Category: Family/Kids

Disney Legend Tim Allen will executive-produce “The Santa Clause” (working title), a Disney+ Original limited series in which he reprises the beloved role of Scott Calvin from Walt Disney Pictures’ blockbuster franchise.  

Production is set to begin in Los Angeles in March. Award-winning Jack Burditt (“30 Rock,” “Modern Family,” “Frasier,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) is the executive producer and showrunner and Kevin Hench (“Last Man Standing”), Richard Baker and Rick Messina will also serve as executive producers.  

The Disney Branded Television series is a production of 20th Television.
 
Allen won a People’s Choice Award for his portrayal of Scott Calvin, Santa Claus’s proxy, complete with expanding waistline, rosy cheeks and snow-white whiskers in the 1994 film “The Santa Clause.”. He went on to play the role in two sequels, both hugely popular movies, 2002’s “The Santa Clause 2” and 2006’s “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.”
 
In the Disney+ series, Scott Calvin is on the brink of his 65th birthday and realising that he can’t be Santa forever. He’s starting to lose a step in his Santa duties, and more importantly, he’s got a family who could benefit from a life in the normal world, especially his two kids who have grown up at the Pole.  With a lot of elves, children, and family to please, Scott sets out to find a suitable replacement Santa while preparing his family for a new adventure in a life south of the pole.
 
Allen, whose popularity skyrocketed as the star of the top-rated ABC series “Home Improvement,” earned numerous awards for his role of Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, including a Golden Globe in 1994 and The People’s Choice Award for eight consecutive years from 1992-1999. Allen also starred for nine seasons on the hit series “Last Man Standing.”
 
In 1995, the multi-talented actor lent his voice to Buzz Lightyear in Pixar’s first computer animated film, “Toy Story.”  He reprised the iconic role as the arrogant yet loveable space action figure in two sequels, 1999’s “Toy Story 2” and 2010’s “Toy Story 3.” He also appeared as the character in a number of “Toy Story” short films including “Hawaiian Vacation,” “Small Fry” and “Partysaurus Rex.”
 
He reunited with the creative team from “The Santa Clause” to make Disney’s “Jungle 2 Jungle,” and also starred in the feature remake of a Disney classic,” The Shaggy Dog,” in 2006.
 
Allen also lent his own voice as narrator to the 2012 Disneynature documentary, “Chimpanzee” and co-starred in the 2007 Touchstone comedy “Wild Hogs” along with the 1999 film “Galaxy Quest.”
 
In 1994, Disney’s Hyperion Publishing released his debut book, Don’t Stand Too Close to a Naked Man. It topped the New York Times Bestsellers list and led to a second book, also published by Hyperion, I’m Not Really Here.

Disney+ unveiled the trailer and poster for “The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild,” an all-new animated adventure featuring the return of the beloved characters from the wildly successful global “Ice Age” franchise. The original movie premieres exclusively on Disney+ March 25, 2022. The “Ice Age” collection (five films and two television specials) is currently available on Disney+.
 
“The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild” continues the hilarious escapades of the sub-zero heroes as they create more prehistoric pandemonium. Eager for a little independence, the thrill-seeking possum brothers Crash and Eddie set out to find a place of their own but soon find themselves trapped beneath the ice in a massive cave inhabited by dinosaurs. They are rescued by the one-eyed, adventure-loving weasel Buck Wild, and together, with the help of some new friends, embark on a mission to save the Lost World from dinosaur domination.

The movie, which features the voices of Simon Pegg (“Mission: Impossible – Fallout”), Utkarsh Ambudkar (“Free Guy”), Justina Machado (“One Day at a Time”), Vincent Tong (“Ninjago”) and Aaron Harris, is directed by John C. Donkin (“Ice Age: Continental Drift” producer), written by Jim Hecht (“Ice Age: The Meltdown”), Ray DeLaurentis (“Fairly Odd Parents”) and Will Schifrin (“Bunsen is a Beast”) from a story by Jim Hecht, with Lori Forte (the “Ice Age” franchise) serving as executive producer.

Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution announced that Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” will premiere exclusively in homes worldwide on Disney+ on Friday, March 11.
 
