One of my favorite things to do with my family during the holiday season is to go to the movies. There are a lot of reasons for this – not the least of which is the chance to escape the cold and eat some Raisinets – but the biggest one is that movies in the fall and winter tend to be more intelligent, educational, and family friendly than those released the rest of the year.
Want to catch a flick with your family this holiday season? Here are five upcoming releases that might fit the bill.
Wreck it Ralph
Rated: PG for some rude humor and mild action/violence
Release date: November 2nd
Synopsis: Feeling unappreciated after serving thirty years as the villain of a “Donkey Kong” like video game, Wreck-It Ralph sets off on adventure across the world of video games to find his true potential.
Reason to check it out: Disney has a long established reputation for releasing terrific animated films, but this one looks especially fun. Moms and Dads will appreciate the cameos from 80′s video game stars like Q-bert, and kids will love the underdog story and broad humor.
Rated: PG-13 for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language
Release date: November 16th
Synopsis: An epic about the last four months of Abraham Lincoln’s life when he fought to end slavery, win the Civil War, and unite our nation.
Reason to check it out: Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring two-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day Lewis, this is destined to become one of the most watched and talked about movies of the year. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for older children and teens to learn about American history.
Rise of the Guardians
Rated: PG for thematic elements and some mildly scary action
Release date: November 21
Synopsis: When an evil spirit launches an assault on Earth, the Immortal Guardians – including Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy – team up to protect the children of the world.
Reason to check it out: If your kids are anything like my Annie, the preview likely blew their minds when they realized it was a movie starring Santa and the Easter Bunny. Adults and older teens should enjoy this one too thanks to an incredible voice cast including Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, Isla Fischer, and Alec Baldwin as Santa Claus!
Life of Pi
Rated: PG for emotional thematic content throughout, and some scary action sequences and peril
Release date: November 21
Synopsis: The story of how a teenager named Pi survived adrift at sea on a lifeboat with a hungry Bengal tiger.
Reason to check it out: Adapted from the 2001 best seller and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), this visually groundbreaking film is already receiving rave reviews. It’s also an outstanding opportunity to expose children and teens to Eastern cultures and positive themes about never giving up.
Monsters Inc 3-D
Release date: December 19
Synopsis: The story of what happens when a child stumbles into the secret world of monsters.
Reason to watch: Originally released in 2001, this Pixar smash is widely regarded as modern classic. It’s sure to entertain the whole family, including little kids like my Annie who will love the cute, cuddly, and not scary monsters. If 3-D isn’t your thing, there will also be 2-D screenings.