It’s time for your lineup of family movies for April 2018!
April it seems is the month for kids’ movies featuring animals. The animated movies being released this month include a Noah’s ark full of wildlife. Let’s kick things off with what’s now playing!
Pandas (Now playing–documentary) Rated G
This movie is only 40 minutes, great for a movie outing with little ones!
It’s time for a family trip to the science museum. While there, you can check out Warner Brothers’ latest IMAX release, Pandas. Narrated by Frozen’s Kristen Bell, this nature documentary promises visuals that will warm the heart with the world’s cutest bears. It goes without saying that the photography is stunning, but you’ll also see how a baby panda is carefully nurtured by scientists to be introduced into the wild for the first time.
The years of love and attention provided by the scientists to help the baby panda survive on her own will touch and inspire you. It’s an amazing collaborative effort between Chinese and American scientists to preserve the panda species in the wild. It will spark some great conversations with your children about why many wildlife species around the world are in trouble and what we can do to help.
Sgt. Stubby (Now playing–animated) – Rated PG
Here we have an unsung hidden gem. Sgt. Stubby is getting some wonderful reviews from both audience members and my friends at Common Sense Media. Based on a true story, Stubby was a Boston Terrier who eventually became a hero in the U.S. Army’s Yankee Division during World War I. This is an inspiring story that will pique kids’ curiosity about history and possibly encourage more discussion and exploration into the time period. Be aware that the movie depicts war scenes. While not graphic, they might be too scary for kids younger than eight.
Dolphins (Documentary) – Rated G
UPDATE: Oh bummer, this movie was pulled from release, and I have no idea why. Our friends at Film Center received a response from Disney stating, “Dolphins is no longer on our theatrical release calendar; the next Disneynature title to hit theaters will be Penguins on April 19, 2019.”
— Film Center 🎥 (@flick_center) April 18, 2018
However, we do have a trailer of next year’s DisneyNature Earth Day release, Penguins.
Here is a description of Dolphins — I’m very sorry we’ll miss out on this one. I can’t imagine what went wrong, but I’m guessing may have to do with story problems or avoiding potential controversy over the storyline.
Every Earth Day Disneynature releases a wonderful new documentary about the animal kingdom. This year they are exploring dolphins. Narrated by Owen Wilson, Dolphins follows the story of Echo, a young dolphin who just loves adventures. Yet she’s growing up, and it’s time for her to take on a more important role in the delicate ecosystem of the sea. This coming of age story is great for all ages, and I recommend that you check out all the Disneynature documentaries with your little ones!
Duck Duck Goose (Animated)
UPDATE: Bummer again! This movie’s release date was changed to August 24. It isn’t that unusual for children’s animated films that aren’t from one of the major studios to have changes made to release dates by the distributor. It can definitely be frustrating for filmgoers and the filmmakers. I will keep my eye on this one and let you know when we have a new date, or if it will be going direct to DVD or a streaming service.
Here is more about the movie:
The concept for Duck Duck Goose is cute if not terribly original. A goose called Peng, who loves doing his own thing, reluctantly finds himself responsible for helping two ducklings fly south for the winter. This one will come loaded with the usual kids’ movie ammo to score laughs: mild gross-out humor and plenty of slapstick. I think this one will still be worth checking out due to the caliber of the talent. Family friendly comic Jim Gaffigan is the voice of Peng. Writer Rob Muir penned Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue and wrote the screenplay for the live-action Jungle Book. Director Christopher Jenkins was the producer of one of my family’s favorite animated movies, Home, and he created special effects for numerous Disney hits.
Animal Crackers (Animated)
UPDATE: Unbelievable! The distributors changed this movie’s release date too. August 10 is the new release date, according the Animal Crackers‘ Facebook page. Stay tuned!
Here’s more about Animal Crackers:
Yet another family film that isn’t a sequel! I have been looking forward to this movie. A dad is stuck in a thankless job when he inherits a shabby circus from an uncle. It becomes something of a nightmare when he discovers just what bad shape the circus is actually in. But then he finds an enchanted box of animal crackers, giving him the capacity to transform himself into any animal from the box. The circus will be saved, if he can keep the crackers safe from an evil circus mogul, who would like the magic cookies all for himself. It features the voices of Emily Blunt, who is the new Mary Poppins, and John Krasinski, best known for The Office. Variety’s Peter Debruge has already seen it and called it “a delightfully inventive, frequently hilarious animated feature.”
That’s all for now, folks. Which movies would you and your family like to see? Share it in the comments section!