Familiar faces return to the big screen this Summer, ready to entertain kids of all ages.

Toy Story 4

Starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts

Release date 22 June

Is it that time again? Like a good friend you can visit every couple of years and feel right at home with, Woody and the gang are back in town. I’ll admit, I was surprised to hear that we’d be taking another trip into the toy box given that
Toy Story 3 has such a climactic aura about it – and a heartfelt ending to boot. And yet, Pixar has had quite a successful run as of late, bringing back some of the company’s most beloved characters (think Monsters U and The Incredibles 2), so I’m certain that director Josh Cooley has a great story to tell. Alongside the regular cast of voice actors that we’ve come to know and love, Toy Story 4 will also feature the talents of several new A-listers including Keanu Reeves, Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key and Tony Hale, the last of whom plays a fork that gains sentience. Might we finally learn what it is that brings the toys to life? 

 

Detective Pikachu 

Starring Ryan Reynolds,  Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton

Release date 10 May

For a franchise as big as Pokémon, you have to wonder two things: why has it taken so long to make a live action film of the property, and of all the stories they could have run with – why has director Rob Letterman settled on a talking Pikachu who solves crimes? As bizarre as Detective Pikachu sounds on paper, the seemingly implausible film has begun to win over an audience thanks to several incredible trailers, all of which showcase the comedic chops of Ryan Reynolds – honed from his fantastic work on the Deadpool franchise. With that said, the jury’s still out on the realistic design of the film’s Pokémon – was Jigglypuff ever really that furry?

 

Aladdin 

Starring Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott

Release date 22 May

At this rate, Disney won’t be happy until it’s made a live action version of every single one of its animated films. Having just soared through the skies with Dumbo, audiences will soon be treated to another remade classic with Aladdin. Based on the film’s recent trailers, Aladdin seems to be pulling inspiration from both the original animated movie and its stage adaptation. From the film’s vibrant colour palette and lavish dance numbers, Aladdin could end up being this year’s Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again – the perfect bit of cinematic escapism for a time that’s filled with political turmoil. Plus, there’s the added intrigue of seeing Will Smith fill the monumentally big shoes of Robin Williams, who truly made the Genie character synonymous with his off-the-wall comedic timing.

Words Thomas Deehan