The Best Kids Movies of Summer 2012

Photo Credit: Focus Features
August 14th, 2012

The Best Kids Movies of Summer 2012

-- It became apparent early in the year that 2012 would be the summer of sequels. As summer rolled around, parents and children were able to choose from a large number of family movie sequels for summer entertainment. Fortunately, there are some very good movies available for summer 2012, which should appeal to all ages, and even the sequels are long awaited installments that most kids will sit 90 minutes for. Here's a list of eight of the best summer movies to hit theaters in 2012.

"Ice Age 4: Continental Drift"
That rag-tag herd from the Stone Age is back with another installment in the "Ice Age" movie franchise. "Ice Age 4: Continental Drift" follows Manny, Ellie and their daughter Peaches along with Sid, Diego, Crash, Eddie and Sid's Granny as they try to outrun the shifting continents to get to safe ground. Along the way, Manny, his pals and Granny are set adrift. Meanwhile, Ellie and Peaches must get the rest of the animals to higher ground. Expect pirates, sirens, more mammoths and Granny's missing pet, Precious, in this exciting and hilarious movie for the whole family.

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days"
The next book in the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series is "Dog Days," a tale set in the hottest and sweatiest month of the year. The actors who play Greg and Rowley are a lot older than audiences probably expect, but the story is exactly what kids have found in the book series. The laughs, catastrophes and embarrassing situations will make this summer film a memorable for many years to come. Parents may even remember their awkward tween years around the public pool.

"Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure"
The only movie for the toddler audiences, "Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure" has the fun music, bright colors and loveable characters that little ones will love to watch on the big screen. Parents will recognize the faces of several Hollywood stars, including Toni Braxton, Cloris Leachman and Christopher Lloyd. Older children may find this film a bit too cheesy, so reserve this movie day for the kindergarten and younger crowd.

This is not your usual Disney Princess story. "Brave" follows the rambunctious antics of the wild, ginger-haired Princess Merida as she tries to convince her mother and the village that she is warrior material. When the Princess plunges the kingdom into trouble, it is a chance to prove her bravery. Both girls and boys will enjoy this action-packed tale.

"Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted"
Another favorite animated gang of friends return in "Madagascar 3" as their adventurous wandering leads the group to Europe and to the circus crowd. This time Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Gloria the hippo and Melman the giraffe are being pursued by the police! This family film has the laughs and action that parents and kids of all ages will enjoy.

"Para Norman"
From the makers of "Coraline," this animated film for older children and teens comes out at the end of summer. It follows Norman, a lonely kid who can see ghosts. The ability that made him an outcast at school is the only thing that can save the town. If the family liked "Corpse Bride" or "Coraline," then "ParaNorman" is a must-see.

"Finding Nemo 3D"
Parents, grandparents and kids can all enjoy a return to the deep sea as a father clownfish tries desperately to find his son Nemo. Helped by the haphazard Dorie, this task takes on an adventurous quality that makes "Finding Nemo" even better in 3D. Sit back with a pair of 3D glasses to revisit those surfer dude turtles, the not-so-vicious sharks and Nemo's new pals in the aquarium.

"The Odd Life of Timothy Green"
Bring the family together for a heartwarming story of a couple who desperately want a child. They end up planting a description of the child of their dreams in the garden. The next morning, Timothy arrives, covered in dirt and leaves. This child is exactly what they wanted, but the circumstances are too magical to be real. Watch as this family tries to figure out how to accept this gift when their greatest wish comes true unexpectedly.

From June through the beginning of September, there are plenty of great summer movies coming to theaters to satisfy the entire family. Although many of them are sequels, and one is a 3D version of an old classic, all of them are sure to provide enjoyment for the whole family.