The 10 new movies your kids (and you) will want to see before Christmas!

Want to know what movies the kids are going to want to see over October half term, and up to Christmas this year? Well, welcome to the Movie4Kids winter preview, highlighting the 10 movies coming to a cinema near you between now and Boxing Day…


Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

On general release in Scotland now, opens rest of UK on 24th October

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Alexander has had a really awful day, so on his 12th birthday his blow-the-candles out wish is that the rest of his family experiences what it is to have a terrible day, too. And boy, do dad Ben (Steve Carell), mum Kelly (Jennifer Garner) and Alexander’s older siblings have a disastrous time in this funny, fast-paced Disney family comedy. One for everyone, but Diary Of A Wimpy Kid fans especially will love it.



The Book Of Life

Opens 24th October

THE BOOK OF LIFEStunning animated tale from Jorge R Gutierrez, produced by Pan’s Labyrinth’s Guillermo del Toro. Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Channing Tatum and Placido Domingo are among those providing voices for this tale of Manolo, a young bullfighter who wants to be a musician and win the hand of Maria, but who is unwittingly part of a bet between rulers of the afterlife, La Muerte and Xibalba. Dark, funny stuff perfect for fans of Coraline and ParaNorman.




The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Opens 20th November

hunger-games-3-mockingjay-trailer-breakdown-in-feels-5a863441-8899-4c68-a9f6-9586fd6a0aaaThe penultimate Hunger Games movie (Mockingjay part 2 comes out in November… 2015) furthers the story of Katniss (Jennnifer Lawrence), who is now part of a rebellion against the Capitol. Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth once again costar as the men in her life, along with Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore and, in one of his final roles, Philip Seymour Hoffman.





Opens 28th November

031_LF_0650_v177.1097While we’re not sure that the movie star Paddington is as cute and cuddly as the iconic toys or the seventies TV show bear, this flashy family comedy certainly boasts an impressive cast, including Hugh Bonneville as Mr Brown, Julie Walters as housekeeper Mrs Bird, Jim Broadbent as neighbour Mr Gruber and Nicole Kidman as Millicent, the baddie who apparently wants to see Paddington stuffed. Ben Whishaw – taking over from Colin Firth who dropped out – is the voice of everyone’s favourite bear from Peru.




Get Santa

Opens 5th December

MV5BMjE2NDE2Mzc5OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjIyMzYwMTE@._V1_SY317_CR175,0,214,317_AL_Jim Broadbent stars as Santa in this British family comedy. Reindeer have been found running loose through the streets of London, while young boy Tom finds Santa hiding in his garden shed after he crash landed while driving his new sleigh. It’s up to Tom and his dad Steve (Rafe Spall) to help get him back to Lapland in time for Christmas. Warwick Davis, Ewen Bremner, Jodie Whittaker and Stephen Graham costar.




Penguins Of Madagascar

Opens 5th December

POM_sq930_s2_w2After stealing the three Madagascar movies from the lead creatures, those hilarious animated Penguins now get their own movie. Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private join forces with the elite undercover group The North Wind, led by Agent Classified, to stop the villainous Dr Octavius Brine in what promises to be the funniest film of the winter. Benedict Cumberbatch provides the voice of Classified and is joined by Peter Stormare, John Malkovich and Werner Herzog.



The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

Opens 12th December

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIESThe last of the three Hobbit movies brings Tolkein’s fantasy to a close as hobbit Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and his dwarf allies are forced to fight against Smaug, Sauron and his Orcs. Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Lee Pace and Cate Blanchett are among the cast of the New Zealand-filmed adventure.



TinkerBell And The Legend Of The NeverBeast

Opens 12th December

500px-Disney_Fairies_Films_-_Legends_Of_The_NeverBeastThe seventh TinkerBell movie featuring fairy Tink and her pals will appeal to little girls who have loved the previous six cute animated adventures. This time, fairy Fawn befriends a mysterious creature known as the NeverBeast, despite her friends’ reservations that the beast will wreck their peaceful woodland home. One for little girl fans of the first movies.



Night At The Museum 3: Secret Of The Tomb

Opens 19th December

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 3This third and final Night At The Museum movie has Ben Stiller’s Larry once again returning to help the exhibits of museums come to life – which this time involves travelling the world and visiting new places (including the British Museum) to save characters such as Jedediah (Owen Wilson), Lancelot (Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens), Theodore Roosevelt (Robin Williams) and Attila the Hun.

Unfortunately, the movie is tinged with sadness in real life, as stars Williams and Mickey Rooney both died before the film was released.




Opens 26th December

annie-movieEveryone’s favourite all-singing and dancing orphan Annie is back in this reboot produced by Jay Z and Will Smith. Beasts of The Southern Wild star Quvenzhané Wallis is the little cutie who just wants to be loved, while Cameron Diaz costars as nasty Miss Hannigan, Jamie Foxx as William Stacks (the new version of Daddy Warbucks) and Rose Byrne as his faithful assistant. Expect the songs from the original Broadway production (‘It’s A Hard Knock Life’, ‘Tomorrow’) as well as new original songs written for the film.



Dolphin Tale 2 – cutest movie of the week

DOLPHIN TALE 2Following on from the successful 2011 movie Dolphin Tale that told the true story of injured dolphin Winter, who was fitted with a prosthetic tail to help her swim, this week sees the release of the sequel, Dolphin Tale 2, that continues Winter’s story.

