What's on at Arts Picturehouse Cambridge - Kids' Club
Welcome to the Hotel Transylvania, Dracula's lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up, free to be the monsters they are without humans to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula has invited some of the world's most famous monsters - Frankenstein and his wife, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, a family of werewolves, and more - to celebrate his daughter Mavis' 118th birthday. For Drac, catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem - but his world could come crashing down when a human stumbles on the hotel for the first time and takes a shine to Mavis.
Directors: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney.
Voices: Louis C. K., Kevin Hart, Lake Bell. USA 2016. 94 mins.
For anyone wondering how their pets behave when they’re not at home, The Secret Life Of Pets reveals their antics – dreamt up by the ingenious minds at Illumination Entertainment, the creators of Minions. Co-directors Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney helped drive the Despicable Me franchise, and their distinctive animation style infuses this story. Wily terrier Max (Louis C. K., American Hustle) loses his preferred pooch status when his owner acquires a large, sloppy mongrel named Duke (Eric Stonestreet). The pair find themselves lost in New York, where they meet a posse of abandoned pets led by a deceptively lovable rabbit (Hart). Their adventures radiate an acid wit, amply characterised by Chloe (Bell), a smugly obese pussycat: "I'm your friend, and as your friend I gotta be honest, I don't care about you or your problems." Hilarious.
Directors: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane.
Voices: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Hayden Rolence. USA 2016. 103 mins.
Following on from 2003’s hit animated aquatic adventure Finding Nemo, the amnesiac regal blue tang Dory (voiced as before by Ellen DeGeneres) unexpectedly recovers some childhood memories, prompting her to set out to find her family. Accompanied by her friends Nemo (Rolence) and Marlin (Brooks), she swims to California’s Monterey Marine Life Institute, where she meets bolshie octopus Hank (Ed O’Neill), beluga whale Bailey (Ty Burrell) and whale shark Destiny (Kaitlin Olson), who agree to help her in her quest. With Finding Nemo writer-director Andrew Stanton also returning along with his Wall-E and Toy Story colleague Angus MacLane as co-director, this magical, beautifully rendered tale of rediscovery also affirms the importance of family.
Set in the recognisably hi-tech but endangered city of San Fransokyo, Disney’s latest, gently amusing offering is loosely based on a Marvel Comics tale. After his older brother Tadashi is killed in a mysterious accident, teenage micro-bot obsessive Hiro (Potter) is befriended by Tadashi’s creation – Baymax (Adsit, 30 Rock), a kind and unusually snowman-like robot. Hiro then successfully upgrades Baymax’s operating system to turn him into a crime-fighting automaton that might help solve the riddle of Tadashi’s death. The relationship between Baymax and Hiro provides the core of this beautifully rendered animation from co-directors Hall and Williams, whose impressive track records include writing and directing credits on WINNIE THE POOH and MULAN. The result is an assuredly affectionate buddy movie with a futuristic twist.
The London International Animation Festival (LIAF) returns to Kids Club this month with an eclectic mix of wonderful animated shorts from all over the globe. Definitely not to be missed and don’t forget to vote for your favourites!
Brian Henson directs his late father's creations in the Charles Dickens classic, the best known (and most oft-filmed) Christmas story of all time. Michael Caine plays the old miser Scrooge with Kermit as his long-suffering but ever-hopeful employee Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy as Cratchit's wife, and a host of Muppets (including the Great Gonzo as an unlikely Charles Dickens) taking other primary roles in this bright, playful adaptation of the sombre tale. Or at least it starts brightly enough--the anarchic humour soon settles into mirthful memories and a sense of melancholy as the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future take Scrooge on a journey of his lonely, wasted life. Michael Caine makes a wonderful Scrooge, delightfully rediscovering the meaning of life as fantastic creations from Henson's Creature Shop (developed specially for this film) take the reins as the three ghosts. While the odd mix of offbeat humour and drama undercuts the power of Dickens's drama, this kid-friendly retelling makes an excellent family drama that adults and children alike can enjoy.