Spring Movie Preview for NJ Kids and Families

3/21/13 - By sarah

As the weather warms up we all want to be outside, but I've heard tales of April showers bringing May flowers, so an afternoon at the movies is a good alternative. Summer remains the season for the onslaught of family-friendly movies (steel yourself for Smurfs 2), but there are some options this spring, including dinosaurs from the 1990s and another gem from Studio Ghibli. And check out our list of sensory friendly movie theaters in NJ so that everyone has a chance to enjoy the bounty.


The Croods (PG)
Recently released to mixed-to-positive reviews, The Croods are a prehistoric family sent on an adventure after their cave is destroyed. Along the way they discover their strong family bond, exciting wildlife and a future they didn't plan for. There is talk of the end of the world and fear of death from the main characters, but it's all in the game when you're a cave person making your way in the big, wide unknown.

Jurassic Park 3D (PG13)
It's flashback time. I remember watching this when I was, well, younger. It's the same movie, except now the dinosaurs leap out and scare you even more! Not for the nightmare-prone, but still such a fun story. Our own Anna Fader saw a preview and has this to say: "This movie wasn't filmed in 3D originally so the 3D re-release is more of a hook to get parents to take their kids to the movie they remember on the big screen. I saw it with my son on a really big screen—at a Regal PRX theater—so it was like being right in the film, which adds to the thrills. I'm proud to say I only screamed once. It's a fun flick: wholesome, thrilling and great to share with kids, even if they don't get why Laura Dern wears her shorts so high. And the big plus is that my 9 year old held my hand through most of the movie. That doesn't happen so much any more."

From Up on Poppy Hill (PG)
This film was beloved in Japan and has now been dubbed for US release. From Studio Ghibli, and directed by Goro Miyazaki (son of the legendary Hayao Miyazaki), Poppy Hill is a coming of age love story, that also explores loss and longing in Japan as the nation emerges from its difficult past and begins to modernize. Set in 1963 before the Tokyo Olympics, our lovebirds Umi and Shun are also united in their cause to save the school's clubhouse — the classic mission of children in movies everywhere. Some mature themes are touched including grief and war, but the story is sweet and optimistic. 

Monsters University (PG)
Travel back in time with Sully and Mike from Monsters Inc., and find out how they met and became the best of friends, after first not being able to stand the sight of one another! Pixar is always a safe bet and if your kids loved Monsters Inc., they'll be excited for this reunion and maybe they'll learn some new tactics from the School of Scaring. 


photo credit: Michelle O'Connell via photopin cc