Here are five movies from various platforms that families may want to consider, as recommended by the Deseret News arts and entertainment department. Because not all are appropriate for younger children, age recommendations or ratings are included.
What does a small penguin have in common with a hulking Bigfoot? You can see both of them in theaters this week. Disney's "Penguins" waddles onto the big screen just in time to celebrate Earth Day. Here are five films in theaters for the family to consider.
In theaters: 'Penguins'
Disneynature brings Steve, an adorable Adelie penguin, to the big screen in "Penguins," narrated by Ed Helms of "The Office." Steve's looking for a life partner to begin a family with in the icy, unforgiving climate of the Antarctic. But the klutzy young penguin will have to contend with other forces besides the cold expanse. Along his trek, Steve encounters killer whales, predatory birds and leopard seals. And when he arrives at his destination, he'll have to compete with hundreds of thousands of other males for a mate. Finally, Steve will need to take the kids under his wing and not get his feathers ruffled as he takes on adulthood. With "astounding cinematography and storytelling," Josh Terry for the Deseret News, gave the G-rated film 3 stars out of 4 and called it an "educational family-friendly option" for the entire family. He advises audiences to stick around for the credits to see behind-the-scenes footage.
In theaters: 'Missing Link'
A mysterious beast, Mr. Link (voiced by Zach Galifianakis) recruits explorer Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman) to find his Yeti cousins in the legendary valley of Shangri-La. They are joined by Adelina Fortnight (voiced by Zoe Saldana). Josh Terry for the Deseret News said the "adventure showcases the imaginative, dynamic animation" that gives the film a "magical quality," but noted that the repeated point of Mr. Link's existence as evolutionary significant is "off-putting." He gave the stop-motion film 3 stars out of 4. The animated film is rated PG for action/peril and some mild rude humor.
In theaters: 'Wonder Park'
An amusement park comes to life in the imagination of a creative young girl, June, as she deals with her mother's illness. The Dove Foundation awarded the film its "Dove Approved" seal for all ages and said the colorful film has a message that "darkness is there to remind us of the light the surrounds us." Josh Terry for the Deseret News gave the PG-rated film 2½ stars out of 4 and said the film is a thoughtful "exploration of childhood grief" with fun animation work. The film is rated PG for animated action and adult themes.
In theaters: 'Dumbo'
A young elephant helps save a struggling circus troupe when it is discovered his oversized ears — once a laughing stock — now make him a star. Disney's live-action remake of the baby elephant that can fly features Danny DeVito, Colin Farrell and Michael Keaton in the Tim Burton directed film. Josh Terry for the Deseret News said the film, loosely based on the 1941 animated movie, can be at times "dark and melancholy," but there are moments of elation. The film is rated PG for peril/action, some thematic elements and brief mild language.
In theaters: 'Mia and the White Lion'
After her family movies from London to South Africa to run a lion farm, distraught teen Mia finds happiness when Charlie, a white lion, is born. That bliss is shattered when she discovers the truth about the family business, and Mia and Charlie set out for an animal sanctuary and rescue mission. Common Sense Media gave the film 4 stars out of 5 and said the film "delivers a powerful conservation message," but cautioned the film "delivers a gut punch with purpose" to show the state of trophy hunting. The film is rated PG for thematic elements, peril and language.