Bears, Rabbits and Neanderthals are Coming to SoCal Cinemas

By Michael Berick

kids movies

Paddington 2 arrives in movie theaters in January. PHOTO COURTESY WARNER BROS. PICTURES

The holiday-movie season is over, but that doesn’t mean you have to hibernate and wait for fresh family movies to come out in the spring. There are several kid-friendly movies scheduled for release before then. 

The first arrival of the New Year will be “Paddington 2” Jan. 12. The PG-rated sequel to the “beary” popular 2014 live-action/CGI animated comedy picks up where the first film left off, with Paddington bear living with the Brown family. The story finds the cute bear on a quest for the thief who stole a special book that Paddington picked out as a present for Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday. This StudioCanal release (distributed through Warner Brothers) reunites many of the original cast, including Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington, as well as director/co-writer Paul King.   

Peter Rabbit hops into theaters this February, courtesy of Sony. The live-action/CGI film, which stars James Corden in the title role, is based on the classic Beatrix Potter tales but with a contemporary comedic twist. “Bea” Potter actually is a character in the film playing the object of affection for both Peter and his nemesis, the farmer Thomas McGregor. McGregor is played by Domhnall Gleeson. This is not the first Potter-related film for Gleeson; he played Bill Weasley in the “Harry Potter” films.  

Coming to cinemas later in February is “Early Man” Set in the era of Wooly Mammoths, this stop-motion animated film focuses on a Neanderthal man named Dug who must rally his tribe to defeat the villainous Lord Nooth. Eddie Redmayne voices Dug, while Tom Hiddleston is the voice of Lord Nooth. Family film fans will be interested to learn that this Lionsgate release is co-written and directed by Nick Park of “Wallace and Gromit” fame. 

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