“Disney+ subscribers around the world enthusiastically embraced Pixar’s Academy Award-winning ‘Soul’ and the critically-acclaimed “Luca” when they premiered exclusively on the service and we look forward to bringing them Pixar’s next incredible feature film ‘Turning Red’,” said Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. “Given the delayed box office recovery, particularly for family films, flexibility remains at the core of our distribution decisions as we prioritise delivering the unparalleled content of The Walt Disney Company to audiences around the world.”
 
Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” introduces Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang), a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming (voice of Sandra Oh), is never far from her daughter—an unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she “poofs” into a giant red panda! Directed by Academy Award® winner Domee Shi (Pixar short “Bao”) and produced by Lindsey Collins “Turning Red” releases on March 11, 2022.
 
In international markets where Disney+ is not yet available, the film will be released theatrically, with premiere dates to be announced.

Summary:  The Addams get tangled up in more wacky adventures and find themselves involved in hilarious run-ins with all sorts of unsuspecting characters. Sequel to the 2019 animated film, ‘The Addams Family’.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  6th January 2022 (Australia), 28th October 2021 (Thailand), 8th October 2021 (UK), 1st October 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 1st October 2021 (USA)

Country: USA, Canada

Director: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon

Screenwriter: Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Ben Queen, Susanna Fogel

Cast: Ted Evans (Pongo (voice)), Mary Faber (Miss Lurleen/Texas Lady/Pageant Lady/PA (voice)), Bill Hader (Cyrus Strange (voice)), Oscar Isaac (Gomez Adams (voice)), Nick Kroll (Uncle Fester (voice)), Cherami Leigh (Ophelia (voice)), Bette Midler (Grandma (voice)), Chloe Grace Moretz (Wednesday Adams (voice)), Wallace Shawn (Mr. Mustela (voice)), Snoop Dogg (It (voice)), Brian Sommer (Big Bad Ronny (voice)), Charlize Theron (Morticia Adams (voice)), Conrad Vernon (Lurch/Spirit Of The House (voice)), Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton (Pugsley Addams (voice)),

Running Time: 93 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), G (Thailand), PG (UK), PG (USA)

OUR THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2 REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ The Addams Family 2 Review:

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Summary:  On the Italian Riviera, an unlikely but strong friendship grows between a human being and a sea monster disguised as a human.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  Straight to VOD

VOD Release Dates: Available in all regions.

Country: USA

Director: Enrico Casarosa

Screenwriter: Jesse Andrews, Mike Jones

Cast: Marco Barricelli (Massimo Marcovaldo (voice)), Emma Berman (Guila Marcovaldo (voice)), Sacha Baron Cohen (Uncle Ugo (voice)), Lorenzo Crisci (Guido (voice)), Francesca Fanti (Maggiore (Cop) (voice)), Elisa Gabrielli (Concetta Aragosta (voice)), Jim Gaffigan (Lorenzo Paguro (voice)), Giacomo Gianniotti (Giacomo – Young Fisherman (voice)), Jack Dylan Grazer (Alberto Scorfano (voice)), Gino La Monica (Tommaso – Old Fisherman (voice)), Sandy Martin (Grandpa Pugaro (voice)), Marina Massironi (Signora Marsiglese (voice)), Mimi Maynard (Pinuccia Aragosta (voice)), Jim Pirri (Mr Branzino (voice)), Saverio Raimondo (Ercole Visconti (voice))), Maya Rudolph (Daniela Paguro (voice)), Peter Sohn (Ciccio (voice)), Jacob Tremblay (Luca Paguro (voice))

Running Time: 95 mins

Classification: G (Australia), U (UK), PG (USA)

OUR LUCA REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ and Lee Griffiths’s Luca Review:

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Lee’s rating Out Of 5

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Summary:  A young girl’s love for a tiny puppy named Clifford makes the dog grow to an enormous size.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  30th December 2021 (Australia), 10th November 2021 (UK), 10th November 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 10th November 2021 (USA)

