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Back to Film & TV previews... / Jan 11, 2019 previews... 2019's Best Movies - Family

Continuing our series of articles looking ahead to 100 of the best films coming to cinema screens in 2019, today we pick up with 10 of the best family-friendly movies coming your way this year...

Continuing our series of articles looking ahead to 100 of the best films coming to cinema screens in 2019, today we pick up with 10 of the best family-friendly movies coming your way this year...

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Starring: Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Kit Harrington, Kristen Wiig

Director: Dean DeBlois

Release date: February 1st

After two instalments of the How to Train Your Dragon, both adapted from the book series of the same name by British author Cressida Cowell, the third and final chapter is headed to cinemas in just a few weeks. Dean DeBlois is once again in the director's chair for the third film, with the likes of Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill and Kit Harrington all returning to reprise their roles from the first two films.

The third film finds Hiccup settling into life as the chief of Berk, where humans and dragons are now living in harmony together. However, a dragon hunter named Grimmel the Grisly is determined to shatter their peace and hatches a plan to capture Toothless, forcing the rest of the dragons to mount a daring rescue attempt. The film has already debuted in Australian cinemas and is due to arrive in the UK on February 1st.


The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

Starring: Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Margot Robbie, Channing Tatum

Director: Mike Mitchell, Trisha Gunn

Release date: February 8th

After the roaring success of Phil Lord & Chris Miller's irreverent animated adventure featuring everyone's favourite Danish building toys, the inevitable sequel to The LEGO Movie is winging its way to cinemas in the very near future, with the follow-up set to debut in the UK on February 8th.

Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Charlie Day and Nick Offerman are amongst the cast members returning for the sequel, with new additions this time around including Maya Rudolph and Tiffany Haddish.

The story picks up pretty much exactly where the first movie left off, with Lord Business defeated and the arrival of aliens from the planet Duplon. It's the Duplo aliens who serve as the primary antagonists of the sequel, which will see Emmett and his friends attempting to reclaim and rebuild Bricksburg after the city is laid to waste by the alien invaders. Lord & Miller have penned the script for the sequel, but this time directing duties will be handled by Mike Mitchell & Trisha Gunn.


Margie Claus

Starring: Melissa McCarthy

Director: Ben Falcone

Release date: TBC (expected to be November)

If you're a fan of Melissa McCarthy then Christmas 2019 looks set to be a bit of a bonanza, with not one but two comedies led by the SNL star set to arrive over the festive period. Much like earlier McCarthy vehicles including Tammy and The Boss, both are directed by McCarthy's husband Ben Falcone, the first being Super Intelligence, featuring a not-particularly-festive story about a supercomputer with designs on global domination. The second, however, is called Margie Claus, which is not only a full-blown Christmas film, but could also see McCarthy showcasing her singing talents.

Few plot details have been unveiled and there's no confirmed cast as yet, but McCarthy is understood to be playing the wife of Santa Claus, who is forced to step in and rescue Christmas when the big man goes AWOL. The movie is currently slated for release in November, while Super Intelligence is expected to hit US cinemas on Christmas Day.


The Secret Life of Pets 2

Starring: Patton Oswalt, Ellie Kemper, Dana Carvey, Kevin Hart

Director: Chris Renaud

Release date: May 31st

After the runaway success of Chris Renaud's 2016 animated adventure The Secret Life of Pets, Universal Pictures and Illumination were quick to order sequel, which will make its arrival at the end of May.

Most of the main cast are due to return to reprise their roles, including Kevin Hart, Ellie Kemper and Dana Carvey. One notable exception, however, is Louis C.K., who was swiftly binned by the studio when the disgraced comedian admitted the rumours doing the rounds about his inappropriate behaviour towards female colleagues were true.

Instead, Patton Oswalt will step in his shoes to take on the lead role of Max, the Jack Russell Terrier. Plot details have yet to be unveiled, and the first trailer for the film doesn't give much away on that front either, but it does indicate plenty of the humour that made the first film so much fun. Renaud has been retained as director for the sequel, which debuts in UK cinemas on May 31st.


Spies in Disguise

Starring: Will Smith, Karen Gillan, Tom Holland, Rashida Jones

Director: Nick Bruno, Troy Quane

Release date: September 13th

Screenwriter and producer Brad Copeland is perhaps best known for his work on hot comedy series such as My Name is Earl and Arrested Development, but his latest project is an animated feature film that puts a strange twist on the spy film genre.

Will Smith stars as Lance Sterling, a suave secret agent with a reputation as the world's top spy. Working alongside him is the brilliant scientist Walter Becket (voiced by Tom Holland), who creates all Sterling's flashy spy gadgets, and when an unexpected global emergency requires Sterling to go deep undercover, Becket devises a radical solution: transforming Sterling into a pigeon.

