We would’ve felt bad subjecting children to it in the theater. Instead, we watched it in sections via home video. Older children, however, will be rewarded with some real action in this second part of the Hobbit trilogy. We expect some serious dragon action that will hopefully inspire our kids to check out even more classic literary source material. This one has a strong female role model, too.
Walking With Dinosaurs 3D
Opening December 20: This fanciful tale combines the musings of a baby dinosaur with a very serious look at the history of the pre-historic Earth. It’s the big-screen take on the popular touring exhibit, and it seems like it should be a lot of fun for children who would’ve been disturbed over Jurassic Park 3D. We recommend bringing some earplugs, though. Walking With Dinosaurs is packaged as an immersive experience. That usually means loud. We’re still trying to recover from taking the kids to see Pacific Rim.