It’s an outstanding month for movies that adults and kids alike will enjoy
While Hollywood's so-called grown-up movies get dumber and dumber these days (I’m looking at you, 300: Rise of an Empire) an opposite trend has been happening in kids’ movies. The studios have realised that for parents to want to escort their littlies to the cinema, there’s got to be something more in it for them than tantrums, budget-sapping treats and mid-movie toilet runs. And the crop of kids’ film in cinemas these holidays offers the best of both worlds: knockabout humour and action for small ones and a whole other level of delicious wit for adults.
First cab off the rank is one parents may remember from the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. Mr Peabody and Sherman (opens March 27) are a genius dog and his adopted human son. Mr Peabody has invented a time machine, the WABAC (way-back), and uses it to teach Sherman about history, first hand. But Sherman’s advanced knowledge in the classroom raises the ire of another clever student, Penny Peterson, and soon all three of them are off on a crazy journey to Ancient Greece and the Siege of Troy via Renaissance Italy. Parents will smirk at the cameos from King Tut, Agamemnon and Marie Antoinette, while kids will be kept spellbound and accidentally learn a few useful facts too. Rated PG for mild themes and animated violence.
Then there’s one we’ve all been waiting for. The LEGO Movie (opens April 3) has been getting rave reviews around the world: our sister magazine Time Out London called it “bold, berserk and strangely beautiful.” Emmett is a construction worker in Bricksville who gets mistaken for the ‘Master Builder’ and joins Batman and Abraham Lincoln in the fight against an evil LEGO tyrant. The brainchild of the directors of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and animated in Sydney by Animal Logic, this one will stimulate imaginations and have adults chuckling at the witty screenplay. It’s a blockbuster in every sense. Rated PG for mild animated violence and crude humour.
The Muppet renaissance (Muppenaissance?) continues with Muppets Most Wanted (opens April 10). The number one criminal in the world, Constantine, just happens to be a dead ringer for Kermit the Frog, and joins the Muppet world tour so he can rob the world’s greatest museums, leaving Kermit stuck in a Russian gulag. Featuring cameos from Ricky Gervais as a master criminal called Badguy and Tina Fey as the Russian prison warden, it’s a madcap caper, full of knowing humour, celebrity cameos and bacon jokes (sorry Miss Piggy!). Rated G.