Come summer, there’ll be no shortage of family-friendly movies. Kids and adults alike are excited about what the season will have to offer when it comes to those much-awaited summer holiday family mornings at the cinema. With theatres in the UAE doing more to accommodate kids’ preferences, including launching entire screens dedicated to young movie fans, it’s looking like moviegoers of all ages will be spending more time indoors, living out dreams and adventures with their favourite stars. From dinosaur claws reaching into bedrooms to superhero parents saving the day, let’s book our favourites. See you at the counter!
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM
Long gone are the days of that first encounter with a dinosaur: that’s very much been there, done that. But Jurassic World cleverly put a spin on this and tried to commercialise dinosaurs, making them bigger and stronger, which inevitably was the downfall of the company when their creation ran rampant. Now, with the prehistoric amusement park abandoned, the dinosaurs are in danger of going extinct (again…) when a dormant volcano starts to erupt. It’s up to Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard to get them all off the island before history repeats itself. It seems a little far-fetched, but so did Pratt driving alongside a squad of raptors that he controls like a military team, and that turned out to be simply awesome. You’d think the main draw for Fallen Kingdom would be the T-Rex and other threats with teeth; we all know it’s Jeff Goldblum’s return as Ian Malcolm. It’s another dinosaur attack!
Director: J.A. Bayona
Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Jeff Goldblum, Rafe Spall
Release date: June 7
Finally! Okay, in a midst of sequels, remakes and reboots, it doesn’t come as a surprise this Pixar gem got a follow-up, but people have been asking for this since 2004. Fans were spending their days coming up with memes, analysing every second and detail of Incredibles movies, in hopes of finding out what’s taken them so long. The wait is over and, for a lot of us, our nostalgia senses are off the charts. We find our favourite superhero family back right where we left them, taking on The Underminer and bringing the costumed vigilante name back into the spotlight. Now though, baby Jack-Jack needs to be taken care of properly with his powers awakening, so Mr. Incredible stays at home while Elastigirl does what she does best, kick supervillain keister and save the day. Like all Pixar movies, it looks like it will be about the hilarious struggles of a dad trying to handle a superpowered baby, but we all know there’ll be a tear-inducing message to smack us right in the face. Don’t worry, you won’t be the only adult sitting in the cinema sobbing (we hope).
Director: Brad Bird
Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Sophia Bush
Release date: June 14
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
Another Marvel blockbuster. With Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War before it, our two mite-sized heroes will have a lot to carry on their shoulders. Director Peyton Reed knows how Ant-Man is depicted – a strange hero with stranger powers – which is why he made his debut pure fun. A battle with Thomas the Tank Engine isn’t something audiences often have an excuse to see, and this sequel will bring a host of new ideas. The trailer already shows a building turn into a suitcase, and a giant Hello Kitty used as a weapon. Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly make for a comedic powerhouse of a duo, and they’re up against a villain called Ghost, who can (you guessed it) become intangible like a ghost. Call them a joke if you want, but Ant-Man and The Wasp probably have the coolest powers in all of Marvel and will be a spectacle.
Director: Peyton Reed
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly
Release date: July 5
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION
Sony Pictures’ massively popular animation returns with a very summery twist. You may think Drac’s life is as perfect as it gets: he’s surrounded by his family and the hotel is doing so well, but he’s feeling a bit lonely. That’s why when his daughter, Mavis, suggests that they go for a vacation, he can’t wait to spend more time with her and the rest of the family. The first-ever cruise for monsters is a hoot: from monster volley to moon tans, it’s all a monster could ever ask for. He even finds love on the ship, but there’s more to this monster trap than meets the eye. Will Drac figure it out or be blinded by love? Watch and see how Johnny, Mavis’ husband, uses his 90s DJ skills to try and save the day and what Dennis – their five-year-old – will do after he secretly sneaks his elephant-sized pet onto the cruise.
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Cast: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez
Release date: July 12
MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN!
Could they have named the sequel anything else? The sensational musical that had everyone in movie theatres around the world dancing and singing along to every Abba song, returns. The whole cast will be making a comeback, except with more of a focus on their younger selves as Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) learns about her mother’s (Meryl Streep) past in Greece. While we may not get to see much of the faces we’ve come to know in the past film, we do get to see an energised younger cast dance and sing to the songs of Abba. Oh, and maybe, just maybe, if we wish hard enough, Pierce Brosnan won’t have to sing again in this one. At least he tried.
