Kids' flicks set to battle blockbusters at the box office
Tuesday 26 April 2011
Five family films will be released this summer offering an alternative for young kids to the splashy effects-driven comic book superheroes like
Green Lantern and sci-fi adventures such as
Transformers: Dark of the Moon filling theaters this summer.
Leading off with a kaboom, Kung Fu Panda 2 opens on May 26, featuring Jack Black's and Angelina Jolie's voices along with Seth Rogen, Jackie Chan, Gary Oldman, Dustin Hoffman, and Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Also, the animated classic Winnie the Pooh returns to the big screen for a new generation, debuting in April in Europe and July in North America before rolling out in other markets.
In June, Jim Carrey stars in Mr. Popper's Penguins and the computer-animated Cars 2 returns in 3D with Owen Wilson behind the wheel of Lightning McQueen. July brings animated little blue creatures with the live-action film The Smurfs. Then, the fourth installment of Spy Kids appears in August.
On July 15, the Harry Potter finale hits theaters for kids of all ages.
Winnie the Pooh
Released in April in France, Germany, Mexico and the UK, it will open in North America and Australia on July 14-15. Based on an A.A. Milne story, the film has Winnie the Pooh go in search of honey, ending up on a misadventure to save Christopher Robin with the help of Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore. It features the voices of John Cleese ( Shrek) and Craig Ferguson ( How to Train your Dragon).
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Release date: June 16-17 in North America, Russia and Singapore; July in Germany and Scandinavian countries; August in the UK and other markets
Jim Carrey stars as a businessman who inherits six penguins and finds his home transformed into a winter wonderland and his life turned upside down. Adapted from the children's book by Richard and Florence Atwater and directed by Mark Waters ( Mean Girls, The Spiderwick Chronicles), the live-action film costars Carla Gugino ( Sucker Punch).
Release dates: June 24 in North America and Australia; July in the UK, France and Japan
In 3D, Lightning McQueen, voiced by Owen Wilson ( Marley & Me), revs up to race around the world in the World Grand Prix with Mater in tow. An international espionage theme is at play in this sequel, costarring Michael Caine as Finn McMissile as well as Cheech Marin, Eddie Izzard and Emily Mortimer ( Shutter Island). The first film was a huge success for merchandising, and the buzz on the sequel is high.
Release dates: July 29 in North America; roll-out to other markets in August and September
A combination of live action and computer animation in 3D, The Smurfs - Gutsy, Grouchy, Greedy, Brainy, and Jokey - are loose in New York City after an evil wizard chases the little blue creatures out of their magical village. Features Hank Azaria ( Year One) and the voices of Alan Cumming ( Burlesque), Anton Yelchin ( Star Trek), and pop singer Katy Perry.
Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World
Release dates: August 19 in North America, Russia, and the UK, followed by Australia
After a trilogy of hits, the fourth installment of Spy Kids returns with Robert Rodriguez as director eight years later, but features a new cast with Antonio Banderas ( Shrek) and Jessica Alba ( Little Fockers), who plays a young mother who takes up spying again in an effort to prevent a villain from stopping time.
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