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Family-friendly movies for the holidays

“Hugo,” starring Asa Butterfield, is the story of an orphan living in France. (Jaap Buitendijk/GK Films)

T he weeks between Thanksgiving and the new year provide lots of opportunities to go to the movies, and this year is no different. Here’s a look at some films made for kids that might be worth an outing for the entire family.

“Happy Feet Two”

Rating: PG

Opening date: Last Friday.

What it’s about: This 3-D animated movie is a sequel to 2006’s “Happy Feet” and features the voices of some of your folks’ favorite actors (Robin Williams, Brad Pitt, Elijah Wood). Mumble the Penguin now has a son, Erik, who isn’t sure he wants to dance. A penguin who won’t dance in a movie called “Happy Feet Two”? That sounds like a real problem, but it’s only the beginning of trouble for Mumble and the other adorable penguin critters.

“Arthur Christmas”

Rating: PG

Opening date: Wednesday

What it’s about: PBS fans may be bummed that the Arthur of the title isn’t everybody’s favorite aardvark. Instead, he’s an elf in this animated movie who helps save Christmas when technology, of all things, fails Santa.


Rating: PG

Opening date: Wednesday

What it’s about: This movie is directed by Martin Scorsese (trust us, your parents will be very impressed if you say you want to go see it, because “it’s the first time Scorsese has done 3-D.”). But kids will love it because it’s based on Brian Selznick’s amazing Caldecott Medal-winning novel, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret.” Hugo is an orphan living in a train station in France in the 1930s who tries to uncover a mystery involving a robot invented by his late father. At the National Book Festival, Selznick said the 3-D in the movie “is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.”

“The Muppets”

Rating: PG

Opening date: Wednesday

What it’s about: Your parents will totally love you if you ask to go to this movie, because they really want to see it. Why? The Muppets remind your parents of their childhood. Miss Piggy, Kermit: What’s not to love?

“The Adventures of Tintin”

Rating: PG

Opening date: Dec. 21

What it’s about: This movie is based on a series of popular European comic books about Tintin, a young investigative reporter. Tintin goes on adventures and solves mysteries and is often accompanied by his dog, Snowy. This animated movie is the first time that famous director Steven Spielberg has done an animated movie. (That will impress your parents. too.)

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