Kids Movies 2014 – Guide20.03.14 # Kids Movies # 20 Comments
Let’s take a look at the biggest and best kids movies of 2014. Family fun this year comes in the form of Muppets on the run, a lost bear at Paddington, a lot of Lego bricks, and quite a few unnecessary sequels.
Here’s our definitive guide to the best new kids movies, 2014:
The Nut Job
Starring: (voices) Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Gabriel Iglesias, Liam Neeson
Director: Peter Lepeniotis
Released: 17th January 2014 (U.S. Release Dates)
In a city park a mischievous squirrel (Arnett) is exiled when his latest caper accidentally destroys the animal community’s winter food stash. Living on the streets he puts together a team to pull off a nut store heist of outrageous proportions and hopefully put things right… This is a lower-budget indie Canadian-South Korean-American co-production, co-written by one of the screenwriters of ‘Over The Hedge’, the story bears strong similarities. Critics and audiences have complained of one dimensional characters, poor writing, so-so animation and a tendency to lift from other films (including a notable moment from ‘Up’ and a leading character that looks near identical to Remy from ‘Ratatouille’).
The Lego Movie
Starring: (voices) Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Morgan Freeman
Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Released: 7th February 2014
An ordinary LEGO minifigure (Pratt) is mistakenly thought to be the Master Builder, the one who can save the universe. With the aid of an old mystic Vitruvius (Freeman), a tough young lady (Banks), and Batman (Arnett), he will fight to defeat the evil tyrant Lord Business (Ferrell) who is bent on destroying the universe by gluing it together. From the talented directing duo behind 2009’s ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ and ’21 Jump Street’, this has been a huge hit with critics and audiences of all ages. Consensus is it’s energetic, thoughtful and pointedly satirical, with animation that’s tactile and imaginative – embracing the retro look and feel of the toys. A sequel is currently being assembled.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Starring: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Leslie Mann, Stephen Colbert
Director: Rob Minkoff
Released: 7th March 2014
Mr. Peabody, a talking dog who is the smartest being in the world, adopts a mischievous boy called Sherman. When Sherman’s misuse of his time travelling WABAC machine results in disaster, it’s up to both of them to put things right before the space-time continuum is irreparably destroyed. Hurtling back in time, experiencing world-changing events first-hand, they will interact with some of the greatest historical figures of all time. Mel Brooks voices Sigmund Freud, Stanley Tucci is Leonardo da Vinci, while Stephen Colbert is a concerned father. From the co-director of ‘The Lion King’ (who’s been doing live-action movies ever since, with middling results), and based on the characters from the ‘Peabody’s Improbable History’ segments of the ’60s TV series ‘The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show’. The movie will be preceded by a ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle’ short film, testing the water for a possible feature. Some older fans are upset at the less-than-faithful voicework and the introduction of a love interest for Sherman who accompanies them for the entire journey. Otherwise, with shades of ‘Bill and Ted’, this is a fast-paced and entertaining adventure, celebrating intelligence and an interest in history.
Muppets Most Wanted
Starring: Kermit, Miss Piggy, Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Ty Burrell
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Released: 21st March 2014
While on a grand world tour, The Muppets find themselves caught up in an European jewel-heist caper headed by a Kermit look-alike and his dastardly sidekick (Gervais). Gervais, who has had memorable interactions with Elmo in the past (see YouTube) is the human lead this time, replacing Jason Segal who wanted to move on. Ty Burrell (‘Modern Family’) plays an Interpol inspector, Tina Fey is a Russian prison guard and there’s a slew of cameos including Christoph Waltz, Ray Liotta, Zach Galifianakis (as “Hobo Joe”), Lady Gaga, Salma Hayek, Tom Hiddleston and Celine Dion (who’s also recorded a song). The director, co-writer and producers of the Muppets ‘reboot’ all return, while the composer of its songs is also back. Segal’s muppet friend Walter features, but moves to the sidelines as this is a Kermit-centered movie (as the old ones were). ‘Most Wanted’ is a colourful, enjoyably madcap experience that gets close to capturing the charm of the early films (a near impossible task with much of the original voice talent now deceased). Overall there’s a strong affection for the Muppet tradition with close attention to detail and a high density of ‘stuff’ happening on screen.
Starring: (voices) Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jemaine Clement, Will.i.am
Director: Carlos Saldanha
Released: 11th April 2014
Blu (Eisenberg), Jewel (Hathaway) and their three kids live their domesticated life in the city of Rio de Janeiro. But when Jewel decides the kids need to learn to live like real birds, she insists the family journey to the Amazon rainforest. There they encounter a menagerie of characters born to be wild, and stumble upon Jewel’s long-lost father (Andy García), in hiding with a group of other Spix’s Macaws. Soon they realise that the Amazonian habitat is threatened and that Blu and Jewel’s old nemesis Nigel the cockatoo (Clement) is returning for revenge… The director and entire principle cast return. New cast members include Kristin Chenoweth (‘Glee’) as a poison dart frog romantically interested in Nigel, and Bruno Mars as a smooth operating macaw with his eye on Jewel. Timed to land just before Brazil-mania for the World Cup, this has gorgeous, vibrant colours but story-wise feels forced. A textbook unnecessary sequel.