Hollister Kids e-Newsletter
A summer movie feast:
Harry Potter to G.I. Joe
News Art
The animated movie “Up” has been a hit with kids and families, while the guinea pig heroes of “G-Force” are eagerly awaited. (Disney/Pixar/MCT Photos)

Summer movies are like a buffet feast or salad bar at a popular restaurant.

There are lots of things to choose from, but which will be any good?

That’s the question fans face each year when movie companies roll out their biggest and flashiest attractions for the summer months.

Millions of dollars are spent making these movies, but which will deliver a good time for viewers?

For kids and families, “Star Trek,” “Up” and a new “Night at the Museum” are already drawing thousands of fans.

But the big attractions are still to come: A new “Ice Age,” a new “Transformers,” a new “Harry Potter” and “G.I. Joe.”

Not to mention “G-Force,” a 3-D blend of animation and live action starring three trained guinea pigs as government agents!

If past ticket sales are an indication, any summer with a Harry Potter movie is going to be successful for movie theaters.

This year’s “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is the sixth movie based on J.K. Rowling’s popular wizard hero, and the previous five have sold nearly $4.5 BILLION in tickets around the world.

“Half-Blood Prince” again finds Harry doing battle with the forces of the evil Voldemort, but also battling problems any kid faces when becoming a teenager.

Since many readers felt “Half-Blood” was Rowling’s best book, expectations are high for the movie.

Action, action, action

In addition to great stories, movie-goers love action in their summer entertainment.

This year, kids and families will have plenty to choose from.

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is the second live-action movie based on the popular action-figure toys, so audiences can expect some wild battles between the Autobots and Decepticons.

Also inspired by a toy is “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.” G.I. Joe figures have been popular since they were introduced in 1964, but this is the first time they have been featured in a live-action movie. In this adventure, Joe and his team of agents take on a weapons dealer threatening the world.

For those who like their action with a touch of humor, “G-Force” offers a spy adventure with 3-D special effects and guinea pigs in leading roles. It’s hard not to smile when furry heroes are chasing the bad guys.

Animation to come

For some families, summer isn’t summer without animated movies.

Pixar’s instantly popular “Up” got the summer season off to a soaring start, and more animated films are coming out soon.

“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” is the third animated movie following the adventures of Sid the sloth, Scrat the squirrel and friends. In this one, Sid finds a nest of dinosaur eggs while Scrat finds romance.

Also on tap for animation fans is “Ponyo,” an English-language version of the Japanese animÄ film “Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea.” It’s the story of a goldfish that wants to be human and features the voices of film stars Matt Damon and Tina Fey, plus Noah Cyrus, younger sister of Miley.

Kid Art

  • Fast action, flashy stunts and battles between good and evil appeal to summer movie audiences. What things appeal to you as summer entertainment? With classmates, talk about movies you would like to see, events you would like to attend or activities you would like to try. What appeals to you about each one? Do you like this type of entertainment at other times of year, or only in summer?
  • Moviemakers get ideas from all sorts of places, including comics and books. This year, two movies were inspired by toys: G.I. Joe and Transformers. Look through the ads of the newspaper to find a product or toy you could build a movie around. Brainstorm an idea for a plot and come up with a creative title for your movie.
  • Newspaper stories can provide ideas for movie plots. The movie “The Soloist,” for example, was inspired by a newspaper writer’s columns about a musician who was living on the street. Pick a story from today’s newspaper that could be turned into a movie. Write a short outline for the opening scene, based on what is in the story. Design a newspaper ad to make people want to see your movie.
  • Summer movies are a great way to practice math with big numbers. Look for news about ticket sales in the newspaper this week. If the average ticket price is $8 today, use a calculator to figure out how many tickets were sold for the top movie last weekend. Think up two other movie math problems to share with a classmate.