Country: UK, USA, Canada

Director: Walt Becker

Screenwriter: Blaise Hemingway, David Ronn, Jay Scherick

Cast: Bear Allen-Blaine (Mrs. Jarvis), Adam Aminov (Reno), Willow Grace Becker (Sara), Darby Camp (Emily), Melanie Chandra (Susan), John Cleese (Bridwell), Keith Ewell (Mr. Jarvis), Tovah Feldshuh (Mrs. Crullerman), Barney Fitzpatrick (Freddy), Jacson Frazer (Sid), Karen Lynn Gorney (Mrs. McKinley), David Alan Grier (Packard), Sienna Guillory (Maggie), Tony Hale (Tieran), Neil Hellegers (Steve), Raymond Neil Hernandez (Colin), Siobhan Fallon Hogan (Peta), Yasha Jackson (Meter Maid/Officer Zapatero), Ty Jones (Police Cheif Watkins), Khari McDowell (Austin), Alex Moffat (Albert), Madison Morris (Melinda), Rosie Perez (Lucille), Russell Peters (Malik), Paul Rodriguez (Alonso), Mia Ronn (Florence), Horatio Sanz (Raul), Madison Smith (Isabelle), Kenan Thompson (Vet), Izaac Wang (Owen), Jack Whitehall (Casey), Russell Wong (Mr. Yu), Jessica Keenan Wynn (Colette)

Running Time: 96 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), PG (UK), PG (USA)

OUR CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ and Lee Griffiths’s Clifford The Big Red Dog Review:

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Trailer:

Summary: 
A young Colombian girl has to face the frustration of being the only member of her family without magical powers.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  25th November 2021 (Australia), 25th November 2021 (Thailand), 24th November 2021 (UK), 24th November 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 24th December 2021 (worldwide)

Country: USA, Columbia

Director: Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Charise Castro Smith

Screenwriter: Charise Castro Smith, Jared Bush

Cast: Adassa (Dolores (voice)), Stephanie Beatriz (Mirabel (voice)), Maria Cecilia Botero (Abuela Alma (voice)), Ravi Cabot-Conyers (Antonio (voice)), Juan Castano (Osvaldo (voice)), Maura Castillo (Felix (voice)), Angie Cepeda (Julieta (voice)), Jessica Darrow (Luisa (voice)), Hector Elias (Old Arturo (voice)), Rhenzy Feliz (Camilo (voice)), Noemi Josefina Flores (Young Mirabel/Town Kid (voice)), Carolina Gaitan (Pepa (voice)), Diane Guerrero (Isabela (voice)), John Leguizamo (Bruno (voice)), Maluma (Mariano (voice)), Rose Portillo (Senora Guzman (voice)), Sarah-Nicole Robles (Senora Ozma (voice)), Alan Tudyk (Toucan (voice)), Wilmer Valderrama (Agustin (voice))

Running Time: 102 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), PG (UK), PG (USA)

OUR ENCANTO REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Encanto Review:

Can a film that perhaps doesn’t quite fit the purpose it was created for still be a good film? That is certainly the question that surrounds the latest film from Disney – the animated spectacular Encanto.

Set in Columbia Encanto is told through the eyes of a young girl named Mirabel (voiced by Stephanie Beatrix – In The Heights) who as part of the Madrigal family has grown up with a magical ‘living’ house known as the Casita. The strange occurrence happened when Mirabel’s Grandmother, Alma (Maria Cecilia Botero – Maria) fled an armed conflict. While her husband died she saved her three children and the candle she was holding became enchanted and gave her a new home and each one of the children a special ‘gift’.

Those gifts have helped create a happy village and now Mirabel has watched as her two sisters receive their gifts, one the gift of super-human strength and the other of beauty, however when it is her time to receive her gift nothing happens.

Mirabel has come to accept that she has not been given a gift but when it is her nephew Antonio’s (Ravi Cabot-Conyers – Justine) time to receive his gift the whole family remain worried – has the magic of the Casita ended? Added to their worry is the fact that Mirabel finds the last vision of the missing family member, Bruno (John Leguizamo – Moulin Rouge) and it seems to suggest that the Casita is about to collapse and crumble and that she is responsible for it.

There is little doubt that when Encanto was first envisaged that Disney saw it to be a film for children. And that is where the question that was posed earlier comes into play. There is no doubt that Encanto is a beautiful and captivating film, but you could easily argue that this is not a film for young children.

The film, which has been written and directed by a team made up of Jared Bush (Moana), Byron Howard (Tangled) and Charise Castro Smith (The Haunting Of Hill House), takes the audience on a magical ride while exploring topics as deep as what it is like being a refugee and the importance of family but with the film heavily using metaphor you have to wonder just how much of that will sail right over the heads of young viewers. The central theme is ‘if a family falls apart their ‘home’ crumbles’ but how many young children are going to be understand that?