Director: Ol Parker
Cast: Lily James, Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan
Release date: July 19
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT
We start to question if these missions are actually impossible, seeing how Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has survived five other missions and is now going on to his sixth. Regardless, it’s always a welcome surprise to see the Mission Impossible franchise going on strong, and Fallout seems like it will continue that trend. This time, Ethan Hunt’s team find themselves racing against time after a mission goes wrong. We know, it sounds like every other Mission Impossible entry, but each one always puts a nice twist in the story to keep audiences on their toes. Expect to see a lot of death-defying stunts – with people flying through windows and, of course, Tom Cruise dangling in the air at a very, very unsafe height. Apparently, Cruise even broke his foot while filming this one and, get this, continued in order to get the shot. The film was partly shot in Abu Dhabi, too, so look out for some familiar sights on the big screen.
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan
Release date: July 26
TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES
Everyone’s favourite animated teen heroes are now aiming for the big screen – both literally and figuratively. So, who are the Teen Titans? Robin leads the team, which is totally normal given his intellect and leadership capabilities...Starfire is a quirky, curious alien princess from planet Tamaran, Cyborg is a super-strong half-human/half-robot who’s known for his technological prowess, Raven is a stoic girl hailing from the parallel world Azarath and Beast Boy is a ditzy, good-natured joker. It seems to the Teens that all the superheroes are starring in movies, so Robin decides to solve this and get noticed – he believes he’s a star, not a sidekick! The group heads to Tinsel Town, but a villain maniac wants to take over Earth and they can’t let that happen. We’re counting on the teens’ team spirit and friendship to save the day, and expecting plenty of musical numbers so we can sing along too. It’s time for the egocentric Titans to star in their first feature film extravaganza: it’s clever, tongue-in-cheek and kiddie audiences will love it as much as the TV series. Go Teen Titans, we’re cheering for you champs.
Directors: Aaron Horvath and Peter Rida
Cast: Kristen Bell, Khary Payton, Will Arnett
Release date: July 26
It’ll take your breath away to see Winnie the Pooh in his new skin on the big screen as he stars in this new, whimsical Disney release. Reintroducing two of the most beloved characters in children’s literature, the boy and his bear are back with one of summer’s most anticipated releases. This time, however, that boy is all grown up and played by Ewan McGregor. It’s been a very long time since he’s seen his old friend Winnie the Pooh – and he could use a little magic in his life. Winnie the Pooh, voiced by longtime Pooh actor Jim Cummings, wants to help his friend Christopher get away from it all and go on a family getaway despite job pressures. The bear’s philosophy of positivity and friendship will enter our lives, showing us how the real world can also be interpreted through Pooh’s magical outlook on life.
Director: Marc Forster
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Jim Cummings
Release date: August 2
PETER PAN: THE QUEST FOR NEVER BOOK
Following the widely successful release of its modern take on Peter Pan and two full-fledged seasons running successfully worldwide, DQ Entertainment comes back with another Neverland hit, a 90-minute feature film on the quest for Never Book. The power-packed tale finds Neverland in great danger when the famous book falls in the hands of the crooked Captain Hook. The evil pirate, in typical evil pirate fashion, misuses its magical powers to unleash monsters so as to destroy Peter Pan and his friends. Will Peter be able to fulfil the fabled prophecy of the Never Book? You’re going to have to watch to discover whether he will, with the help of his friends Tinker Bell, Wendy, Michael, John and the Never Kids. Peter needs to save Neverland and London, and they trust him infinitely to do just that. Join him in this roller coaster of an adventure to find out!
Directors: G Chandrasekaran and Jake Paque
Cast: Sarah Natochenny and Michael Dobson
Release date: August 2
There it is...from saving the day with Peter Pan, talking life with Winnie the Pooh and cheering for the Teen Titans on their big movie break, to watching Tom Cruise achieve – yet another – mission, vacationing with the world’s most loved vampire and hoping the dinosaurs are herbivors, this summer’s fantastic movie line-up is bound to keep us glued to the big screens.
Head to uae.voxcinemas.com, www.reelcinemas.ae, www.novocinemas.com.