Family Movies News

Liked 'The Lorax?' Then Put These Upcoming Family Films on Your Radar

With final box office figures now being reported, Universal’s The Lorax opened to a whopping $70.2 million, making it the highest-grossing opener of 2012 (ahead of The Vow, which opened to $41.2 million on Feb. 10) and the eighth-highest weekend debut for an animated feature.

That tells us two things. First, audiences love Dr. Seuss, and respond kindly to animated adaptations of his beloved works. In 2008, the Jim Carrey-led Horton Hears a Who! opened to $45M and went on to pocket $154.5M overall. The Lorax chould pass that mark before the end of March.

It also tells us that families have been starving for entertainment this year, and were ready to bring their kids to just about anything animated (and preferably in 3D). So far, only a handful of films playing area multiplexes have been aimed at young audience members, and one of them – Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace – they’ve likely already seen.

So, now that families have sampled The Lorax, what’s on the immediate horizon that next can appeal to parents an their movie-craving kiddies? Here are five worthy titles we think you should put on your calendar.

Chimpanzee (April 20)

The Disneynature brand helped produce Earth, Oceans and African Cats. Their latest live-action nature story follows Oscar, a baby chimpanzee who is separated from its pack and asked to rely on help from an unlikely ally in order to survive the wilds of Africa. Bring tissues.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits 3D (April 27)

No Johnny Depp? No problem! The animated adventure The Pirates! Band of Misfits comes to us from the wizards at Aardman Studios, who create the brilliant Wallace & Gromit stop-motion features. That means mom and dad are likely to laugh just as hard at this 3D thriller, which starts in London but quickly heads across the Seven Seas.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (June 8)

We’ve done the Bronx Zoo. We’ve done the African plains. Now the Madagascar crew – which includes Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller) and Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock) – heads to Europe as they join a traveling circus and continuously battle to get back to the safety and comfort of their zoo cages. David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Sacha Baron Cohen also lend their voices to this animated sequel.

Brave (June 22)

Pixar Animation Studios takes families on a journey to the Scottish highlands, where brave but restless warrior princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) fights against her royal destiny and instead seeks to carve out her own path. Emma Thompson and Billy Connolly lend their voices to Pixar’s latest masterpiece, the first to be built around a female hero.

Ice Age: Continental Drift (July 13)

Like Madagascar, Continental Drift continues a story that’s been spread over multiple features, though the last Ice Age earned $886 million at the global box office, so audiences are still gung-ho about these adventures. Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott and Josh Peck are back for Drift, which introduces a band of pirates. And if you haven’t seen the latest trailer yet, be sure to click right here.


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