Theatre for all the family
Nothing prepares you for the sheer impact of 'The Lion King's opening sequence. With the surge of 'Circle Of Life' reverberating through your chest, Julie Taymor's animal creations march on, species by species. For a global blockbuster, 'The Lion King's absolute theatricality is astonishing. It's perfect for a musical, allowing both distinct flavours and an eclectic carnival spirit.
Theatre for children (5+)
Disney is making strong headways into the world of theatre at the moment: 'Frozen' on Broadway follows the National Theatre's dark puppetry take on 'Pinnochio'. But their involvement with indie immersive theatre mongers The Vaults is still a bit of a surprise. This tech-heavy show is using binaural sound and 3D projections to bring the the bonkers world of 1941 movie 'Fantasia' to life - think dancing mushrooms, duelling wizards, and lashings of classical music-inspired cartoon flights of fancy. 'Sounds and Sorcery' is likely to be a visually impressive intro to classical music for kids (albeit one with a hefty price tag) giving eight famous pieces the immersive treatment. And judging by the production artwork, it might well remind adults of a queasy psychedelic experience they had in a field at Glasto. Something for everyone, all courtesy of the mouse.
A theatrical spin-off from the BBC documentary series of the same name, 'Walking With Dinosaurs' is an Australian production that first toured the UK in 2009, but has since tweaked its content and shuffled its beastly cast. It's part educational programme, part wow-factor spectacular, and is pitched very much at families.
Three kids sit under a tree and discover some magical stories in this family show, based on the Indian fable collection 'The Panchatantra'. In the foothills of the Himalayas, they encounter stories of a bold leopard and a mongoose who wants a family of its own. Ages seven-plus.
Theatre for young children (0-4)
After delighting kids (and making grown-ups cry) with wistful kids' show 'The Paper Dolls', Peter Glanville is adapting another Julia Donaldson picture book. This time, it's the turn of 'The Everywhere Bear', which follows the titular teddy on his adventures using rhyme, puppets and new songs. Ages three-to-six.