Autumn Tale

What Movies Look Like This Fall

<i> Monsters, Inc. </i>
Monsters, Inc.

Child's Play

Kid flicks are notoriously hard to pull off; for every Spy Kids there's a handful of preteen time bombs like Curly Sue or Air Bud. This season, however, comes with a full four films aimed at the coveted kidhood demographic, including the bound-to-delight (we hope) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, helmed by John Hughes protégé Chris Columbus, adapted from J.K. Rowling's novel by Steve Kloves (who also adapted Wonder Boys), and starring the spot-on Daniel Radcliffe as the titular wizard-in-training. If nothing else, crotchety Irish thesp Richard "Horse" Harris as Headmaster Dumbledore and Alan Rickman as bad-vibey Snape look downright excellent. (Nov. 16)... The Disney-Pixar animated co-production of Monsters, Inc. looks likely to take a bite out of DreamWorks' summer-of-Shrek, with the voices of Billy Crystal, John Goodman, and Steve Buscemi as friendly monsters out to save the world. (Nov. 2)... I saw a trailer for Nickelodeon's Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius almost a year ago and have been waiting for this computer-animated, thoroughly wacky tale of a pint-sized Einstein to arrive in theatres ever since. Nickelodeon has a sterling track record with this kind of smart, funny, kid-friendly fare that nevertheless seems to rock the parents as much as their offspring. (Dec. 21)... Finally, Disney offers up Max Keeble's Big Move, directed by Tim Hill (Muppets in Space, Rocko's Modern Life). Alex D. Linz (One Fine Day) is the perpetual playground victim Max, who, believing his parents are moving to another city, decides to pull a fast one on the school bullies, and then finds out -- zoinks! -- he's not moving after all. Hilarity ensues, presumably. (Oct. 5)

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