You can read the Movies4Kids review here, and you can see the real Winter at Clearwater Aquarium via their webcam here.

And here’s the trailer:



For more information and games, visit the movie’s website,


Into The Woods – check out the poster!

image002One of the upcoming releases I’m most looking forward to here at Movies4Kids is Into The Woods, the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s stage musical. A modern twist on the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, it stars Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Johnny Depp as The Wolf, Lilla Crawford as Little Red Riding Hood, and as you can see from the poster, Meryl Streep as the Witch.


Directed by Rob Marshall, who made the film version of Chicago, the movie opens in the UK on 9th January. Check out the trailer below:



Meet… The Boxtrolls

One SheetThe latest stop-motion animated movie from the makers of Coraline and ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls is based on the Alan Snow book Here Be Monsters. It’s the story of a community of creatures who raise a young boy named Eggs in their home – an underground cavern below the streets of the human town of Cheesebridge. A quirky adventure that looks fantastic, The Boxtrolls opens in UK cinemas on September 12th, with previews on September 6th and 7th.


Check out the clip, and we have some fun activities for kids at the links below, too…




Boxtrolls activity sheet


Door Hanger1

Door Hanger2




London Film Festival – pick of the family movies

image006The London Film Festival program for this year has been announced, and there are some terrific films for grown-ups – and some treats for kids, too.


Running from Wednesday 8th October until Sunday 19th October, the festival takes place at cinemas in London including the Odeon Leicester Square, Odeon West End, the ICA and Vue West End. Among the movies everyone is getting excited about are opening gala film The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch, Fury, the Second World War epic with Brad Pitt, Foxcatcher with Steve Carell and Channing Tatum, and the World War I drama Testament Of Youth with Alicia Vikander and Game Of Thrones’ Kit Harington.


There are some family films to seek out, including:


Song Of The Sea – an animated Irish fantasy about Saorise, a child who is the last of the Selkies (who can transform from seals to people), with voices by Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan and Pat Shortt.


MV5BMjE3MDg2MTExNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDY4NjMzMTE@._V1_SX67_CR0,0,67,98_AL_Moomins On The Riviera – A new animated adventure featuring Tove Jansson’s The Moomins.





u6q1rpYellowbird – Dakota Fanning and Seth Green provide the voices in this animated animal drama.






UnknownRobot Overlords – Gillian Anderson and Ben Kingsley star in this sci-fi action/adventure from director Jon Wright (who made the more grown-up Grabbers) set in the future when robots from another galaxy have conquered Earth.


rsz_12014_-_the_satellite_girl_and_milk_cow_still_6-thumb-630xauto-45583The Satellite Girl And Milk Cow – a South Korean animated story about a satellite that transforms into a robot girl searching for a melody she heard while looking down on Earth.



Ray’s Big Idea – the world premiere of a short film from Aardman (the geniuses behind Wallace And Gromit and Shaun The Sheep)


There will also be a showing of the UK’s first animated feature, 1954’s Animal Farm based on George Orwell’s novella, and a celebration of 20 years of DreamWorks Animation. DreamWorks Animation: Taking Flight And Beyond will showcase the work of producer Bonnie Arnold and director Dean DeBlois, who will be joined by How To Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell. New footage of The Penguins Of Madagascar will also be shown to audiences, ahead of its release in December.


Booking for members of the BFI begins on 11 September (join at and public booking opens at 10am on 18 September. 

Telephone Bookings: 020 7928 3232 between 09:30–20:30

In person: BFI Southbank Office: 11:30–20:30

NB. Last minute tickets are available to be purchased on the day about 30 minutes prior to the screening at Festival venues


RIP Robin Williams

robin-williams1For the last hour, I have been crying over the death of someone I never met. But as I am sure many, many people do, I really feel the loss of a great talent today, that of Robin McLaurin Williams – comedian, actor and Oscar winner. Friends, colleagues, even US President Barack Obama, have paid tribute to him, while newspapers have added moving obituaries to their websites. There is little I can add apart from sending my sincere condolences to his wife and family and those who had the privilege to know him. All I offer is this – watch Good Morning Vietnam, Insomnia, The World According To Garp, The Fisher King and Good Will Hunting to see his extraordinary talent at work (and if you can, catch Mork & Mindy, the TV series that made him famous which I loved as a kid), and if you have children, just show them these movies and watch them laugh…







The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ sad tweet on the news of Robin William’s death:



Everyone’s favourite Guardian – Groot!



If you’ve seen this summer’s best blockbuster so far, Guardians Of The Galaxy, chances are one of your favourite characters is Groot. Descended from a race of walking flora, he’s basically a big tree who utters just three words (“I am Groot”), but ends up being one of the biggest heroes of the film. So, in appreciation of the tall and branchy one, here is a Groot-tastic clip and tips for the kids on how to respect the environment this summer…



Groot’s all about saving the galaxy, and here is how everyone can help save our own planet:


1) Save paper and only print when you need to


2) Try to reuse and recycle paper. You could use cut outs from old wrapping paper to make birthday cards, or turn a cardboard box into a dolls house.


3) Don’t harm trees and their branches – and don’t carve your initials in a tree trunk, either!


4) Plant a tree. Want to grow your own Groot? Here’s how to grow from a cutting: Ehow/Tree