Instead Encanto becomes a film for the older audience members who can actually take something away from it. The music itself is something that is going to be enjoyed by people who enjoy musical theatre and the songs just aren’t catchy enough to be picked up by those kids that fell in love with Frozen.

Perhaps what makes Encanto stand out from other Disney films though is it brightness. Bright colours and amazing artwork makes this a stunningly beautiful film. How the film will be enjoyed is further enhanced by a screenplay that truly makes this a fairytale for adults. While watching the film it is hard not to think of moments from your own family life and unlike some animations there has been a lot of emotion put into the characters here. There is no way anyone could watch this film and not feel for Mirabel and at times her sisters.

Then there is the suspense of the film. As an audience member you do find yourself totally engrossed in the film and despite the magical themes that are used throughout the film it does remain quite believable. Therefore when Mirabel tries to put together the puzzle pieces of what is happening to the home and the family you do find yourself on the edge of your seat hoping that everything will turn out okay for a family that you do care about.

Encanto may not be the next family favourite that Disney hoped it would be but if you have teenage kids or a lover of animation yourself this is a beautiful film that you may find yourself falling in love with.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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You can read our review of Encanto that appeared in The Phuket News right here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/encanto-a-fairy-tale-for-adults-82259.php

Trailer:

Summary: 
Buster Moon and his friends must persuade reclusive rock star Clay Calloway to join them for the opening of a new show.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  26th December 2021 (Australia), 13th January 2022 (Thailand), 28th December 2021 (UK), 22nd December 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, France, Japan

Director: Garth Jennings

Screenwriter: Garth Jennings

Cast: Eric Andre (Darius (voice)), Bono (Clay Calloway (voice)), Adam Buxton (Klaus Kickenklober (voice)), Bobby Cannavale (Mr. Crystal (voice)), Julia Davis (Linda Le Bon (voice)), Taron Egerton (Johnny (voice)), Halsey (Porsha Crystal (voice)), Garth Jennings (Miss Crawly (voice)), Scarlett Johansson (Ash (voice)), Tori Kelly (Meena (voice)), Nick Kroll (Gunter (voice)), Matthew McConaughey (Buster Moon (voice)), Nick Offerman (Norman (voice)), Chelsea Peretti (Suki (voice)), Jennifer Saunders (Nana (voice)), Peter Serafinowicz (Big Daddy (voice)), Pharrell Williams (Alfonso (voice)), Reese Witherspoon (Rosita (voice)), Letitia Wright (Nooshy (voice))

Running Time: 110 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), U (UK), PG (USA)

OUR SING 2 REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Sing 2 Review:

One of the most charming kids’ films to have surfaced over the past few years was Sing. With so much mindless family entertainment around these days it was nice to find a film that not only entertained but also taught valuable lessons and had a story that even adults could become engrossed in. Then of course there was the film’s originality and a soundtrack so great that even until this day kids at schools right across Australia ask for it to be played for them.

Of course he danger of the first film being so good was the fact that perhaps that the sequel couldn’t live up to expectations, but cast any worries about that aside because Sing 2 is equal to its predecessor in every single way.

This time around we find Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughy – Dallas Buyers Club) happy that his theatre is running successful shows that are gaining critical praise while showing off the talents of his cast and pleasing audiences. However, Buster soon realises that he wants more after a talent scout Suki (Chelsea Peretti – Parks & Recreation) tells him that his show and cast are not talented enough to take the next step and perform in the big city.

Soon Buster sneaks his crew into an audition for world famous producer Jimmy Crystal (Bobby Cannavale – Ant-Man) who at first is not impressed by the audition but changes his mind when  Gunter (Nick Kroll – Sausage Party) pitches the idea of a sci-fi spectacular which would feature reclusive star Clay Calloway (U2’s Bono). Crystal jumps at the idea but tells Buster he needs the show up and running in three weeks or he is going to throw him off the roof-top of a high rise.

