Your guide to school holiday movies
‘‘The humour is broad, the animation chunky and the vocal performances over-the-top. ’’
School holidays loom large at the moment and with the Hollywood blockbuster season being at an end, movie choices are not as clear-cut.
Animation dominates the offerings this time around, although young adults do have the rare opportunity to see a homegrown fantasy in the form of an adaptation of Margaret Mahy’s much-loved book The Changeover.
For those confused by what to take the charges to over the next two weeks, here’s our guide to what’s on at a screen near you.
Arriving 20 years after Dav Pilkey created the first of his 12 much-loved and highlycontroversial books, David Soren’s ( inaugural animated adaptation is both a delightful primer and solid school holiday entertainment. Like last year’s
this does a terrific job of capturing the spirit and style of its source material.
The humour is broad, the animation chunky and the vocal performances over-the-top, the perfect combination for the books’ most-avid audience. - James Croot
Thirty-three years after it was first published, Margaret Mahy’s awardwinning Christchurch-set story reaches the big screen in a version that updates the setting superbly, but lovingly retains Mahy’s mix of empowered young people and seemingly mundane malevolence.
While the story eventually drifts into a predictable cross of
meetsby way of there’s enough of Mahy’s knotty themes and ideas, solid, lovingly-crafted filmmaking and compelling performances to entertain audiences of all ages. - JC
THE EMOJI MOVIE
Ais a standard hero’s journey yarn set against the backdrop of a race through the apps in young Alex’s smartphone.
What unfolds holds zero surprises, a startling degree of product placement, some at-times passable design and a couple of trips to the outside world – where Alex, the phone’s owner, is desperate to impress a classmate – that suggest the film-makers had another, far better, script in them. They just couldn’t see it. - Graeme Tuckett
RICHARD THE STORK
(G, 81mins) 1⁄2A cross between
and this European avian animated adventure offers undemanding
esque antics. Chunky and bright animation and a collection of colourful characters can’t hide a paucity of new ideas and predictable action beats. Directors Toby Genkel and Reza Memari keep the action coming thick and fast, but the ‘‘dialogue polish and comedy punch ups’’ by Jeffrey Hylton and Joe Vitale mean the tone veers wildly from knockabout comedy to genuine drama and social commentary. - JC
Ice Captain Underpants is probably the pick of the kids’ movies these school holidays. Top left, Margaret Mahy’s The Changeover is lovingly crafted.