Spring Movie Preview: Know Before You Go

Filed under: Movies

After a sleepy winter at the Cineplex, spring brings a slate of higher-profile movies to woo kids and families back into theaters before the start of the blockbuster summer releases. This year's line-up includes everything from ambitious animated adventures to a bunch of adaptations of popular young adult books. Check out some of the family-friendly movies your kids (and you!) might want to see this season.

gnomeo and juliet movie

Credit: AP

"Gnomeo & Juliet"
Release Date: Feb. 11
Target Age: Young Kids
What's the Buzz: The Bard's most famous romantic tragedy is retold via rival groups of garden gnomes (and accompanied by Elton John tunes). It's a zany comedy that's bound to enchant younger moviegoers. And never fear -- these particular star-crossed lovers get to enjoy a happily ever after.

justin bieber never say never movie

Credit: Eliot Press

"Justin Bieber: Never Say Never"
Release Date: Feb. 11
Target Age: Tweens
What's the Buzz: If you listen carefully, you might hear the sound of young girls near and far weeping with joy that they can see JB in 3-D! If you have a daughter between the ages of 6 and 13, be prepared to take her (and her friends) to see the Bieb's concert docu.

i am number four movie

Credit: John Bramley, AP

"I Am Number Four"
Release Date: Feb. 18
Target Age: Teens
What's the Buzz: Based on a best-selling sci-fi novel, this thriller stars Glee's Dianna Agron and British "it" guy Alex Pettyfer. Parents should expect some extra-terrestrial violence and a load of chase scenes and close calls peppered with alien-human teen love.

beastly movie

Credit: Annie Leibovitz, AP

Release Date: March 4
Target Age: Teens
What's the Buzz: Also based on a best-selling young adult book and also starring Pettyfer (this time opposite "High School Musical" alum Vanessa Hudgens), this is a modern take on "Beauty on the Beast" that's sure to include some major teen romance.

rango movie

Credit: Industrial Light & Magic, AP

Release Date: March 4
Target Age: Young Kids
What's the Buzz: Johnny Depp voices a courageous chameleon who winds up having to defend an Old West-style desert town hounded by bandits. Featuring an all-star voice cast and an original premise, this animated Western is sure to be a must-see family adventure this spring.

mars needs moms movie

Credit: Moviefone.com

"Mars Needs Moms"
Release Date: March 11
Target Age: Tweens
What's the Buzz: From the producers of "The Polar Express" comes this interstellar adventure featuring a boy who travels to Mars on a quest to save his kidnapped mom. It's in 3-D, and given the ultra-naturalistic look of the CGI, this could be too intense for younger kids.

red riding hood movie

Credit: Dzilla

"Red Riding Hood"
Release Date: March 11
Target Age: Teens
What's the Buzz: In yet another young adult adaptation, Amanda Seyfried stars as a red-hooded beauty stuck in a love triangle in a town that's besieged by werewolf attacks. But unlike the other two teen-targeted movies, this supernatural thriller from the director of the first "Twilight" movie promises heavier doses of sex and violence.

diary of a wimpy kid 2: rodrick rules movie

Credit: Kris Connor, Getty

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules"
Release Date: March 25
Target Age: Tweens
What's the Buzz: As anyone with an elementary schooler probably knows, the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series is an addictive habit. This sequel to the hilarious first movie will definitely include lots of silly gags and mildly crude middle-school humor.

hop movie

Credit: Moviefone.com

Release Date: April 1
Target Age: Young Kids
What's the Buzz: What would happen if the Easter Bunny was injured in a car accident? In this seasonal comedy, the rabbit responsible for the situation would have to take E.B.'s place. This one promises to be a fun flick for families that love egg hunts, baskets, and holiday movies.

rio movie

Credit: Moviefone.com

Release Date: April 15
Target Age: Young Kids
What's the Buzz: The makers of "Ice Age" return to the big screen with a new comedic adventure for the whole family -- a sweeping love story that follows a domesticated American macaw who makes his way to the exotic land of Brazil in search of the bird of his dreams.

african cats movie

Credit: Moviefone.com

"African Cats"
Release Date: April 22
Target Age: Young Kids
What's the Buzz: For the third Earth Day in a row, Disneynature releases an environmentally-friendly documentary. This time, it focuses on one cheetah and one lion family from the African savannah. Young animal lovers will want to see it, but expect some lessons in predatory behavior.

Written by Sandie Angulo Chen.

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