A Sneak Peak At Fall Films

By Michael Berick

The Book Of Life opens up the holiday movie season with a spirited tale. ARTWORK COURTESY TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX & REEL FX

The Book Of Life opens up the holiday movie season with a spirited tale. ARTWORK COURTESY TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX & REEL FX

October’s films features a pair of protagonists – Alexander and Manolo – who aren’t having very good days. Alexander is the title character in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Inspired by the popular Judith Viorst book (which also was adapted into a 30-minute TV musical ) this live-action version, which Disney will release Oct. 10, involves a “no good, very bad day” experienced by Alexander’s entire family.

In The Book of Life, Manolo is a young man whose future changes when he is bitten by a snake. The animated film, produced by Guillermo del Toro and directed by Jorge Gutierrez, draws inspiration from the Dia de los Muertos holiday, which makes it a perfect film for this month. Starring Channing Tatum, Zoë Saldana, Diego Luna, Christina Applegate and Ice Cube, the 20th Century Fox Animation release (due Oct. 17) looks to be a highly original work. Packed with comedy, drama and music, the film’s story brings to life its Mexican folklore-based tale in a vibrant visual style that suggests Tim Burton in a Technicolor wonderland.

The rest of 2014 shapes up to be a good time for family film going. Disney’s Big Hero 6 (Nov. 7) appears to be cool and goofy animated action-comedy based on a series of Marvel comics. It’s about a young science genius, Hiro, and his inflatable robot, Baymax, who live in a city named San Franscokyo.

Also in November, the Penguins of Madagascar finally to get star in their own film, entitled The Penguins of Madagascar (due Nov. 26 from Fox), which presents a comical spin on spy stories.

December brings the latest installment in the Night at the Museum series – this one subtitled “Secret of the Tomb” – as well as the latest version of Annie (starring Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis). Both films have Dec. 19 release dates, while that adorable little bear Paddington is slated to arrive on the big screen on Christmas Day.

Older kids will want to circle Nov. 21, Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 on their movie calendars, so they don’t miss the new Hunger Games film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and Into The Woods.

Michael Berick is Calendar Editor of L.A. Parent.

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