Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One)
Photograph: Sony

New kids’ movies coming out in 2022 that you can’t miss

Disney adventures, Pixar originals, super-speedy hedgehogs – kids' movies in 2022 have a lot to love

Phil de Semlyen

There’s a lot of kid-friendly animated flicks and movies to get excited about in 2022, including two new Pixar films – one involving red pandas – and a tonne of superhero-adjacent animations for all the family. You’ve seen Superman and Man of Steel, right? Well, get ready for the mutt of steel in DC League of Super Pets. That loveable superbad, Gru, returns too, in another Minions adventure.

And it’s not all superpowered pooches and yellow mischief-makers. Disney has one or two treats up its sleeves, including the horizon-crossing spectacle of Strange World, while Netflix’s Jacob and the Sea Beast continues the exploration theme with an ocean-spanning animated epic. Here’s what to look out for at your local cinema and on streaming in the 12 months ahead. 

In the meantime, be sure to see if your go-to films made our list of the 50 best family movies of all time.

New kids' movies coming out in 2022

  • Film
  • Animation

When: January 14, 2022

An animated fairy tale set in a virtual world with hands-in-the-air anthems and ridiculously eye-popping visuals? Yes please. This one comes from Japan, where it’s already a huge hit, and offers a fresh take on ‘Beauty and the Beast’. It has a young schoolgirl reinventing herself as a cyberspace superstar and making friends with a misunderstood but all-powerful dragon.

2. Turning Red

When: March 11, 2022

Pixar is back with possibly its cuddliest caper ever. The hero is a young girl called Mei, a 13-year-old Chinese-Canadian with one surprising attribute: she turns into a red panda whenever she gets excited or stressed. There absolutely aren’t enough animations set in Toronto or with panda-based shapeshifting activities. Turning Red is here to set that straight.

  • Film
  • Animation

When: April 8, 2022

Yes, the spiky speedster is back for a second adventure. No, it won’t involve hibernation, hedge burrowing or other traditional hedgehog activities. Instead, Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) teams up with a new sidekick called Tails for a Scooby-and-Scrappy-style double act. Jim Carrey’s villainous Dr Robotnik awaits them. Mwahahaha!

4. DC League of Super Pets 

When: May 20, 2022

Move over Wonder Woman, The Flash, Superman and co because here comes Ace, Krypto and, er, the Mighty Oink in a superhero adventure with a difference. Superman’s pooch, Krypto (Dwayne Johnson), leads a posse of critters on a rescue mission when DC’s big-league supes get kidnapped. 


5. Lightyear 

When: June 17, 2022

A second Pixar animation to enhance our year, Lightyear is a mythical origin story for the real Buzz Lightyear – ie not the toy who ends up as BFFs with Woody in Toy Story but a proper spaceman who heads to infinity and beyond for real. It’ll follow the Space Ranger – voiced by Chris Evans – from trainee astronaut to fully-fledged intergalactic hero. Will Zurg be waiting? Find out in the summer. 

6. Minions: The Rise of Gru

When: July 1, 2022

How does a little kid grow up to be the world’s greatest supervillain? In
The Incredibles it was an arc fuelled by fierce resentment. In this year’s Minions sequel it’s more, well, Gru-some… Steve Carell’s big-hearted superbad just pinches a magical jewel from the Vicious 6 and scarpers. Fortunately, he has his army of Minions to lend support and fall over a lot. Jean-Claude Van Damme voices a character called Jean Clawed, just in case you need more reasons to see it. 


7. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

When: September 23, 2022

The swashbuckling kitty returns in an adventure that leaves him with only one of his nine lives remaining. It’s a predicament no vet can help with, so Antonio Banderas’s Puss heads on an epic journey to restore his mortality levels. Salma Hayek’s Kitty Softpaws is back as the purr-fect sidekick. It’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade on catnip. 


8. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One)

When: October 7, 2022

The smash-hit Spidey animation returns for another trippy, big-swinging outing. Miles Morales is joined by Gwen Stacy and Jessica Drew – a double helping of lady Spideys – as he plunges through multiple universes, all animated in different styles. Eagerly awaited, expect to see plenty of grown-ups in the queue for this one. 


9. Strange World

When: November 23, 2022

Disney’s Thanksgiving offering this year is a tribute to pulp magazines (in brief: they used to be printed on pulp paper and were full of thrilling adventures for wide-eyed kids). It’s from the director of Big Hero 6 and Raya and the Last Dragon and will hopefully be just as fun-filled as that pair, as it ‘journeys deep into an uncharted and treacherous land where fantastical creatures await’.


10. Mario

When: December 21, 2022

The first stab at turning Mario, Luigi and company into movie stars did not go well back in 1993 (Super Mario Bros.’ star, Bob Hoskins, famously described it as ‘the worst thing I ever did’). Nintendo has given Illumination, the animation house behind Despicable Me and Sing, another shot at getting it right – presumably on pain of being roasted by Bowser if they don’t. Chris Pratt voices Mario and Anya Taylor-Joy is Princess Peach.


11. Sesame Street

When: 2022

In the same spirit as 2010’s The Muppets, only with more grumpy green trashcan-dwellers, this big-screen puppet movie follows a history show host (Anne Hathaway) on a quest to prove that Sesame Street is a real place. In the evil Tex Richman role here is the town’s sinister mayor, while Bo Burnham is providing the songs. Elmo say go see! 

12. Jacob and the Sea Beast

When: 2022

A seafaring adventure to thrill young imaginations, Netflix’s animation follows a sailor into uncharted waters and into an unlikely team-up with a sea monster. Director Chris Williams, who co-directed the magical sea-movie that was
Moana, is promising magical undiscovered worlds. 

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