Alongside Holland and Smith is a voice cast which includes Karen Gillan, Rashida Jones, Ben Mendelsohn and DJ Khalid. Animators Nick Bruno and Troy Quane both make their directorial debut on the film, working from Copeland's script. Spies in Disguise is due to land in UK cinemas on September 13th.


Missing Link

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Emma Thompson, Zach Galifianakis, Stephen Fry

Director: Chris Butler

Release date: April 5th

After his show-stopping, chart-wrecking turn in The Greatest Showman and his portrayal of disgraced US Presidential hopeful Gary Hart in The Frontrunner, Hugh Jackman – or at least his voice – returns to cinemas in April, this time in the role of an explorer named Sir Lionel Frost.

Although Frost considers himself the world's foremost expert on myths and monsters he feels his peers don't take him seriously and, determined to establish his greatness, he sets out on an expedition to prove the existence of a creature that could rewrite our understanding of human evolution. As it turns out, he's right, but he's also in for a lot more than he bargained for.

Zach Galifianakis is the man providing the voice for the titular Missing Link, while the rest of the cast includes Emma Thompson, Zoe Saldana, Timothy Olyphant, Matt Lucas and Stephen Fry. ParaNorman director Chris Butler, who also wrote the screenplay for Kubo and the Two Strings, is directing the film, which lands in UK cinemas on April 5th.



Starring: Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Judi Dench

Director: Tom Hooper

Release date: December 20th

After successfully bringing the classic stage musical Les Misérables to the big screen in 2012, director Tom Hooper has turned his attention to another West End favourite, namely Andrew Lloyd Webber's much-loved musical Cats, which will make its debut in UK cinemas in time for Christmas.

The cast includes Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Judi Dench, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, James Corden and Jason Derulo, who will perform the same songs from Lloyd Webber's popular musical. Hooper's film is due in Uk cinemas on December 20th.


The Queen's Corgi

Starring: Julie Walters, Sheridan Smith, Ray Winstone, Jack Whitehall

Director: Ben Stassen

Release date: July 5th

Belgian animation studio nWave Pictures, founded by director/animator Ben Stassen, has churned out half a dozen feature films since Stassen's 2008 directorial debut Fly Me to the Moon, and their most recent offering, 2017's The Son of Bigfoot, was their most successful yet. Stassen's next film is due to arrive this year and will revolve around one of the most iconic members of the royal household – and we don't mean Prince Philip.

Instead, it's a corgi named Rex who's the star of the show here, a new addition to the Queen's collection who manages to get himself lost, forcing him to try to find his way home. The film has lined up an impressive voice cast which includes Julie Walters, Sheridan Smith, Ray Winstone, Jack Whitehall, Matt Lucas and Jon Culshaw, and is due to arrive in cinemas on July 5th.



Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Anya Taylor-Joy, Adam Lambert

Director: Lino DeSalvio

Release date: August 9th

With the huge success of The LEGO Movie, it's perhaps not surprising that one of the Danish toymaker's biggest competitors is looking to get in on the action with a movie of their own, and this year will see the arrival of a new CG-animated / live-action hybrid directed by former Disney animator Lino DiSalvio.

The film stars Anya Taylor-Joy as a young woman named Marla who finds herself sucked into the Playmobil world while attempting to rescue her younger brother Charlie (played by young Lights Out star Gabriel Bateman.

The voice cast for the animated characters in the film includes Daniel Radcliffe, The Goldbergs' Wendi McLendon-Covey and comedian Jim Gaffigan, as well as Meghan Trainor and Adam Lambert, both of whom will also contribute songs to the movie's soundtrack. Playmobil is due to land in cinemas on August 9th.


Dora the Explorer

Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Eva Longoria, Michael Peña

Director: James Bobin

Release date: August 16th

Dora the Explorer was a regular fixture on Nickelodeon for almost 15 years before its run finally ended in 2014, but Dora is set to make her big screen debut this summer in a new movie directed by The Muppets and Flight of the Conchords director James Bobin.

The story sees Dora trying to adjust to the life of a regular high school kid after a childhood spent exploring the jungle, but she's soon leading a group of friends on a mission to rescue her parents and solve an ancient Inca mystery.

Isabela Moner, whose recent films include Sicario 2: Soldado and Transformers: The Last Knight, will take on the starring role of Dora, alongside a supporting cast which includes Benicio Del Toro, Eva Longoria and Michael Peña. Bobin's film is due to land in the UK on August 16th.


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