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The Goonies: who would be available for a sequel?

7 Apr 2014

Director Richard Donner says he wants the original cast back for a remake - but are they available?

Director Richard Donner surprised a showbiz photographer recently when he casually mentioned he's working on a sequel to 1980s family adventure The Goonies – and that he hopes the original cast will be back on board. The seminal 1985 kids' film starred…

WATCH: The hilarious teaser trailer for Aardman's Shaun the Sheep movie

3 Apr 2014

The scene-stealing sheep from Wallace and Gromit is set for his own big-screen adventure

A teaser trailer for Aardman Animation's Shaun the Sheep movie has landed, and it's reassuringly hilarious. While the new footage doesn't offer any plot details – the movie itself won't be released until 2015 – Aardman's signature talent for humanising…

Rio 2

1 Apr 20143 stars

The sequel to 2010's animated parrot adventure is amiable but forgettable family entertainment

The brief appearance of the acorn-loving Scrat character over the Blue Sky logo at the start of Rio 2 is a reminder that this animation studio has now authored four films in the Ice Age franchise to date. These films had a strong, evolving plotline, but…

Muppets Most Wanted

13 Mar 20143 stars

A fun enough adventure that lacks the magical quality of its nostalgia-driven predecessor

The opening song in Muppets Most Wanted openly acknowledges the fact that most sequels exist in the shadow of their original. They are words that prove prophetic. James Bobin’s follow-up is mostly inferior to the 2011 comeback movie despite existing…

Shrek theme park to open in London in summer 2015

24 Feb 2014

The attraction will be run by Merlin Entertainment, who also operate Madame Tussauds

A new theme park inspired by the adventures of Shrek is set to open in summer 2015. Shrek’s Far Far Away Adventure will open just ahead of Shrek's 15 year anniversary, and will feature an interactive walkthrough adventure, a character courtyard where…

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The Lego Movie

11 Feb 20143 stars

A genuinely funny film from the makers of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Fast, funny and created with loving attention to detail, The Lego Movie will delight anyone who has ever played with those universally-recognised little yellow figures. Beginning at a blistering pace that never lets up, the film (from Cloudy With A…

Rob Minkoff talks animation changes

11 Feb 2014

Film gossip

'Mr Peabody and Sherman' used even more artists than 'The Lion King', says director Rob Minkoff. The new animated comedy is helmed by the 51-year-old filmmaker who is also responsible for Disney's tale about loveable lion Simba, which was released in…

Mr Peabody & Sherman

4 Feb 20142 stars

A weak, overstretched revival of the super-intelligent pooch and his human son

Dreamworks Animation’s latest attempt to recapture Shrek’s hit combination of pop culture references and unforgettable characters fails due to an overabundance of the former and none of the latter. The titular pair are a dog and a boy, with the twist…


3 Dec 20134 stars

An old-fashioned but charming musical fairytale from Disney

The Walt Disney of Saving Mr Banks might barely recognize the company who currently partner Pixar and Marvel, but he’d be right at home with Frozen, adapted freely from Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen. This long-gestated project springs to…

Free Birds

29 Nov 20131 star

A limp, misguided animation about turkeys attempting to escape Thanksgiving

‘Hang on to your nuggets!' proclaims the poster for Free Birds, but director Jimmy Hayward’s film isn’t about chickens, it’s about turkeys. As an example of the wrongheaded brashness of this animated film, this misnomer sets the tone for a dull…

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Saving Mr Banks

18 Nov 20133 stars

Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson deliver engaging performances in the story behind Mary Poppins

Almost exactly 50 years after Disney released Mary Poppins, the musical that would go on to receive 13 Oscar nominations (the most of any Disney film before or since), comes this charming story of how the film was made. Emma Thompson plays PL…

WATCH: The Lego Movie character trailers

30 Oct 2013

Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Chris Pratt and Nick Offerman star in 2014 Lego Movie

After providing the medium for many movie poster homages and reenactments of well-known film scenes through the years, it's good to see the interlocking construction toy making it to the big screen in its own right. In the days running up to the first…

Top 5... animated sequels

16 Oct 2013

On the eve of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, we examine the finest family follow-ups

