Part of the fun of being a Dad is having kids around so that you never have to lose your own inner child. Kids give you chances to do things you wouldn’t normally do – for example, go to Avengers: Infinity War – which I loved. Pretty creepy to see a 70-year old alone at the movies, but going with kids is a perfect ticket. Or, together with my girls trying to figure out what A Wrinkle in Time was all about. We decided nothing happened in the movie, and the book was better.
Anyway, in this post, I review my top five choices in movies that I think parents and children can share this summer. Here’s what I think as a teacher: parents – it isn’t enough to drop your kids off to see these movies by themselves. Pony up to the popcorn together. Soon enough, they won’t want to go with you.
Choice #1: Incredibles 2 (PG, June 15)
Can you imagine that the first movie of Mr. Incredible was almost 15 years ago in 2004? In this, Elastigirl and their three children continue their odd life. In Incredibles 2, Elastigirl gets a new job and Mr. Incredible must stay home with the kids. (How many movies have been based on this theme, Eddie Murphy?) The Incredibles films are from Pixar, who always seems to tell a good story. It is rated PG for action sequences and some brief language issues.
Choice #2: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (PG-13, June 22)
This will be my #1 movie of the summer with my kids. Why? I am a Jeff Goldblum fan, and any chance to see his wry humor in action is good. The Jurassic movies are a testament to computer graphics, and I am sure – like the others – this one will have you frantically twisting around in your car waiting for the claw to drop. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the fifth movie in the Jurassic series and is about dinosaurs fighting for survival on an abandoned island. But, then, who needs a reason? Perhaps it is not one for young children. It is rated PG-13 for its science-fiction violence.
Choice #3: Hotel Transylvania 3 (PG, July 13)
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is the third Hotel Transylvania movie. Again, for me, Adam Sandler as the voice for Dracula is magic. In this movie, Drac’s daughter Mavis surprises everyone with a vacation on a luxury cruise ship for monsters. All goes well until Dad Dracula falls for ship captain Ericka – a descendent of Drac’s ancient enemy, Abraham Van Helsing. Who would have guessed? Rated PG for some action and adult-like humor.
Choice #4: Disney’s Christopher Robin (not rated, Aug. 3)
Disney’s Christopher Robin is Disney’s take on the story behind the man who wrote Winnie-the-Pooh. It is part live-action, part animated and is based on the classic story of Winnie the Pooh. In this one Christopher Robin (played by Ewan McGregor – an actor capable of being both a sappy nice guy or a great villain – though never so far in the same movie) is now grown up, with a job and a family. But when he feels the whole world is against him, Winnie the Pooh shows up to ask for Christopher’s help to find his lost friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. No surprise, this adventure is exactly what Christopher needs to rediscover his own childhood. As a Dad, I appreciate Disney making feel-good, family-friendly flicks for kids of all ages.
Choice #5: A.X.L. (PG, Aug. 24)
In this sci-fi adventure, teenage biker boy Miles finds an intelligent, robotic dog in the desert. Part dog (heart) and part robot (body), A.X.L. combines artificial intelligence with all the great dog-like qualities we have come to expect from man’s (boy’s) best friend. Like any good boy-and-dog story, the two become fast friends. But when the military discovers what has happened, the boy and robotic dog must escape from rogue military scientists. (Why is there always a rogue military scientist? How do these people slip through?) This genre mash-up (I learned that term from the Pitch Perfect movies) combines good science fiction with the timeless boy-and-his-dog story, which looks to be a great choice for the whole family. It is rated PG for sci-fi action and some language.