As the air turns crisp (we hope!) and the fall season settles in, movie theaters will be heating up with a number of big screen treats for families. The 2012 fall line-up includes more Halloween-themed flicks than I've ever seen come to theaters at one time, providing plenty animated eye-candy for kids and families of all ages. Check out these goodies opening in theaters August-December, and you can also look way ahead with the 2013 movie calendar for more upcoming family films.
Summer turns to fall as many lives are changed in this modern day fairy tale from Disney. The Odd Life of Timothy Green follows the story of a couple who are devastated by the news that they will never be able to have children. But when they symbolically bury their dream in the garden outside, a miracle happens: Timothy comes to them. (Rated PG)
The stop-motion animated comedy/thriller ParaNorman will bring ghostly chills to your local theater this August. The film follows Norman, an 11-year-old boy who is fascinated with ghosts and ghouls. In fact, he can actually communicate with them. His talent meets with an unfortunate response from those around him, that is, until the town begins to reap the consequences of a centuries old curse. Suddenly, Norman may be the only hope the town has. (Rated PG)
Looking forward to a theatrical first with your little one? Preschoolers may find many movies hard to sit through, but they don't have to sit through The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure. This interactive film encourages kiddos to get out of those oversized movie seats and dance and sing along with their Oogielove friends. In the movie, Goobie, Zoozie, and Toofie plan a wonderful birthday surprise for their friend Schluufy, but when things go wrong, they'll need help from their friends to get the party back on track. (Rated G)
The award-winning stop-motion animated film Toys in the Attic was inspired by the cultural and political contrast of the Cold War era and its impact on director Jiri Barta and the Czech Republic. The story follows a group of toys and knick-knacks stored in the attic of a home in Prague. The toys are divided into the land of happy toys in the West and the Land of Evil in the East. But when the evil leader of the East takes the precious doll Buttercup, her friends must come to her aid.
Our favorite fish friends are back in theaters in Finding Nemo 3D. The classic Disney/Pixar underwater adventure follows the story of clownfish father and son Marlin and Nemo. When a well-meaning diver takes Nemo away, Marlin embarks on an epic journey to save his son. Kids will love to ride on the backs of sea turtles, come face to face with sharks and watch the jellyfish bob around in stunning 3D as they watch Finding Nemo on the big screen. (Rated G)
Hotel Transylvania promises a monstrously good time with an animated family comedy about a birthday bash for Dracula's 118-year-old daughter Mavis. Kids will be excited about the animation and comedy, and of course, the fact that teen super star Selena Gomez voices the lovely Mavis. Dracula's big party plans are interrupted, however, when a human has the audacity to enter his monsters-only hotel. Can Dracula figure out how to get the human out before his party is ruined, or worse, before Mavis falls in love with him?
Disney and Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland, The Nightmare Before Christmas) team up to bring us Frankenweenie, a black and white stop-motion animated film about a boy named Victor who is determined to bring his dog Sparky back to life. But unfortunately, his scientific experiment has some unintended consequences. Over 200 puppets and sets were created to tell the story, and the puppets' wigs are made with real human hair. This detailed work of art is inspired by a Tim Burton short released in 1984.
From Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon, Fun Size presents a live-action comedy starring teen hit Victoria Justice. The Halloween disaster begins when high school senior Wren gets saddled with taking her little brother trick-or-treating. Distracted by her friends and big plans, Wren loses track of her little brother. The race is on to find little bro before her parents find out.
In the animated Disney adventure Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph is a video game bad guy who has had enough of being overshadowed by good guy Fix-It Felix. He decides to hop into a couple of different games, so that he can try out being the hero for once. Ralph gets more than he bargained for, though, when he accidentally unleashes a bitter enemy in the candy-coated land of Sugar Rush.
The theaters will be filled with tweens and teens in November when the final film in the Twilight series, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, hits theaters. Based on the books by Stephanie Meyer, this vampire thriller/romance has really sunk it's teeth into pop culture. Though the the past movies have all been PG-13, it's surprising that many kids as young as 7 or 8 years old are into the books and the movies. Both contain a significant amount of violence, sensuality or sexual content and peril, though, so if you are wondering whether or not the movies are appropriate for your child, be sure to preview or read a parent review first.
A rare team of heroes come together to save world in the DreamWorks Animation epic adventure Rise of Guardians. Santa Claus, a.k.a. "North," joins forces with Sandman, Easter Bunny, and Tooth Fairy, and hopefully, they can convince Jack Frost to help them as well. Otherwise, an evil spirit known as Pitch just might succeed with his nightmarish plan to rule the world. This imaginative story weaves together the magical icons of society in a way you've never seen them before. Get ready for a wild ride!
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey really seems like more of a holiday movie, but it's release date is technically still in the fall, so we'll include it. An Unexpected Journey is the first film in a trilogy that will tell the tale of the legendary Bilbo Baggins. The trilogy encompasses the novel The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien, and is a prequel story to The Lord of the Rings.