February half-term is fast approaching and many parents like to set aside time to treat the kids to a trip to the cinema. As usual, there are plenty of films out at present or set to be released over the coming days and here’s a round-up of the pick of the bunch to make sure you pick the right movie to take the little ones to see.
A Monster In Paris 3D (Running time: 1hr 25min. Rated – U. Out now.)
As French children’s films come, this is amongst the most whimsical. This tale is about the friendship between a singer called Lucille and a giant talking flea by the name of Franc, a monster created by an inventor and movie projectionist who does his best to impress Lucille with his great musical talent. Set in Paris in 1910, Lucille does her best to save Franc from the evil Mayor Commissioner Maynott, who has sinister plans for what to do with Franc. The animated adventure is ideal entertainment for the whole family.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (Running time: 1hr 27min. Rated – U. Out now.)
The third film in the series, Alvin, Simon and Theodore find themselves on a cruise with Dave and the Chipettes in tow. Between them, the all-singing, all-dancing rodents cause mayhem on the ship, only for it to crash. Marooned on a desert island, the Chipmunks try to keep themselves occupied by singing their troubles away, but come into contact with a castaway who proves to be a match for them. The film’s mix of musical numbers and mad antics will keep younger children entertained, especially if the success of the first two films is anything to go by.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (Running time: 1hr 34min. Rated – PG. Out now.)
Starring the seemingly bizarre pair of Michael Caine and former professional wrestler Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, this is the family action sequel to 2008’s Journey To The Centre Of The Earth. This time round, the 3D adventure sees young Sean plus his stepfather, a helicopter pilot and his daughter on a quest to find the source of a coded message from a supposedly non-existent island. Upon finding the island, they try to rescue its only inhabitant and escape from there unharmed before the treasure they find is gone. Like its hit predecessor, it’s fantastic viewing for cinemagoers young and old.
The Muppets (Running time: 1hr 43min. Rated – PG. Released on February 10th)
After a few years away from our cinema screens, Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of the fuzzy gang return. In this instalment, they’ve all embarked upon separate careers, but the Muppet Theatre is under threat from closure. Unsure whether it’s worth saving, they come round after being persuaded to rescue it by dedicated Muppets fan Walter. Determined to keep their legacy intact, they do their best to raise the $10million needed to save the theatre by reuniting for a typically chaotic telethon. The ninth Muppets film is a heart-warming comedy for young ones unfamiliar with Kermit, as well as nostalgic adults who grew up watching them as children.
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D (Running time: 2hr 13min. Rated – PG. Released on February 10th)
Re-released to enhance its already stunning special effects, this three-dimensional version of The Phantom Menace puts a different spin on the classic sci-fi franchise. If you enjoyed the original, but your kids haven’t seen it before, then a trip to your local cinema will help open their eyes to how good this film is. The story follows the Jedi Knights’ mission to the Planet Naboo and their discovery of a wide threat to the whole galaxy, with problems along the way. Special effects aside, the film has plenty to offer for younger viewers.