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The Parents' Guide to Kids' Movies

Courtesy Disney-Pixar

Once you add up the cost of tickets, popcorn, drinks, and a couple boxes of Mike & Ikes, it feels like your family could have financed the movie yourselves. If you’re going to submit to a few kid-friendly flicks this summer, pick ones that match your own tastes.

You like: Lord of the Rings, Beyoncé

We suggest: Epic, May 24. This animated flick has plenty to offer if you’re a fan of big battles between good and evil. If you enjoyed watching Sasha Fierce steal the show at this year’s Super Bowl, don’t miss her as Queen Tara.


You like: Legally Blonde, Old School

We suggest: Monsters University, June 21. Furry nightmare purveyors James P. Sullivan and Mike Wazowski are back. This time around, we witness their crazy college days, before they got their B.A.’s in totally freaking out children.


You like: Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show

We suggest: Despicable Me 2, July 3. The kids will guffaw over the minions, who were so wildly popular they got their own straight-to-DVD spin-off. Grown-ups will dig the stacked cast: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Russell Brand.


You like: The comedy of Dane Cook, Woody Allen flicks

We suggest: Planes, August 9. This was set to be a direct-to-video flick, but Disney and Pixar bigwig John Lasseter reportedly loved it so much he pushed for a theatrical release. Cook voices Dusty, a plane with the perfect neurosis: He’s afraid of heights.  


You like: Ryan Reynolds, the adult-friendly humor of Madagascar

We suggest: Turbo, July 19. First, the bad news: Reynolds keeps his shirt on. Even worse news: He’s a snail. The onetime “Sexiest Man Alive” voices Theo, a speedy gastropod trying to win the Indianapolis 500 in this feel-good comedy.


You like: How I Met Your Mother, Keeping Up With the Kardashians

We suggest: The Smurfs 2, July 31. We heart Neil Patrick Harris, but the real draw is the blue creatures that inspire as much drama as our fave reality-show family. Up next: Vanity Smurf and Smurfette Take Miami.