By Dayna Danson and Robin Stevenson
Senior citizen and former balloon salesman Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner) rigs his house with thousands of helium balloons and sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream of exploring South America. After lifting off, Carl learns he isn’t alone on his journey, when he notices eight-year-old Russell, who has accidentally become a stowaway on his trip.
SCOOP: This is the first Pixar (Cars, Monster’s Inc.) film in digital 3-D. Not that it matters — you were probably going to see this anyways.
In this sequel to Ice Age and Ice Age: The Meltdown, Scrat (the sabre-toothed squirrel) is still trying to nab his ever-elusive acorn, Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah) are awaiting the arrival of their mini-mammoth, Diego (Dennis Leary) is wondering if he’s getting “soft” just hanging with his pals and Sid (John Leguizamo) is in trouble…again.
SCOOP: If your child knows that there’s no way dinosaurs could have existed alongside ice age mammals, you might want to explain the idea of creative license.
What if James Bond was a Guinea pig? Decked out in designer suits, sunglasses and the latest spy gear, this team of highly trained talking guinea pigs (voiced by Will Arnett, Bill Nighy, Nicolas Cage and Penélope Cruz), try to stop a billionaire with a plan to take over the world using household appliances.
SCOOP: Laugh at the premise if you want (it’s a kids’ movie after all) but the film’s producer is Jerry Bruckheimer, the man behind Bad Boys and The Rock who knows a thing or two about action flicks.
In the 2006 blockbuster Larry (Ben Stiller) the security guard, realized the exhibits come to life at night. Now Larry must help out his museum friends (Owen Wilson and Robin Williams) who have been shipped to Washington’s Smithsonian Museum. Amy Adams is also on board as pilot Amelia Earhart and Larry’s love interest.
SCOOP: The Smithsonian is actually 19 museums, which means that much more than creatures — think aircraft and artwork — come alive at night.
Scientist Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) and his team are sucked into a space-time vortex and then thrown back out into a bizarre world filled with dinosaurs, cavemen and other terrifying creatures.
SCOOP: Besides being loaded with special effects, Gen-X moms and dads might enjoy this new take on the ’70s sci-fi series.
The sixth installment in the series, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) obtains a potions book that used to belong to the mysterious Half-Blood Prince and uncovers the dark secrets of Voldemort’s past. Add in the high school romance drama (Harry pines for Ginny Weasley, Ron is dating Lavender Brown much to Hermoine’s chagrin) and this film, like the book, should be the best of the bunch.
SCOOP: Casting coup. Who better to play Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) as a child than Ralph Fiennes’ own nephew (Hero Fiennes Tiffin)?
If for nothing else, your preteens will wants to see the film for Ashley Tisdale of High School Musical fame. In it she plays the older sibling of a boy who discovers the family’s vacation house has been invaded by aliens and must step up to save his family and Earth from the uninvited extraterrestrials.
SCOOP: The film has been described as part Gremlins, part Goonies for those parents old enough to remember those alien films from the ’80s.
Set in the cookie-cutter suburb of Black Falls, Shorts is the story of Toe Thompson, an 11-year-old boy who discovers a rainbow-coloured rock. While seeming ordinary at first, Toe soon discovers that the rock grants wishes to anyone who holds it. Before long (and in true sci-fi fashion), Black Falls is teeming with tiny spaceships, crocodile armies and mayhem after a slew of wishes go wrong.
SCOOP: Directed by Robert Rodriguez (the kid-friendly Spy Kids and the not so kid-friendly Sin City) so you know that it will be entertaining for kids and parents alike.