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Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

The top summer movies to see while not thinking about school

Graphic by James R Prizant
This summer, an interesting and well-received list of animated kids movies will be released, leaving plenty of entertainment between school years

It’s time for students and staff to think about some fun things to do over summer now that the school year is almost over. Fortunately for Niles North and its feeder schools, there are some great animated, PG movies to see once the end of May rears its sunny head.

For a movie already in theaters, IF, released on May 17, seems like a good and interesting start. Though not entirely animated, this film still shows some promise for its interesting premise. Directed by John Krasinski, the movie follows a little girl (Cailey Fleming) who discovers she can see everybody’s imaginary friends, or “IFs” for short. So, she travels with these IFs, along with an adult friend named Cal (Ryan Renolds), to bring these creatures back to the children who imagined them. One of the most enticing features of this movie appears to be its cast, with IFs being voiced by actors like Matt Damon, Amy Schumer, John Krasinski, Bradley Cooper, Maya Rudolph, Keegan-Michael Key, and even Steven Carrell. Carrell will be voicing the main IF, a giant furry purple monster named (ironically) Blue. Though an odd movie to be sure, its choice of actors and unfiltered freedom with character design could make this an interesting watch.

The Garfield Movie, one of the most popular movies of this upcoming summer, will be released on May 24, just after finals end. Featuring Chris Pratt, Samuel L. Jackson, and a cameo from Snoop Dog, this movie follows an old comic book favorite: Garfield (Chris Pratt). The movie will feature scenes of how Garfield met his loving owner, Jon Arbuckle (Breckin Meyer), and how Garfield acts around him. However, the movie will focus more on Garfield meeting his long-lost father Vic (Samuel L. Jackson), a scruffy street cat. After reuniting with his son, Vic takes Garfield, along with his canine housemate Odie (Harvey Guillén), on a risky adventure, in stark contrast to Garfield’s lethargic lifestyle as an indoor cat. Considering the film’s polished animation and its visual authenticity to the source material, the movie-going world may be in for another animated Mario or 2015 Peanuts movie kind of experience.

Another very promising film this summer could be Inside Out 2, releasing June 14, the sequel to the well received Inside Out (2015); the original has a 98% Tomatometer (review score) and an 89% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes, along with an 8.1/10 on IMDb. In this sequel, heroine Riley Andersen (Kaitlyn Dias) is a teenager, and has to deal with four new characterized emotions: Anxiety (Maya Hawke), Envy (Ayo Edebiri), Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser) and Ennui (Adele Exarchopoulos), the last one being another word for boredom. These new characters appear to be more physically stylized with designs that fit their respective emotions: Embarrassment is noticeably huge and hides in a hoodie, Anxiety has a similar big-eyed design to Fear, Envy is green (fittingly) and very small, and Ennui is dark and slouchy. Though not confirmed in the trailers, the franchise’s Fandom Wiki page also confirms the introduction of a fifth new emotion, Nostalgia (June Squibb), stylized as a gray old lady, replacing Shame as the new emotion. The reviews of this movie will most likely largely hinge on the film’s representation of teenagers and the emotions they experience . Unfortunately, many people behind the scenes, including Inside Out’s director, producer, and part of the voice cast, will not be returning for the sequel. Now, movie goers wait to see how well this new group will do, how well they may live up to the critical acclaim of the original movie from almost a decade ago.

Inside Out 2 is the best of the crop… because the first concept was just brilliant; that idea of personifying emotions is so rich. You have a kids movie and it went to a very, very, very deep, dark, emotional place. I’m so glad they did a second one. I’m sure it’s going to be funny, creative, gut wrenching, and really, really good. [The other movies] will be fun, they’ll be perfect for something to do in the summer, [but] they don’t have the same depth that Inside Out does.”

— Cindy Fey, English teacher, Paraprofessional

Lastly, one movie to look forward to is Despicable Me 4, releasing on July 3. The ever-popular and divisive franchise introduces this movie with the fact that the main couple, Gru (Steve Carrell) and Lucy (Kristen Wiig), have a baby son. Gru Jr. (Tara Strong), who is meant to be a major character through his tormentation of Gru. The movie’s plot is simple and very similar to its preceding movies: Gru and Lucy, still working for the Anti-Villain League, have to stop another villain from causing chaos and destruction, this time an escaped convict called Maxime Le Mal (Will Ferrell). If the film creators continue to do what they do best, debatably the characterization of new villains, and stray away from low-brow toilet humor, then this new installment could too see some mass positive feedback as well.

With all of these movies to see over the summer, along with upcoming live action films like Deadpool & Wolverine, Bad Boys 4, and A Quiet Place: Day One, it appears there’s plenty of entertainment to be seen and had before the next Aug. 10.



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About the Contributor
James R Prizant
James R Prizant, Asst. People Editor
James "Jimmy" Ryan Prizant is a junior at Niles North. In his free time he enjoys bowling, scrolling and chatting through socials, and listening to '80s music on Spotify. He one day hopes to have a job relating to mental health, writing, or bowling.

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