The Late-Summer Family Movie Scene

By Michael Berick

family movie

“Leap” leaps into theaters Aug. 30. PHOTO COURTESY THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY

By the time August rolls around, Hollywood typically has sent all of its blockbusters out to theaters. If you’ve seen “Despicable Me 3” and “Cars 3” three times each and are looking for new options, you’ll be happy to know that a few fresh family films are on deck.

Those who went nuts over the 2014 animated comedy “The Nut Job” will be excited to find “The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature” in theaters beginning Aug. 11. Will Arnett is back as Surly the Squirrel, and he is joined by fellow returnees Katherine Heigl and Maya Rudolph in a tale where they must save their home, Liberty Park, from destruction. The cast also includes Jackie Chan, Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham, Bobby Cannavale and Peter Stormare, lending their voices to this Open Road Films release.

On Aug. 12, Southern California cinemas will feature a special one-night-only screening of another, quite different, animated film – “Mune: Guardian of the Moon.” From the producers of last year’s hit, “The Little Prince,” this fantasy adventure finds the waif-like title character battling the evil Lord of the Underworld to save the universe. Rob Lowe, Christian Slater, Patton Oswalt, Ed Helms and Jeff Dunham top-line as the film’s vocal talent. The award-winning family film distributor GKIDS has teamed with Fathom Events for this screening, which also includes the “GKIDS Minifest,” a collection of acclaimed international animated shorts. Visit for screening details.

Next, families can leap over to the multiplexes Aug. 30 to catch the new Weinstein Company release “Leap!” In this animated comedy/adventure set in Paris, tween orphans Félicie (Elle Fanning) and Victor (Nat Wolff) run away to pursue their dreams – she to be a dancer, he to be an inventor. Along the way, the two encounter a cast of characters including those voiced by Carly Rae Jepsen, Mel Brooks and Kate McKinnon who try to help (or hinder) them.

These three should last you until the next crop of films rolls in this fall.

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