We can’t always bring the kids to the park, the playground, or the beach. Any parent will tell you that, sometimes, the weather can ruin your plans for the day rather quickly. Luckily, there are other ways to keep your kids amused: like a movie!
2017 has already been a banner year for kids’ movies, with so many great films already released (and even more upcoming cartoon movies on the horizon). Of course, not all of this year’s new releases have been a hit, and there are also a few duds out there that you should avoid (for example, stay away from the new Smurfs movie). But whether your kids are into superheroes, cars, or hilariously evil villains, there’s a new animated film worthy of their time. So if you’re looking for something new to watch with your kids (whether you want to Redbox it or go to the theater), here are the top five best kids’ movies of 2017 so far!
Top 5 Best Kids’ Movies of 2017
1. The LEGO Batman Movie
Release Date: February 10, 2017
Starring: Rosario Dawson, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis, Ralph Fiennes
Starting off the best kids’ movies of 2017 list we have Lego Batman! If there are two things in this worlds that kids love, it’s LEGOs and Batman. So, when the two come together, it’s pure greatness! That’s exactly the case with The LEGO Batman Movie, the first of two LEGO movies to hit theaters in 2017. It’s a classic tale for Batman that’s told in the LEGO way (read: in an absolutely adorable manner).
In The LEGO Batman Movie, Bruce Wayne accidentally adopts an orphan (Richard Grayson) who becomes his sidekick — the lovable Robin we all know and love. Of course, the dynamic duo will team up to take down one of Gotham’s most
fearsome hilariously bad villains, The Joker.
It’s a Batman plot we’ve seen in both the comic books and in film already, but when it’s done with the LEGO twist, it creates an all-new movie that kids will find absolutely hilarious. Michael Cera’s Robin is a highlight, and Zach Galifianakis’s the Joker will have your sides hurting.
2. Captian Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Release Date: June 2, 2017
Starring: Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele, Kristen Schaal
If your child has ever read any of the Captain Underpants books, then they’ll likely want to see Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. It starts comedy icon Kevin Hart alongside The Office‘s Ed Helms, and Nick Kroll appropriately voices Professor Poopypants.
The film follows George and Harold, two overly imaginative pranksters who hypnotize their principal into believing he’s an over-the-top ridiculous superhero named Captian Underpants. The premise is comedic gold, and it rings true for the entirety of the movie.
It’s great for ages 3 years to 8 years, as it’s filled with the toilet/whoopee cushion humor that the age range tends to appreciate. The movie very much embraces its own craziness, and because it’s so self-aware, it works wonderfully — your kids will love it!
3. Cars 3
Release Date: June 16, 2017
Starring: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, Cheech Marin
Disney’s Cars franchise is one of the studio’s most polarizing films, with many believing that it should’ve just been a one-and-done thing. While Cars 2 didn’t quite land on its feet, Cars 3 is a great movie.
It’s a film that has quite a different tone than its predecessors, although you’ll still find some of the same style of humor in there somewhere. But for the most part, it’s a more serious affair. In Cars 3, Lightning McQueen has to battle off a new wave of high-tech racers to prove himself once again as the best racer around.
Cars 3 takes a more emotional route that resonates throughout, with themes revolving around growing old, chasing old glory, and passing on the torch to someone new. It’s a film that feels a lot less corporate than the previous two entries, as it brings much more heart along for the ride this time around.
What’s more, it does so without losing the elements that made the first Cars film so likable. Lightning McQueen zooming past checkered flags, Mater being delightfully hillbilly deluxe, and the introduction of fun, new characters gives Cars 3 the flavor of the original. At the same time, it feels like an entirely different movie, thanks to its emotional focus. Your kids will still find laughs throughout, and hopefully, they’ll take home an important message or two in the process.
4. The Boss Baby
Release Date: March 10, 2017
Starring: Steve Buscemi, Alec Baldwin, ViviAnn Yee
While I’ll admit that The Boss Baby is a dumb movie, it’s also a fun movie that kids love. The premise surrounds a suit-wearing, briefcase-toting talking baby who teams up with this 7-year-old brother to stop the evil ways of a CEO. On paper, it sounds ludicrous, but in practice, the film has more than a few laughs.
The humor is very surface-level, so it’s likely that you, yourself, won’t find much enjoyment in watching it. However, your kids will think it’s absolutely hysterical, and that’s what’s important. It’s mostly situational humor — as you should expect when the movie revolves around a talking baby bossing around other babies.
Steve Buscemi (Billy Madison, The Big Lebowski) has a voice that was made for animation (he also voiced Randall in Monsters, Inc, by the way), and Alec Baldwin is as hilarious as ever. The movie is filled with cute quotables that your kids will be saying for weeks.
5. Despicable Me 3
Release Date: June 30, 2017
Starring: Steve Carell, Miranda Cosgrove, Kristen Wiig, Jenny Slate
While Minions was a major disappointment, the Despicable Me franchise properly continues on with Despicable Me 3. The story revolves around Gru meeting his long-lost brother, Dru, a cheerful, more successful and charming twin brother who wants to team up for one last heist with his dear ole’ brother. Funnyman Steve Carell, the voice behind Gru and Dru, is on point as always, and he keeps the laughs coming throughout the film’s runtime. Minions make it on the best kids’ movies of 2017 list as Despicable Me 3 fan favorites!
Kristen Wiig (Ghostbusters, Saturday Night Live) returns as Lucy, and Miranda Cosgrove returns as Margo. Although the film is a bit predictable for the adult crowd who would likely otherwise enjoy it, it resonated well with the young ones, who were uproarious when I saw it in theaters.
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