As usual, most of the blockbuster films destined to hit movie theaters this summer aren’t really suitable for the youngest members of the family.
Never fear — Hollywood didn’t forget there was money to be made at the box office with family-friendly films this summer.
Following is a list of this year’s most anticipated summer family films.
Release date: May 24
Genre: Musical, fantasy, romance and adventure
Cast: Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad, Billy Magnussen, Frank Welker and Alan Tudyk
This is a live-action remake of the 1992 animated film of the same name. Will Smith is going to portray the Genie. The actor who played him in the original film was Robin Williams. He did a great job and I think Smith will do just as good. I’m looking forward to this movie.
‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’
Release date: June 7
Genre: Animation, comedy and adventure
Cast: Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell, Nick Kroll, Dana Carvey, Ellie Kemper, Chris Renaud, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan and Harrison Ford
This sequel goes through a lot of changes from the first film. Max is played by a new actor, Patton Oswalt. Oswalt is known for portraying Remy in Disney Pixar’s “Ratatouille.” Also, Harrison Ford joins the cast in his first animated role. Ford played Han Solo in the “Star Wars” movies. In the film, Max’s owner Katie gets married and now she has a kid named Liam. This movie takes place on a road trip to the country. I think this movie will be exciting and a great sequel to the first movie.
‘Toy Story 4’
Release date: June 21
Genre: Animation, family and adventure
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Joan Cusack, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Christina Hendricks and Keanu Reeves
They’re making another one! Woody and Buzz are back and living with Bonnie. There are new characters, too. Forky was made by Bonnie in arts and crafts, and the others try to help him be a toy. Ducky and Bunny are carnival prizes who want to be won. Gabby Gabby is a doll with a broken voice-box and no one wants to buy her. She is the villain. Bo Peep is finally back, and she’s different. She even has a new outfit. This movie looks like it’s going to get a lot of attention.
‘The Lion King’
Release date: July 19
Genre: Musical, drama and epic
Cast: Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, Beyoncé, James Earl Jones, Alfre Woodard, John Kani, John Oliver, Florence Kasumba, Eric Andre, Keegan-Michael Key, JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph
Not yet rated; probably PG
This is a remake of the 1994 film of the same name. I don’t know if it will be as successful as the first one, but it looks good. I like that James Earl Jones will be playing Mufasa again. Beyoncé will also be in it. This movie will be exciting.
Release date: July 26
Genre: Animation, family and comedy
Cast: Jackie Chan, Constance Wu, Ian Chen, John Cho, Natasha Liu Bordizzo and Will Yun Lee
Not yet rated, probably PG
I don’t really know much about “Wish Dragon,” a computer animated comedy made in China. Jackie Chan, who is co-producing the film, also stars in the film. He is best known as a Hong Kong martial artist, action film actor, and stuntman. My favorite Jackie Chan movie is “Rush Hour.”
‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold’
Release date: July 31
Genre: Adventure and comedy
Cast: Isabela Moner, Eugenio Derbez, Michael Peña, Eva Longoria, Danny Trejo and Benicio del Toro
Not yet rated, probably PG
I remember watching Dora when I was little. I have good memories of the show, and I liked the adventures she went on. This movie looks like it is going to be more dramatic, and geared toward older kids. Dora is in high school now, and she is trying to fit in. They’ll probably take away some things from the show, like the talking inanimate objects. I think the movie will be good.
‘The Angry Birds Movie 2’
Release date: August 16
Genre: Animation, comedy
Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Leslie Jones, Bill Hader, Rachel Bloom, Awkwafina, Sterling K. Brown, Eugenio Derbez, Danny McBride and Peter Dinklage
Not yet rated, probably PG
This looks like an interesting sequel. The film has a lot of familiar actors in it. Eugenio Derbez is also in “Dora and the Lost City of Gold.” Bill Hader is in a lot of kids’ movies. One is “Inside Out.” Beck Bennet was in “Sing.” Dove Cameron is in it, JoJo Siwa is in it, a lot of people are in this movie. I think kids will like this adventure.
‘Playmobil: The Movie’
Release date: Aug. 16
Genre: Animation, fantasy, adventure and comedy
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Gabriel Bateman, Daniel Radcliffe, Jim Gaffigan, Meghan Trainor and Adam Lambert
Not yet rated, probably PG
This movie looks OK. It has people I like, such as Daniel Radcliffe and Meghan Trainor. The only problem with it is that it looks like a rip-off of “The LEGO Movie.” It’s a live-action/computer animated movie that is based on a toy company. I might be wrong about this, and it might be a good movie. I just think they look pretty similar.