Buster jumps straight into putting the show together but soon comes across issues. Johnny (Taron Egerton – The Kingsman) can’t dance, Rosita (Reese Witherspoon – Cruel Intentions) has a fear of heights, Meena (Tori Kelly – Sing) has no chemistry with her on-stage romantic leading man, Porsha Crystal (Halsey – If I Can’t Have Love I Want Power) joins the cast but can’t act and Ash (Scarlett Johansson – The Avengers) has the hardest job of all – trying to convince Clay to come out of hiding and return to the stage.

There is just so much to love about Sing 2. First of all director/screenwriter Garth Jennings (The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy) makes sure that no character here is left without anything to do. It is almost feels like every character has their own short film that sees them overcoming the obstacle placed in front of them and somehow all of those storylines come together brilliantly to deliver something bigger. Nothing feels left out but also at the same time the film never feels crowded with too many plot-lines.

With Sing 2 Jennings also finds the right mix of genres as well. Like the original film in the franchise there are times when the film is deeply emotional and dramatic and then there are other times when Jennings gets a laugh from a great comedic line or a piece of slapstick. Jennings is a true creative genius as he seems to know when is the right time for each mood throughout the film and he never misses a beat.

Then there are the general ‘life lessons’ held within the film’s plot. Once again this franchise manages to bring a range of different lessons to the forefront without feeling like the film is trying to push an agenda onto its audience. Important lessons about never giving up on your dreams and overcoming your fears are explored in nicely presented ways while the film also features an important lesson about how sometimes those on top of the fame game are not always the nicest people to have to deal with. Once again the fact that all of that comes together in a film that is an entertaining as Sing 2 just goes to show what a talented filmmaker Gareth Jennings really is.

Sing 2 really is a fun ride for the entire family. Kids will be left in awe at the bright colours, action and kid-friendly storyline while adults will warm to the deeper messages that are hidden away under the surface. Then of course there is the amazing soundtrack, featuring new music by U2, which will have the whole family singing along. I don’t know how he does it but once again Gareth Jennings has delivered a well-rounded and entertaining family film that is guaranteed to become a favourite.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Trailer:

THE BAD GUYS is a new original film from DreamWorks Animation.  

Based on a New York Times best-selling book series from Australian author Aaron Blabey, THE BAD GUYS is an action-filled caper film for families and everyone in between. 

Packed with stellar voice performances from an all-star cast, THE BAD GUYS is destined to be an all-audience movie when it releases on 31st March 2022! 

Nobody has ever failed so hard at trying to be good as TheBad Guys.

In the new action comedy from DreamWorks Animation, based on the New York Times best-selling book series, a crackerjack criminal crew of animal outlaws are about to attempt their most challenging con yet—becoming model citizens.

Never have there been five friends as infamous as The Bad Guys—dashing pickpocket Mr. Wolf (Academy Award® winner Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), seen-it-all safecracker Mr. Snake (Marc Maron, GLOW), chill master-of-disguise Mr. Shark (Craig Robinson, Hot Tub Time Machine franchise), short-fused “muscle” Mr. Piranha (Anthony Ramos, In the Heights) and sharp-tongued expert hacker Ms. Tarantula (Awkwafina, Crazy Rich Asians), aka “Webs.”

But when, after years of countless heists and being the world’s most-wanted villains, the gang is finally caught, Mr. Wolf brokers a deal (that he has no intention of keeping) to save them all from prison: The Bad Guys will go good.

Under the tutelage of their mentor Professor Marmalade (Richard Ayoade, Paddington 2), an arrogant (but adorable!) guinea pig, The Bad Guys set out to fool the world that they’ve been transformed. Along the way, though, Mr. Wolf begins to suspect that doing good for real may give him what he’s always secretly longed for: acceptance. So when a new villain threatens the city, can Mr. Wolf persuade the rest of the gang to become … The Good Guys?

The film co-stars Zazie Beetz (Joker), Lilly Singh (Bad Moms) and Emmy winner Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel).

Based on the blockbuster Scholastic book series by Aaron Blabey, The Bad Guys is directed by Pierre Perifel (animator, the Kung Fu Panda films), making his feature-directing debut. The film is produced by Damon Ross (development executive TrollsThe Boss Baby, co-producer Nacho Libre) and Rebecca Huntley (associate producer, The Boss Baby). The executive producers are Aaron Blabey, Etan Cohen and Patrick Hughes.