Picks for kids: Catch one of these movies with your little ones this school holiday week

Imax 3D Documentaries (To The Arctic). -- PHOTO: SHAW ORGANISATION
Imax 3D Documentaries (To The Arctic). -- PHOTO: SHAW ORGANISATION
Pudsey. -- PHOTO: CATHAY-KERIS FILMS
Pudsey. -- PHOTO: CATHAY-KERIS FILMS
Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue. -- PHOTO: WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES, SINGAPORE
Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue. -- PHOTO: WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES, SINGAPORE
The Maze Runner. -- PHOTO: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX
The Maze Runner. -- PHOTO: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX
Earth to Echo. -- PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE
Earth to Echo. -- PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE
The Boxtrolls. -- PHOTO: UNIVERSAL PICTURES
The Boxtrolls. -- PHOTO: UNIVERSAL PICTURES

Running out of ideas for what to do this school holiday week? Catch one of these movies

THE BOXTROLLS

Directors: Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi

Stars: Voices of Ben Kingsley, Simon Pegg, Elle Fanning, Isaac Hempstead-Wright

What: Produced by animation studio Laika, which is known for its acclaimed stop-motion features Coraline (2009) and ParaNorman (2012), this is a stop-motion film based on Alan Snow's novel Here Be Monsters! (2006). At the centre of the story is orphan Eggs (Hempstead-Wright), who works to save his adoptive troll family from getting killed by pest exterminator Snatcher (Kingsley).

If this has even half the promise of its studio predecessors, it should prove to be a compelling story paired with arresting visuals.

When: Opens tomorrow

Watch this if you like: ParaNorman (2012), Corpse Bride (2005)


EARTH TO ECHO

Director: David Green

Stars: Teo Halm, Brian “Astro” Bradley, Reese Hartwig

What: A group of boys stumble upon a stranded alien robot in the desert, which they befriend and name Echo. The government gets word of an alien spaceship in the area and sets out to find and take down Echo, much to the horror of the boys. Shot in found footage format, this feels like Steven Spielberg’s E.T The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) updated for children of the 21st century, what with all its references to smartphones and apps.

When: Now showing

Watch this if you like: E.T The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Aliens In The Attic (2009)


THE MAZE RUNNER

Director: Wes Ball

Stars: Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter

What: Based on James Dashner’s 2009 book of the same name, this is the latest to join the popular slate of movies adapted from best-selling young adult dystopian novels. Here, a group of young men wake up trapped in a massive and dangerous maze, with no memory of how and why they got there. Using clues from the labyrinth, they hope to uncover what is going on and find a way out. Going by the immense success of other movies in the same genre – think The Hunger Games (2012) and Divergent (2014) – this looks set to be a massive teenage hit.

When: Opens tomorrow

Watch this if you like: The Hunger Games (2012), Divergent (2014)


DISNEY’S PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE

Director: Roberts Gannaway

Stars: Voices of Dane Cook, Ed Harris and Teri Hatcher

What: This animation is a direct follow-up to Disney’s Planes (2013), about Dusty (Dane Cook) the cropduster plane, who has a talent for air racing in the big leagues. But in this sequel, he can no longer race due to a damaged gear box, so he goes into aerial firefighting instead. The film is targeted at the younger set of 12 years and under. Parents, be prepared for your children to start begging you for Planes merchandise.

When: Now showing

Watch this if you like: Disney’s Planes (2013), Cars (2006)


PUDSEY

Director: Nick Moore

Stars: Pudsey the dog, David Walliams, Jessica Hynes, John Sessions

What: Simon Cowell sure works fast in cashing in on others’ success. After Pudsey (a border collie, bichon frise and Chinese crested powderpuff mix) won reality TV show Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 with his cutesy ability to stand on its hind legs and twirl, Cowell went and produced this, a comedy flick featuring Pudsey as a heroic dog who saves human children from bullies. Reviews have not been kind since it premiered in Britain in July, but the pooch may be cute enough to draw viewers.

When: Now showing

Watch this if you like: Beethoven (1992), Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008)


IMAX 3D DOCUMENTARIES

What: For something educational, check out this series of five Imax 3D nature and science documentaries, which takes viewers on breathtaking journeys from the oceans to outer space. Each film is narrated by a Hollywood celebrity. To The Arctic, for example, which follows a polar bear and her twin cubs, is narrated by Oscar-winner Meryl Streep, while Under The Sea, which showcases some of the most colourful ocean life, is narrated by actor Jim Carrey. You can be sure that the films are educational, moving and beautifully shot. Go to www.shaw.sg/imax for details.

When: Now showing at Shaw Theatres Imax

Watch this if you like: March Of The Penguins (2005), The Blue Planet (2001), Planet Earth (2006)