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Reel Time
Summer screens showcase family films
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The mischievous raccoon RJ (Bruce Willis) comes up with a plan to use the hyperactive squirrel Hammy (Steve Carell) to rob a group of Trail Guide Gals in DreamWorks Animation’s comedy “Over the Hedge.”
Javier (JR Villareal), left, and Akeelah (Keke Palmer) in “Akeelah and the Bee.”
Tampa Theatre features the summer movie classic “Mary Poppins” in July.
After the backyard pool parties, beach sojourns and trips to area parks and playgrounds, parents and children alike may be ready for some air-conditioned fun. This summer, theaters have a steady lineup of family-oriented offerings to make for great movie viewing. Following is a list of current and upcoming titles:

Current releases

• “Akeelah and the Bee” follows an 11-year-old girl from south Los Angles as she discovers her gift for words and travels to compete in the National Spelling Bee. Rated PG.

• “Hoot,” based on the book by author and Tampa Bay Newspapers columnist Carl Hiaasen. A Montana boy moves to Florida and becomes involved in a battle against developers in order to save endangered owls. Rated PG.

Coming soon

• “Over the Hedge,” features the voices of Bruce Willis, Steve Carell and William Shatner. A raccoon and assorted woodland friends explore the strange world dominated by a peculiar species called humans. Animated. Release date: May 19.

• “Cars,” fresh off the Pixar assembly line, revolves around rookie race car Lightning McQueen and the resident cars of Radiator Springs. Features the voices of Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt and Larry the Cable Guy. Animated. Release date: June 9. Rated G.

• “Garfield’s A Tale of Two Kitties” follows the lasagna-craving feline to England where he is mistaken for the heir of a castle. Features the voices of Jennifer Love Hewitt, Billy Connolly and Bill Murray. Release date: June 23. Rated G.

• “Barnyard,” directed by Steve Oedekerk who wrote and produced “Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius,” tells the tale of how a cow named Otis finds the confidence to become leader of his misfit farm animal friends. Featuring the voices of Kevin James, Courteney Cox Arquette and Sam Elliot. Animated. Release date: July 28. Not yet rated.

• “The Ant Bully” follows Lucas Nickle who takes out his frustrations on a backyard anthill until the ants retaliate, shrinking him down to their size and making him live as one of them. Features the voices of Julia Roberts, Zach Tyler Eisen and Nicolas Cage. Animated. Release date: Aug. 4. Not yet rated.

• “How to Eat Fried Worms,” based on Thomas Rockwell’s classic book and produced by Walden Media, features an 11-year-old boy whose bravado results in a challenge to eat 10 worms in a day. Release date: Aug. 25. Not yet rated.

Oldies but goodies

Tampa Theatre will offer up its annual Summer Classic Movie Series which will include a few gems for the kids. Included in this year’s lineup are:

• “The Wizard of Oz” – Saturday, June 24, and Sunday, June 25, 3 p.m. See Dorothy swept off to Oz on the big screen.

• “It Came from Outer Space” – Sunday, July 9, 3 p.m. This 3-D science fiction classic based on a Ray Bradbury story might not be suitable for every youngster, but it’s sure to resurrect “Creature Feature” memories for anyone who grew up in the bay area.

• “Mary Poppins” – July 20 through 30. Show times will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., with matinees on Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. For this special engagement, a restored 35mm print of the classic 1964 film has been customized with on-screen lyrics of all the songs so that audience members can join in the fun by singing along.

Tampa Theatre is at 711 Franklin St., Tampa. Call (813) 274-8982.
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