2016 has been a great year for kids’ movies, with charming releases such as Finding Dory, The BFG and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children captivating audiences. The year might be coming to an end, but there is no need to worry: 2017 has a lot of great kids’ film releases in store.
10. Smurfs: The Lost Village
This long-awaited film is set to be a total reboot of the Smurfs franchise. Unlike previous Smurfs films, which combined animation with live action scenes, Smurfs: The Lost Village will be a fully animated 3D film. Starring Demi Lovato, it will tell the story of Smurfette and her friends as they try to find the Lost Village before evil Gargamel gets there, with the help of a mysterious map that they found in the Forbidden Forest.
Despite being repeatedly delayed since the original release date in 2015, the film is scheduled to be released on 7 April 2017.
9. The Boss Baby
The Boss Baby is a 3D computer-animated film that is set to be released on 31 March 2017. Alec Baldwin plays a suit-wearing, businesslike baby who takes on his arch nemesis, corporate villain Francis E. Francis. This is all narrated by the grown-up version of his brother Tim, voiced by Tobey Maguire. Lisa Kudrow, Steve Buscemi and Jimmy Kimmel complete the star-studded cast of this anticipated movie.
The Boss Baby is expected to be released on 31 March 2017.
In 1995, Jumanji captured the imagination of thousands of children. Based on the book of the same name, the film told the story of a mysterious, magical board game in which player actions could have dire consequences. The film was a success and it is fondly remembered as one of Robin Williams’ best performances.
The sequel, also called Jumanji, features Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan and Nick Jonas. It is a live action fantasy adventure in which four teens in detention must locate a jewel inside the magical Jumanji game. The new Jumanji film is set to be released in December 2017.
7. My Little Pony: The Movie
Follow the adventures of the Mane 6 as they leave Equestria to stop a dark force that is threatening Ponyville. The movie is based on the hugely successful TV series, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, featuring the same voice cast for Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Rarity, along with guest performances including Taye Diggs, Michael Peña and Emily Blunt. The film is scheduled for release on 6 October 2017.
6. The Lego Ninjago Movie
After the success of the 2014 film The Lego Movie, this spin-off will delight children and adults alike. The film tells the story of six teenagers who are warriors by night and ordinary high schoolers by day. When their island home of Ninjago is in danger, they must defend it using their ninja skills to defeat the villains. Jackie Chan lends his voice to Sensei Wu, and he is joined by Michael Peña, Fred Armisen, Kumail Nanjiani, Zach Woods and Abbi Jacobson as the six young ninjas. The film will be released on 22 September 2017.
Ferdinand is a retelling of the classic tale of Ferdinand the bull, who preferred smelling the flowers than fighting in bullfights. Ferdinand the bull first appeared in Munro Leaf’s 1936 novel The Story of Ferdinand, before being adapted into an animated short by Disney. The new Ferdinand film is directed by Carlos Saldanha, best known for directing the Ice Age film series. Still in post-production, this new interpretation will hit the cinemas in December 2017.
4. Cars 3
The legendary Lightning McQueen returns to the big screen in the latest instalment of Pixar’s Cars film series, set to be released in July 2017. Undeterred by a mid-race accident, McQueen enlists the help of technician Cruz Ramirez to try to get back into racing and prove to a new generation of racers that he is still the best.
Not much information has yet been released about Coco, the upcoming Disney Pixar film inspired by the Mexican festivities of Día de los Muertos. Director Lee Unkrich, known for his work on Toy Story 3, aims to make Coco an uplifting 3D animated adventure for all the family. It is set for release toward the end of 2017.
2. Despicable Me 3
Sibling rivalries are set ablaze in the third instalment of the Despicable Me series, when Gru, a former super villain, finally meets his long-lost twin brother Dru. The sequel to Despicable Me 2 is scheduled to be released on 30 June 2017. Steve Carell returns as the voice of Gru, and he is joined by heavyweights Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand and Trey Parker.
1. The Lego Batman Movie
Comedian Will Arnett stars as Bruce Wayne/Batman in this upcoming 3D computer-animated superhero film. Another spin-off of the 2014 film The Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie follows Bruce Wayne’s personal journey as he saves Gotham City from The Joker, played by Zach Galifianakis. The film features a very strong cast, with Michael Cera, Maria Carey and Ralph Fiennes all playing prominent voice acting roles. It is expected to reach the cinemas on 10 February 2017.