Thursday, January 15, 2009


I don't generally get too excited -- really excited -- about new kids’ movies (unless they star, say, Will Ferrell or Ben Stiller), but I have to admit to being rather interested in Coraline, the new film directed by Henry Selick (he directed The Nightmare Before Christmas). I believe Coraline may be the first stop-motion animated film shot in 3-D, which should be interesting. It hits theaters on February 6.

In May, DreamWorks Animation will give us Monsters & Aliens, headed up by Shrek and Shark Tales directors, with voices by Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogan, Stephen Colbert and others. Adapted from a comic book series, the story involves a super hero fighting off space aliens who come to earth, and threaten our cable television signals. This one might be too much for some parents to take; imagine, life without Bravo?!

Just to prove I have nothing against Pixar or Disney, I’ll also say that previews for the animated Up look like a lot of fun, too. Up will be released in May.

Also in May (wow, a busy month), we'll get the sequel to Ben Stiller’s Night at the Museum, entitled Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. Look at this cast: Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Hank Azaria, Ed Helms, Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais, Owen Wilson, Christopher Guest, to name a few (many of them in reprised roles). Could it possibly be bad? I think not.

Here’s the trailer for Coraline, followed by one for Night at the Museum (which had me laughing pretty hard; hope it's not all the best bits):

Later in the summer, one of my favorite movie guys, Will Ferrell (yeah, yeah, I know, we’re supposed to be over him by now), stars in Land of the Lost. Here’s the description from Film (they’re linked over on the right side of my page; very helpful site!):

Dr. Rick Marshall, a disgraced paleontologist, his assistant and a macho tour guide find themselves in a strange world inhabited by dinosaurs, monkey people and reptilian Sleestaks.

Hmmm. Disgraced paleontologist, or macho tour guide? Both would be fun for Ferrell. Maybe they let him play both roles.

I don’t see much on the horizon (yet announced, anyway) to get excited about. I guess Where the Wild Things Are (coming in the fall) might be one of the most anticipated family films to come out this year. Fingers crossed they don’t screw it up.

(Notes on a few January releases here.)


  1. There will also be a new Miyazaki movie from Japan in 2009, "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea." Disney is creating an English dub and will release it in summer. Ponyo is based very roughly on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid", with the land-boy a 5 year old child.

    For those of you unfamiliar with Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli, he has created several quite beautiful animated movies that are suitable for kids and adults. "Kiki's Delivery Service" and "My Neighbor Totoro" have held my interest many times, but they are nonscary and suitable for even the smallest kids. He is perhaps best known in the US for "Spirited Away," but he and his studio have created around a dozen films, which are all worth seeing.

  2. We LOVE the work of Hayao Miyazaki... one of my personal favorites is "Howl's Moving Castle." I've made a note to myself to write up these animated beauties soon. Thank you for the heads up about "Ponyo." We'll be on the lookout. (And if any of you are in the vicinity of San Francisco soon, check out the exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum, for The Totoro Forest Project, featuring paintings, illustrations and sculptures from nearly 200 artists inspired by Totoro. It was wonderful! It ends early February, so check the dates now. Also, I just looked at their web site, and they have another great exhibit about to open for kids, art from the Coraline film! Wish we could teleport back there for a quick visit...)

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