January Movies: Reel Life with Jane

By on January 14, 2015

By Jane Louise Boursaw

New year! New movies! New on the big screen for kids and teens in January is a beloved Peruvian bear, an animated film from George Lucas and lots more. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s new in theaters and on DVD and Blu-ray this month. Note that release dates are subject to change. 


MOV-PaddingtonNot Yet Rated; Likely G or PG

In Theaters 01/16

Ok for Kids 6+

Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

From producer David Heyman (“Harry Potter”) and the beloved novels by Michael Bond, this cute family movie follows the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear (voiced by Colin Firth) who travels to the city in search of a home. Lost and alone, he starts to realize that perhaps city life isn’t for him, until he meets the kindly Brown family who offer him a temporary haven. Things are going fine until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist. Directed by Paul King, the cast also includes Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins, and Julie Walters.


MOV-Spare-Parts-PosterPG-13 for some language and violence

In Theaters 01/16

Ok for Kids 13+

Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

Based on Joshua Davis’ Wired magazine story, “Spare Parts” (a.k.a. “La Vida Robot”) is based on a true David & Goliath story about four Hispanic teenagers from Phoenix who form a robotics team under the leadership of their school’s newest teacher, Fredi (George Lopez). With no experience, 800 bucks, used car parts and a dream, this rag tag team goes up against the country’s reigning robotics champion, MIT. On their journey, they learn not only how to build a robot, but also a bond that will last a lifetime. Directed by Sean McNamara, this movie also stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Carlos Penavega and Marisa Tomei.


MOV-Strange-MagicNot Yet Rated; Likely G or PG

In Theaters 01/23

Ok for Kids 7

Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

Inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” this madcap musical fairy tale features popular songs from the past six decades to help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion. Gorgeous visuals from Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic (which created the CGI animation for 2011’s Oscar-winning film “Rango”) bring to life the colorful forest. Featuring a story by George Lucas and directed by Gary Rydstrom.



MOV-OctonautsRated G

On DVD 01/06

Ok for Kids 3+

Reel Review: 4.5 of 5 Reels

Join the Octonauts as they set out on a series of piratey adventures! Kwazii comes face to face with his long-lost pirate grandfather Calico Jack, while the Octonauts travel deep down the Amazon river in search of a lost city. Then, Kwazii goes head-to-head with three swashbuckling swordfish, gets shipwrecked on a desert island with Peso, and meets the perfect sidekick while hunting for pirate treasure: a parrotfish!


MOV-The-GruffaloNot Rated

On DVD 01/13

Ok for Kids 3+

Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels

“A gruffalo? What’s a gruffalo?” “A gruffalo! Why, didn’t you know? He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws.” So begins the story of a quick-witted mouse as he encounters a host of predators who seem to think he might make a tasty treat. “The Gruffalo s Child” picks up some years later with The Gruffalo’s daughter curious about her father’s fantastic stories of a Big Bad Mouse in the deep, dark woods. Thus, she sets out one snowy night on a thrilling journey of discovery. This delightful 30-minute animated film is adapted from the classic children’s book by Julia Donaldson.


MOV-Dinosaur-TrainNot Rated

On DVD 01/13

Ok for Kids 3+

Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels

Dinosaurs and trains! What could be better?! “Dinosaur Train” celebrates the fascination that preschoolers have with both, while sparking an interest in life science, natural history, and paleontology. This DVD also includes a fun puzzle for little ones. Episodes include: 1) The Egg Stealer; 2) Hatching Party; 3) Tank’s Baby Brother; 4) Diamond Anniversary; 5) Nursery Car; 6) All Kinds of Families; 7) A Sea Turtle Tale; and 8) The Good Mom.



JaneBOne Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.

Two Reels – Coulda been a contender

Three Reels – Something to talk about.

Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!

Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.


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