Best kids' holiday flicksby James Robins
James Robins rounds up the top movies on screen for young ones.
THE GOOD DINOSAUR
The powerhouse studio partnership of Disney and Pixar follows up exceptional hit Inside Out with The Good Dinosaur. An alternate history: what would happen if creatures of prehistory were spared extinction? Enjoyable enough, but more formulaic than we should now expect.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2
Reimagining some of cinema’s iconic horror characters (Count Dracula, Frankenstein) as lovable, comedic rogues, Adam Sandler leads one of his least offensive offerings in years.
A clever adaptation of RL Stine’s horror stories. Jack Black plays the author, who enlists the help of two teenagers to wrangle and defeat the nightmarish monsters that come to life. An adventure that, as with Stine’s books, rests on the acceptable side of scary.
SNOOPY AND CHARLIE BROWN: THE PEANUTS MOVIE
Charles M Schulz’s iconic comic strip is beefed up with 3D animation and strays only slightly from Charlie Brown’s constant melancholic nature. Fluffy, wholesome and riotous.
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
Another generation is introduced to the wonders of a galaxy far, far away. Director JJ Abrams leans heavily on nostalgia to banish the prequels’ taint. (Rated M.)
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP
The fourth recent screen instalment for these squeaky rodents. Justin Long and Anna Faris lend their voices.
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2
Suzanne Collins’ young adult fiction series matured along with its audience. This final instalment is gritty, and often confronting – one scene pushes the M15+ classification to its absolute limit.
Follow the Listener on Twitter or Facebook.
Despite an apparent backlash against bread – against carbohydrates and gluten – the sandwich endures.Read more
The author of worldwide bestsellers Sapiens and Homo Deus says our free will is at stake. We talk to Yuval Noah Harari about his new book.Read more
There is just one civilisation in the world, writes Yuval Noah Harari, and the West and Islam are joint participants in it.Read more
A new TV version of William Makepeace Thackeray’s 19th-century satirical novel taps into today's celebrity-Instagram culture.Read more
Serena Williams’ US Open outburst was unbecoming but the umpire made a mess of his response.Read more
The suffrage celebrations get a soundtrack from all-male ensemble NZTrio.Read more
The public will have to wait to see a report into an assault claim against MP Meka Whaitiri, who was yesterday stripped of her ministerial portfolios.Read more