Are we nearly there? Children's films

The London Film Festival previews Roald Dahl's Matilda today. The film is just the latest in a new wave of intelligent, children's movies on general release. They have good storylines and high production values, that leave Lassie in the shade. Watch out for the release next month of Hollywood's Christmas spectacular - 101 Dalmations, with Glenn Close as a gorgeously evil Cruella de Vil.

The Adventures of Pinocchio (U):

This live-action version of Carlo Collodi's fairytale has puppets from Jim Henson's Creature shop and the latest post-Toy Story digital technology.

Alaska (PG): Charlton Heston plays a big game poacher in this Disney eco-thriller for a slightly older audience. Good teen performances, a cute polar bear cub and breathtaking snowscapes.

Dragonheart (PG): More computer-generated special effects in this tale of a medieval Knight (Dennis Quaid) travelling the countryside with the world's last dragon, Draco, voiced by Sean Connery.

A Goofy Movie: Mickey's gangling side-kick gets a movie all to himself in this full length musical cartoon which sees Goofy taking his offspring to the country for a spot of father-son bonding.

James and the Giant Peach (U):

Joanna Lumley and Miriam Margoyles give splendid cameos as James' spiteful aunts Sponge and Spiker in this part-animated film about an orphan and the insects he befriends.

The Wind in the Willows (PG): Terry Jones' poorly received live action version of the Kenneth Grahame classic, with a green-faced director as Toad.

Roald Dahl's Matilda (PG): Danny De Vito directed and stars in this knockabout screen adaptation of Dahl's book, which retains all the rude nastiness that children love so much.

(1.30pm, 6.30pm Odeon West End, Leicester Square, London W1, today).

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