If the rain puts a dampener on plans for an egg hunt this Easter (Fri Mar 25–Mon Mar 28 2016), head to the movies and entertain the children with one of these family-friendly films instead.
Enough with the feminism. Disney has clearly had enough of these uppity princesses getting all empowered and messing with their fairytales. After ‘Frozen’, and ‘Into the Woods’, it’s back to the basics of being a princess in director Kenneth Branagh’s lavish, sappily sweet version of ‘Cinderella’. That means microscopic waists, swooning bosoms and a happily-ever-after ending for this Cinderella (Lily James, the naughty cousin from ‘Downton’), or just plain Ella – the ‘Cinders’ bit comes later.
This will appeal to toddlers and stoned teenagers alike with its whacked-out humour, off-beam innuendo and bright colours. The series’s first big-screen foray had children and adults helplessly collapsing in a unified mass of giggles. This belated sequel is, in some ways, even better – ever so slightly more unhinged.
Only Aardman – the British creators of Wallace & Gromit, Morph and other lovable, mouldable characters – could find an irresistible movie in industrial amounts of clay and a story of an amnesiac farmer and his flock at loose in the big city. Much of the beauty of this big-hearted, stop-motion-animated caper (a spin-off of the insanely successful kids TV series) is the entire absence of decipherable language (instead imagine grunts, mumbles, bleats and screams) as Shaun the Sheep tries to engineer a day off from Mossy Bottom Farm and instead causes the often-bewildered farmer to bang his head and wander off into the metropolis (which looks a lot like Bristol, where Aardman has its HQ).
A smart concept is thoroughly wasted in this cute but grating Dreamworks animated comedy. It opens with an alien invasion – but not one of those messy, bloodthirsty ones. Our new extraterrestrial overlords, the cheerful, squashy Boov, merely want to shift the population of Earth to a new home in Australia – renamed Happy Humans Town – so they can enjoy the rest of the planet in peace.