When you're taking the kids to the cinema you're generally expecting to fall fast asleep while the devious darlings are glued to the screen. Between princesses, pirates and fairytale creatures that generally defy logic, entertainment is the last thing on your mind. But there are those rare films that'll keep your eyelids wide open and bring the family fun, and 2012 was a pretty good year for that sort of thing. T'is the season to look back so here's a roundup of the Top 5 Kids Movies of 2012...
Merida (Kelly Macdonald) isn’t your average Princess: She spends most of her time riding her horse, Angus, into deep dark forests and practicing her archery skills. It's all well and good for the plucky Princess but her mother's none too pleased. Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) desperately longs for her daughter to fall into line and calls on the three clans to offer up suitors for her devious daughter. But Merida's having none of it and strikes a deal with a witch (Julie Walters). She wants her mother to change but gets more than she asked for when she becomes a bear. It's a race against time to change Elinor back before she's trapped forever, or worse; she gets caught by Fergus (Billy Connolly), her dedicated bear-hunter husband! Brave is a fun, fresh Pixar flick with plenty of bite!
4. Dr Seuss' The Lorax
Based on the Dr Seuss book of the same name, the Lorax tells the tale of a boy called Ted (Zac Efron), who falls in love with a local lass (Taylor Swift). She dreams of the day when she'll see a real tree but since she and Ted live in a completely artificial land, it's going to take more than a bit of effort for him to make her dreams come true. He breaks the town rules and heads for the outskirts of Thneed-Ville where he meets Once-ler (Ed Helms). He tells him of a time when the land was full of trees and inhabited by The Lorax (Danny De Vito), a crass but funny creature who struck a deal with the young Once-ler. Ted thinks he's on to something until he realises that some don't want to see a tree in Thneed-Ville and his life may be in danger. You might not be ready for it but your kids are gonna love it.
3. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
It's not often that a franchise just keeps on giving but Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Gloria (Jada-Pinkett Smith) and Melman (David Schwimmer) are back and still very much in Africa, waiting on the scene-stealing Penguins to return with an airplane to take them home to New York. No longer content to wait around the group decide to follow the Penguins to Monte Carlo, where they catch the eye of scary animal hunter Captain DuBois (Frances McDormand). The gang stow away on board a circus train, which is heading to New York, via Rome and London. The only problem is that if they want to make it to the end of the line, they have to become convincing circus performers themselves. If you like to move move it then you're in for a treat.
2. The Pirates: An Adventure with Scientists
The Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) is a bit deluded. He's generally considered to be the poorest of a group of dastardly devils (including Salma Hayek and Jeremy Piven) so when he sees and opportunity to prove himself and collect plenty of loot by winning Captain of the Year, he jumps at it! It seems as though all is lost until he realises that the ship's pet bird is actually the last of a long extinct breed, the dodo. After bumping into Charles Darwin on their travels, the Pirate Captain and his loyal crew decide to risk their lives and travel to Queen Victoria's London to show off their prized asset. Our very own Brendan Gleeson is among the cast of this sleeper hit which won't have mum and dad wishing they could walking the plank!
1. Rise of the Guardians
Jack Frost (Chris Pine) is havin the craic. He's been doling out the snow days and starting snowball fights across the globe but there's one big problem; nobody believes he exists. The Guardians don't have to worry about things like that. Santa (Alec Baldwin), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) and the silent Sandman all draw their power from the children's belief in them. But Boogeyman Pitch (Jude Law) wants to steal it for himself, so the Guardians enlist Jack and combine forces in an effort to defeat the Boogeyman before he replaces all hope on Earth with fear. When it comes to good family fun at the cinema, Rise of the Guardians has it all; great special effects, a scary villain and a storyline that will enchant even the biggest kids!