This year is already promising to be a great year for kids’ and family movies heading to the big screen. Of course we have numerous sequels (The Lego Movie 2, The Secret Life of Pets 2, Frozen 2, etc) and reboots (in this case live action versions of Disney films such as Aladdin, The Lion King, and Dumbo, with Mulan planned for next year). But we also have some fun originals like The Kid Who Would Be King and Wonder Park. So without further ado, here is my list of kids movies 2019!
The Kid Who Would Be King
I love the message of this movie: kids can do anything! In this case, one boy can be the one who pulls Excalibur from the stone and teams up with Merlin to save the world. In the tradition of Harry Potter. This is a really great movie—check it out while it’s in theaters! You can read my full review here.
Release date: January 25, 2019 (Now playing)
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
It looks like things are anything BUT awesome in Bricksburg. For Lucy coffee is “the bitter liquid that provides the only semblance of pleasure in these dark times.” Wow, what happened? Well, things are about to get worse, because Bricksburg is about to get invaded—bummer. Time to Lego up!
Release date: February 8, 2019
What happens when kids outgrow their favorite childhood pursuits? Maybe they get discouraged, or it isn’t “cool” anymore. June dreams of designing her own amusement park, but then she gets older and leaves the dream behind. Little does she know, that the park of her imagination really exists!
Release date: March 15, 2019
How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Hiccup, Astrid, Toothless the dragon and their friends are back for another adventure. Fourth installments in a franchise can be hit or miss, but the filmmakers for this one have latched on some new story elements. First, it looks like Toothless the dragon might fall in love. Secondly, the gang has to discover a mystical dragon world in order to save their own.
Release date: February 22, 2019
Five Feet Apart
In the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, this teen romance has a unique twist: two cystic fibrosis patients fall in love. But to stay healthy, Stella and Will have to maintain a safe distance…five feet apart. Humor, heart, tears…bring your tissues.
Release date: March 22, 2019
Director of Beatlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas Tim Burton helms this live action update of the 1941 animated Disney classic Dumbo. The plot is pretty slim in the original, so some significant story elements have been added to flesh out the story. New characters are on the scene, including children Milly and Joe, who take care of Dumbo, and Michael Keaton’s showman V.A. Vandevere, who wants to take advantage of Dumbo’s incredible talent to soar. In Burton’s hands this promises to be visually amazing and just a bit creepy with some dark elements.
Release date: March 29, 2019
The Laika studio is back with another handmade production, and Missing Link makes it look like their painstaking animation techniques are even more refined. A sasquatch-like fellow named Mr. Link decides that is tired of living alone in the woods. He reveals himself to a British explorer in the hopes of finding others like himself. Mr. Link’s search takes him around the world. Will he find his family?
Release date: April 12, 2019
DisneyNature celebrates Earth Day annually with the release of a new kid-friendly documentary. Unfortunately, last year’s film Dolphins was pulled from theaters with no explanation given. Penguins seems like it’s sure to hit theaters. The film follows a penguin named Steve, who’s hoping to find a life partner and start his family. Predators abound on his Antarctic journey, but since it’s Disney, we’re guaranteed a happy ending. DisneyNature documentaries are G-rated, and the same folks who directed Bears and Chimpanzee made this film.
Release date: April 17, 2019
Pokémon Detective Pikachu
Pokémon video games are insanely successful, and Hollywood isn’t going to look the other way. There have been lots of animated Pokémon movies already, so Hollywood felt compelled to come up with something else, a live-action buddy movie. In this case 21-year-old Tim needs help tracking down his missing father. Enter Detective Pikachu, which the film’s website describes as “hilariously wisecracking” and “adorable.” We’ve seen this formula before with mixed results.
Release date: May 10, 2019
Aladdin promises to be a fast-paced live action update of the 1992 animated original. Directed by action director Guy Ritchie, part of the movie was filmed on location in Jordan. It sounds like it’s going to be visually stunning. Will Smith is the genie. While no one could ever replace Robin Williams‘ priceless performance as the original genie, it will be nice to see Smith back in a comedy role bringing on his usual finesse.
Release date: May 24, 2019
The Secret Life of Pets 2
What do our pets do when we leave home for the day? More shenanigan from Max the Dog, Snowball the Bunny, and Chloe the cat. We don’t know a whole lot about the plot, but Max definitely has to make a dreaded trip to the vet—poor guy!
Release date: June 7, 2019
The Lion King
The character-generated (CG) animation is so seamless, I can’t help but marvel at its perfection. It seems that this live-action update of Disney’s The Lion King will follow the story quite closely. Again, the words “visually stunning” come to mind. High-powered talent fueling this production are Beyoncé as Nala, Seth Rogan bringing the comedy as Pumbaa, and James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa.
Release date: July 19, 2019
Wow wow wow, how excited are kids for this one, not to mention millions of adults who never grew up. Disney is super tightlipped about this. There’s not even a trailer yet. What we do know is that most of the cast and the original directors are back. Some exciting new talent has been attached as well, including the writer of Hidden Figures, Allison Schroeder. Magic!
Release date: November 22, 2019