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* School Holidays Movie Guide *
Best movies for the kids this spring school holidays This handy guide to the best films for kids and kidults over SPRING by Leigh Paatsch (HeraldSun), Melbourne's best movie reviewer. WHOOSH ! That's the sound of yet another clump of school holidays advancing at warp speed. For parents on the lookout for entertainment options for their children, a trip to the cinema can be the perfect time-slaying circuit-breaker . But how to best choose from all the G and PG-rated titles on offer during this busy period, particularly when you must cater to the tastes and whims of multiple age groups? Don't panic. This guide will break down for you which movies best fit the bill for every discerning young viewer in your entourage.
Spring Movie GuideABOMINABLE (G, 88 min) WHO Chloe Bennet, Eddie Izzard, Tsai Chin WHAT Animated adventure WHEN a teenager finds a Yeti on the roof of her building, she embarks on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth. › Has been tipped in some circles to have the makings of another multifilm series to rival How to Train Your Dragon. While Abominable doesn't quite hit those lofty heights, preschoolers and early primary schoolers will be entranced by the loveable lead character of Everest the Yeti. Visuals are beautiful, and the overall vibe is unrushed and relaxed. DOWNTON ABBEY (PG, 102 min) WHO Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery WHAT Period drama THE continuing story of the Crawley family, wealthy owners of a large estate in the English countryside in the 1920s, and soon to host their first royal visit. › The appeal of Downton Abbey on TV has always been strong with youthful viewers, and the same effortless connection is forged by the movie version. The story of the royal visit is so well told that it doesn't really matter if your child is entering the timeless world of Downton for the first time. A great choice for grandparents, aunts and uncles looking to take a younger relative to the pictures. UGLYDOLLS (G, 86 min) WHO Kelly Clarkson, Pitbull, Nick Jonas WHAT Animated adventure THE free-spirited UglyDolls confront what it means to be different, struggle with a desire to be loved, and ultimately discover who you truly are is what matters most. › Feel free to whack this subpar cartoon right down to the bottom of your must-see list. This is one of those emptycalorie screen snacks primarily designed to sell some merch and move some music downloads. DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD (PG, 102 min) WHO Isabela Moner, Michael Pena, Eva Longoria WHAT Action adventure ALWAYs the explorer, Dora finds herself leading and expedition to save her parents and solve the impossible mystery behind a lost Incan civilisation. › A lot of potential viewers for this lively gem might be mistaken in assuming it is a straight live-action update of the preschool TV series Dora the Explorer. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Dora featured here is a can-do young woman in her teens, heading up a colourful crew through a series of exciting events not unlike Welcome to the Jungle. Irresistible fun from start to finish. RIDE LIKE A GIRL (PG, 98 min) WHO Teresa Palmer, Sam Neill, Sullivan Stapleton WHAT Sporting biopic THE true story of how trailblazing jockey Michelle Payne overcame injury and tragedy to become the first female to steer home the winner of the Melbourne Cup. › While it is encouraging there is an Australian-made production in the line-up this holidays, this erratic and rather cheesy affair ranks as a real disappointment. Younger viewers will enjoy the first half of the movie, which focuses on Michelle Payne's early days growing up in a racing-mad house with a large family. However, the way her triumph is handled underwhelms where it should inspire. Ride Like a Girl THE LION KING (PG, 121 min) WHO Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Beyonce WHAT Live-action (ish) remake AFTER the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery. › This photorealistic retooling of the classic Disney cartoon musical has been going strong in cinemas for two months now, and recent research has shown many more children than usual have seen the film on repeat occasions. If nothing else appeals when scheduling your next movie trip, another look-see at Simba will be a safe bet. The Lion King ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2 (PG, 97 min) WHO Jason Sudeikis, Leslie Jones, Bill Hader WHAT Animated comedy sequel. PIG Island is under attack from a new enemy. Their only chance of repelling the threat is to join forces with their foes on Bird Island. › This is a major step up from the rather dreadful Angry Birds Movie from 2016. That must count for something, given we are talking about a flick originally adapted from a phone app! Anyway, this one backs off from all the busy, fizzy stuff, keeping a pleasing balance between slapsticky silliness and a pacy story easily understood by young 'uns . TOY STORY 4 (G, 97 min) WHO Tom Hanks, Annie Potts, Keanu Reeves WHAT Animated adventure WHEN a new toy called "Forky" joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy. › One of the best movies of the year - animated or otherwise - has had its release widened for a limited run ahead of its move to the streaming platforms. The big screen is the right way to see it, and the deceptively involving storyline guarantees this sublime sequel stands up to a second (and third) look. Another modern classic from Pixar Studios. Toy Story 4 WILDCARDS & RED CARDS PARENTS looking to treat their charges to something different should take a closer look at The Farewell, a true gem of a movie telling the true story of a Chinese-American family who collude not to tell their beloved matriarch she is dying. Surprisingly, the film is as funny as it is moving, and it has been a sleeper hit all over the world in recent months. A handful of cinemas are also continuing to run A Dog's Journey, a touching continuation of the series starring a repeatedly reincarnating pooch. Animal lovers could do worse than snaffling a ticket. BUT BEWARE ... PARENTS should be warned that contrary to appearances - it stars three 12-year-olds - the comedy Good Boys is not appropriate at all for younger viewers. It is a fine film in some ways, but too much of the content and humour is adult in nature. If any offspring under 15 try and slip the net to see the movie, head ‘em off at the pass! Caution is also advised in the cases of popular horror film It Chapter Two and violent action sequel Angel Has Fallen. Leigh Paatsch helps parents chose between the good, the bad and the UglyDolls This article is from the September 21 issue of The Herald Sun Digital Edition. To subscribe, visit https://www.heraldsun.com.au/.
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