Gloria the hippo, Alex the lion, Melman the giraffe and Marty the zebra are back for another round of “Madagascar,” this time joining the circus in Europe. (DREAMWORKS ANIMATION)

With all the time off you’ll have this summer, chances are good that you’ll head to the movies with friends or family at least once or twice. There are lots of movies with a PG-13 rating that are meant for older kids, but just because you can’t see “The Avengers” or “Dark Knight Rises” doesn’t mean there aren’t some great movies that you’ll want to catch this summer. So here, adapted from the Weekend section and the Going Out Guide’s Summer Movie Preview, are some particularly kid-friendly offerings.

“Madagascar 3:

Europe’s Most Wanted”

Rating: PG

In “ParaNorman,” Norman has some close brushes with zombies. (LAIKA)

When does it open? June 8

What’s it about? The lovable gang including Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo are STILL trying to get back to their home in the Central Park Zoo. This time, they wind up in Europe, where they join a traveling circus.


Rating: Not yet rated

When does it open? June 22

What’s it about? This movie from Pixar (the studio behind “Toy Story,” “The Incredibles” and others) tells the story of a strong-willed princess who rejects her parents’ effort to marry her off. Her strong-willed ways bring a curse upon her kingdom. This movie is getting a lot of attention because it’s the first time a Pixar movie has had a girl as a hero (although we think Jessie from “Toy Story 2” and “Toy Story 3” was quite the hero).

“Ice Age: Continental Drift”

Rating: Not yet rated

When does it open? July 13

What’s it about? This is the fourth movie in the “Ice Age” series, and this one is in
3-D. When their continent breaks off from other land, Manny, Diego and Sid set sail on an iceberg and wind up on an ad­ven­ture where they meet pirates. We’re pretty sure that mastodons and pirates never actually lived at the same time, but it’s just a movie, right?

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days”

Rating: PG

When does it open? August 3

What’s it about? This is the third movie based on the hugely popular books by Maryland-born author Jeff Kinney. Of course, the books are better (that’s the official KidsPost position on all movies made from books), but the first movies were pretty fun.


Rating: Not yet rated

When does it open? August 17

What’s it about? Okay, we have to confess that the trailer for this looks a little creepy. Which isn’t so surprising when you realize that it’s a story about Norman, who sees dead people. Actually, given that this is a kids’ zombie movie, that will probably come in handy.

— Tracy Grant