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Kids Films 2016

“They don’t make them like they used to”, well maybe you just don’t appreciate them like you used to!

I’ve no doubt that I would have enjoyed Inside Out if I was seven, but I was a little bored by it to be honest, and looking back at the roster 2015 has not been all that great for films for kids, or at least didn’t have an awful lot of real attention grabbers. Except Minions, thanks for the fresh wave of merchandising, bad memes and kids talking gibberish, Universal Pictures.

2014 gave us:

  • Big Hero 6 – A truly heartfelt film about loss and revenge, granted it was a bad Marvel adaption but it was a fantastic film.
  • Box Trolls – From the studio that keeps stop motion alive, a fun little story about perception and propaganda.
  • The Lego Movie – The feature length advert that was amazingly good shut up I love it!
  • How To Train Your Dragon 2 – A very solid sequel to another excellent film.

And Rio 2, Mr Peabody and Sherman, and whatever Night at the Museum we’re on now, three? four? You really can’t win them all, but no one really remembers the failures, only the successes have real staying power. How many of those are we actually going to remember in another decade? Which will go down as the Lion King or Willow of a new generation?

2016 looks to be full of promise itself, and also full of concern…


Let’s get the sequels out of the way first:

I loved Kung Fu Panda, and Kung Fu Panda 2 had an excellent villain and decent character development, even if it lacked a little in plot. The third part of the trilogy looks to be offering the same assets, Po’s father will be played by Brian Cranston, and J. K. Simmons will be playing the role of the villainous bison Kai.

I know that Ellen DeGeneres has been looking forward to this for quite some time, and Finding Nemo was a long time ago now, so this sequel has had plenty of time to stew and develop into something worth watching, but I’m not really looking forward to this. It’s like The Hangover, same plot with subtle distinctions. Disney Pixar have their work cut out for this not to come out too formulaic.

Moving on to original titles:

Aww, he loves that mixer! Look at the little-


Ok, not seeing much of a narrative here, but this could be a good thing. I actually don’t want a storyline, or drama, I would love to watch a film that goes from window to window showing us what’s going on with our animal friends when we go out to work, where the whole thing ends with the owners coming home, and everyone’s happy. Or dozens of little stories (a la Cloud Atlas) that build into a stand-alone legend with no beginning or end. That would be nice, but I doubt it.

Anyone else 50/50 on this one? It could be very impressive, it could be really boring, or it might just straddle the fence harder than my opinion. I’ll let you make up your own minds about this one.


Doubters need only look to the director, Jon Favreau, the man behind the Marvel, one of them at any rate. It’s an all star cast, which is rarely cause for intrigue, but still I find myself curious.

The first was merely “ok”, and I don’t like the idea of Sacha Baron Cohen playing a villain as grand and brilliant as Time. As a concept it could be great, but it’s already on shaky foundations, and even more consumed with Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter than it really should be. I’m foreseeing a failed fan project with a bloated budget.

Steven Spielberg is something of a polarising figure in the Hollywood scene, I fall firmly into the “overrated and boring” camp, but I don’t blame you for thinking he’s some kind of genius. Roald Dahl on the other hand made some of the best kids books of all time, and the animated BFG was an underrated classic, so let’s keep our fingers crossed here. I’m thinking modern masterpiece hanging by a thread.

Finally, this is happening. Let’s all just let that sink in, shall we.

Unrelated update, on Tuesday we published an interview with Professor Elemental, sadly bereft the actual interview. Check back today for the thing itself.



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