Box office bargains
Several area movie theaters are offering free or discounted kids’ movies this summer.
Studio Movie Grill will offer its Children's Summer Series at SMG Seminole, 7718 113th St. N., Seminole.
The series offers a budget-friendly entertainment option for families, summer camps and weekday programs and features $1 screenings of recent children films. Films are shown Monday through Friday at 10 a.m.
Following is the SMG Children's Summer Series schedule:
• June 3-7 — “The Secret Life of Pets”
• June 10-14 — “Shrek”
• June 17-21 — “Despicable Me”
• June 24-28 — “Trolls”
• July 1-5 — “Despicable Me 2”
• July 8-12 — “Sing”
• July 15-19 — “Minions”
• July 22-26 — “The Lorax”
• July 29-Aug. 2 — “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
• Aug. 5-9 — “Captain Underpants”
For information, visit www.studiomoviegrill.com.
Cobb Theatres will host the Kids Summer Movie Escape series at Countryside 12, 27001 U.S. 19 N., Clearwater; and at Cobb Tyrone Luxury 10, at Tyrone Square Mall, 6901 22nd Ave. N., St. Petersburg.
The films will be shown Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m., beginning Tuesday, June 12. Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. Admission is free. All films are rated either G or PG.
Following is the Cobb Theatres schedule:
• June 11-13 — “Smallfoot” and “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch”
• June 18-20 — “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” and “Penguins of Madagascar”
• June 25-27 — “Paddington 2” and “Curious George”
• July 2-4 — “Hotel Transylvania 3” and “Peter Rabbit”
• July 9-11 — “Emoji Movie” and “Madagascar”
• July 16-18 — “Smurfs: The Lost Village” and “Home”
• July 23-25 — “LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part” and “Minions”
• July 30-Aug. 1 — “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” and “Captain Underpants”
For more information on Cobb Theatres, visit www.cobbtheatres.com.
Summer Movie Camp will be presented Wednesdays, 10 a.m., at AMC Classic Palm Harbor, 37912 U.S. 19 N., Palm Harbor. The series runs June 5 through July 31.
Admission is $4 plus tax, which includes a KidsPack. The KidsPack includes popcorn, drink and FrootiTooti fruit snacks.
Following is the 2019 Summer Movie Camp schedule:
• June 5 — “Trolls”
• June 12 — “Wonder Park”
• June 19 — “Hotel Transylvania 3”
• June 26 — “Peter Rabbit”
• July 3 — “Smallfoot”
• July 10 — “LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part”
• July 17 — “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies”
• July 24 — “The House with the Clock in its Walls”
• July 31 — “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
CHECK FOR UPDATED MOVIE LIST MAY 20
The 2018 Summer Movie Express will launch Tuesday, June 5 and will run for 11 weeks at participating Regal Cinema locations. Admission to these films during the Summer Movie Express is $1 and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Will Rogers Institute.
The following Tampa Bay area theaters will participate in the 2016 Summer Movie Express:
• Regal Largo Mall 8, 10500 Ulmerton Road E., Largo
• Regal Park Place Stadium 16, 7200 U.S. 19, Pinellas Park
• Regal Citrus Park Stadium 20, 7999 Citrus Park Town Center Mall, Tampa (the series will end Aug. 1 at this location)
Each location will screen two titles on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Movies start at 10 a.m. at most locations. Check location for exact show times. All movies are rated either G or PG.
Following is the 2018 Summer Movie Express schedule:
• June 5-6 – “The Iron Giant” and “Curious George”
• June 12-13 – “Despicable Me” and “Ice Age: Collision Course”
• June 19-20 – “Storks” and “Mr. Peabody & Sherman”
• June 26-27 – “Despicable Me 2” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2”
• July 3-4 – “The Lego Movie” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks”
• July 10-11 – “Sing” and “The Peanuts Movie”
• July 17-18 – “The Lego Ninjago Movie” and “Ferdinand”
• July 24-25 – “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel”
• July 31-Aug. 1 – “The Lego Batman Movie” and “Trolls”
• Aug. 7-8 – “Minions” and “The Boss Baby”
• Aug. 14-15 – “Paddington 2” and “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie”
For more information on Regal Theaters, visit www.regmovies.com.