The summer is the busiest season when it comes to movies. There are releases to entertain all ages, and it's when the most films aimed at children hit theaters. The summer of 2012 is no exception. Here's a look at the films coming out this summer that the young ones should enjoy.
"Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" - June 8
Everybody's favorite misplaced animals are back. They're still trying to work their way back to New York City, and while this latest sequel doesn't get them there, it does at least get the fugitive zoo animals back into civilization rather than out in the wild where they really have no place.
Of course, the authorities aren't about to just stand by as a zebra, lion, giraffe, and hippo wander about the streets of Europe. That exact issue gives the film its title.
"Brave" - June 22
Pixar's latest offering marks a milestone for the beloved animation company: it's the studio's first film to star a female protagonist. And, as a bonus, it's a nice departure from the delicate princess one might expect from the Disney-owned studio.
A young Scottish princess with wild red hair and keen skill with a bow and arrow finds her place in the world. Thankfully the period setting means it's a world that offers plenty of medieval-style action and promises to be exciting enough for boys while the female lead should appeal to girls as well. Pixar has a strong history of making films that appeal to everybody, and "Brave" appears to stick to that strength.
"Ice Age: Continental Drift" - July 13
This fourth entry in the "Ice Age" series sees the misfit group of ancient creatures bearing witness to the splitting apart of the continents. Having already survived the titular age as well as the ice thawing and dinosaurs, "Continental Drift" will offer a whole new set of problems for the cast to deal with.
It's likely that silent side character Scrat, who's often the centerpiece of the trailers, will remain the most memorable and entertaining part of the film. But any young fan of the previous movies will probably find plenty to like.
"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days"- August 3
This is the third entry in this series in the past three years. None of them have been stellar hits but, given the low cost of making "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" movies, fans can expect at least one more next year.
"Dog Days" is based on the third and fourth books in the popular children's series. Greg, the series hero, must contend with his father's annoyance at his wimpy son, a summer without much to do, and a public shower occupied by large hairy men. Fans of the series shouldn't be disappointed.
"ParaNorman" - August 17
This stop motion animated film comes from the same studio behind the edgy and beautiful "Coraline," and looks to be in a similar vein. Norman is a perfectly normal young boy, except that he can talk to the dead. This has always made him a bit of an outcast, but when a witch's curse threatens his hometown Norman must rise to the challenge and defend his home.
"ParaNorman" looks like a great selection for kids starting to get a bit on the older side who still like animation but are after something a little more grown up.
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