Whether you’re looking for a pre-Christmas treat or something to do in that time between Christmas and the schools going back, you can’t go wrong with a family cinema trip. My own children get cinema vouchers every year from Father Christmas, giving us the gift of time and an experience we can share together. The only problem will be deciding which film to see, with eight great films newly released for the festive season. Will you be watching any of these?
We also recommend checking out the cheap family screenings offered by the big chains including Odeon, Vue and Cineworld. You can watch slightly older films for around £2 to £2.50 per person on weekend mornings and weekdays during local school holiday with screenings usually taking place at around 10am. Information is at the bottom of this article.
Frozen 2 (U)
Released 22 November
One of the most hotly-anticipated releases this year, Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Sven and Olaf are back in a new adventure which takes them beyond their kingdom of Arendelle to discover the origin of Elsa’s magical powers and save their kingdom after a mysterious voice calls out to Elsa. What truths about the past await Elsa as she ventures into the unknown to the enchanted forests and dark seas beyond Arendelle? The answers are calling her but also threatening her kingdom. In Frozen, Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In Frozen 2, she must hope they are enough.
Charlie’s Angels (12A)
Released 29 November
When a young systems engineer blows the whistle on a dangerous technology, Charlie’s Angels are called into action, putting their lives on the line to protect us all.
Elizabeth Banks directs a new generation of Angels – played by Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska – working for the mysterious Charles Townsend.
Jumanji: The Next Level (12A)
Released 13 December
The gang is back – but the game has changed. As they return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own, they discover that nothing is as they expect. The players will have to brave parts unknown and unexplored, from the arid deserts to the snowy mountains, in order to escape the world’s most dangerous game.
Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Sky Walker
Released 19 December
A year after the events of The Last Jedi, the remnants of the Resistance face the First Order once again – while reckoning with the past and their own inner turmoil. Meanwhile, the ancient conflict between the Jedi and the Sith reaches its climax, bringing the Skywalker saga to a definitive end.
Released 20 December
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musical is brought to the big screen in an all-star adaptation featuring James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson and introducing Royal Ballet principal dancer Francesca Hayward in her feature film debut. Over the course of a single night, a tribe of cats which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life. Under the guidance of Tony-winning choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton, In the Heights), the film reimagines the musical for a new generation with spectacular production design, state-of-the-art technology, and dance styles ranging from classical ballet to contemporary, hip-hop to jazz, street dance to tap.
Playing With Fire (PG)
Released 26 December
Straight-laced fire superintendent Jake Carson (John Cena) and his elite team of expert firefighters (Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo and Tyler Mane) realise that no amount of training could prepare them for their most challenging job yet – babysitters When they come to the rescue of three siblings and are unable to locate the children’s parents, the firefighters have their lives, jobs and even their fire depot turned upside down and quickly learn that kids – much like fires – are wild and unpredictable.
Little Women (U)
Released 26 December
Louisa Mary Alcott’s classic book is adapted for the big screen by writer-director Greta Gerwig. . Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen star as the beloved March sisters Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth March, as the author’s alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life in 19th century America.
Spies in Disguise (PG)
Released 27 December
Animated comedy set in the globe-trotting world of international espionage. The world is counting on super spy Lance Sterling (Will Smith) to protect it from grave threats. But when young scientist Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) accidentally turns Sterling into a pigeon with his newest invention of ‘biodynamic concealment’, he must now find a way to save the world from a cybernetic madman while Walter works out to change him back to human form.
Cheap family screenings
Odeon Cinema, The Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay
The 10am weekend and school holiday showings are £2.50 per person. Check online for schedule; films are usually a few months old rather than new releases.
Cineworld, Mary Ann Street, Cardiff
The 10am weekend and school holiday Movies for Juniors showings are just £2 per person. Check online for schedule; films are usually a few months old rather than new releases.
Vue Cinema, Millennium Plaza, Cardiff
The 10am weekend and school holiday Movies for Juniors showings are just £2.49 per person. Check online for schedule; films are usually a few months old rather than new releases.
A different family film every week
£4/£3 booked in advance; see website for full listings.