With the release of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2: Revenge of the Leftovers just around the corner, we thought we would take a look at the best animation sequels of the past, to see what it has to live up to. Revenge of the Leftovers his cinemas…

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2

16 Oct 20132 stars

A cluttered and jumbled follow-up to the surprise 2009 animated hit

The fast food franchise for children continues with a sequel to 2009’s surprise animated hit. Judi and Ron Barrett’s 1978 book was focused primarily on the small town of Swallow Falls, but the expanded universe of nefarious inventors and corporate…


10 Oct 20134 stars

This upbeat story of a snail with a need for speed is one of the summer’s better family films

The enduring popularity of the lovable minion characters in the Despicable Me franchise proved to be too much of an obstacle for Turbo to overcome at the US box office, but a delayed UK release pushes this DreamWorks animation over the finishing line as…

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Justin and the Knights of Valour

14 Aug 20133 stars

A sweet-natured family film that suffers from homely 3D computer animation and humdrum plotting

In a market either dominated by the glossy high-profile cartoons by Pixar and DreamWorks or the dreamy works of Japan’s Studio Ghibli, it’s heartening to see a European company get in on the animated action. Despite its very British cast, Justin and the…


13 Aug 20131 star

Knocked-off rehash of Cars feels brazenly opportunistic and mean-spirited

With this knocked-off aerial rehash of Pixar’s 2006 animated hit Cars, Disney Studios have found yet another way to rake in audience members’ cash without needing to trouble their own creative muscles, let alone reach far into their substantial…

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

5 Aug 20133 stars

AKA Harry Potter and the Serviceable Romp for Pre-teens

The last decade has seen dozens of aspiring knock-offs of Harry Potter hitting the screens (The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant), all promising expanded universes unlikely to ever be realized in…

The Smurfs 2

1 Aug 20131 star

The CGI-meets-reality sequel is a bald retread of the original, starring Katy Perry and Hank Azaria

Raja Gosnell has built up an unenviable reputation as a director for bringing technically complex live-action/CGI hybrids into being, with two movies bring Hanna Barbera’s Scooby Doo to life, and now back to back features featuring The Smurfs. The…

Comrade Kim Goes Flying

26 Jun 20133 stars

An enjoyable, family-friendly drama from North Korean

When talking about North Korea, we tend to think of nuclear tests and one of the last Communist autocracies in the world. So when this North Korean/western co-production was billed in the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013 programme as a…

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Monsters University

24 Jun 20133 stars

Pixar's Monsters Inc prequel, starring Billy Crystal and John Goodman, just doesn't hit the spot

It’s a Pixar film, so Monsters University of course has verve, comic confidence and copious visual polish. But less of its home studio’s famed precision has been applied when it comes to establishing who the film is actually for. Kids weaned on 2001’s…

Despicable Me 2

24 Jun 20133 stars

Animated sequel displays a canny grasp of what its young audience wants

Animated smash hit Despicable Me left its super-villain Gru a seemingly reformed character, the adoptive father to three small girls. Despicable Me 2 sees Gru adjusting to life as a suburban dad and recruited to thwart the villainy he once embraced.

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013: the best family films

14 Jun 2013

Monsters University, Fantastic Voyage & Jurassic Park 3D among the EIFF's family friendly screenings

Monsters University The Edinburgh International Film Festival has a history of fruitful collaboration with Pixar - the fest was where Wall-E, Toy Story 3 and Brave received some of their earliest UK screenings. That tradition continues with this…


22 May 20132 stars

A celebrity cast including Beyonce Knowles and Colin Farrell can't save this rather wet adventure

The title of the latest animated film from Ice Age and Rio creators Blue Sky Studios refers to the scale; although offering a sweeping story of huge armies, arduous journeys, lost princesses and aerial assaults, the action never travels beyond the…

Disney Pixar’s Monsters University announced for Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013

16 May 2013

The family film will screen at the festival three weeks before release in the rest of the UK

Edinburgh International Film Festival audiences will be among the first in the UK to see Disney Pixar’s latest offering, Monsters University. The Family Gala 3D screening will take place on Sun 23 Jun in the Festival Theatre, with an exclusive schools…