Family movies in 2021: your complete list

We're hoping to welcome you back to Cineworld in 2021. And on that note, we've undertaken a little blog round-up of all the family movies headed your way next year.

So, get that movie planner out, read our list and note down all the essential information about 2021 family movies. (Release dates are correct at the time of publication, as per the Film Distributors' Association.) Also don't forget to check out our list of 2021 comic book movies, 2021 action movies and 2021 horror movies.


1. Raya and the Last Dragon

  • Release date 5th March 2021
  • Directed by Don Hall, Carlos Lopez Estrada
  • Starring Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina

Walt Disney Animation Studios presents a completely original story in the form of Raya and the Last Dragon. Big Hero 6 director Don Hall collaborates with Disney newcomer Carlos Lopez Estrada for a mystical and eye-widening journey into the land of Kumandra. There, the union between humans and dragons has fallen apart, prompting brave warrior Raya to seek out the firebreathing Sisu. Promising to combine gorgeous visuals with authentic A-list voice cast (Star Wars' Kelly Marie Tran, voicing Raya, joins Crazy Rich Asians' Awkwafina as Sisu), this could become a new dragon classic. That said, our money is on Raya's sidekick Tuk-Tuk stealing the show.


2. The Boss Baby: Family Business

  • Release date 26th March 2021
  • Directed by Tom McGrath
  • Starring Alec Baldwin, James Marsden, Jeff Goldblum

Toy Story imagined what your prized toys get up to behind closed doors. DreamWorks' The Boss Baby reimagined adorable toddlers as sharp-suited, tough-talking brand ambassadors for the world of infants. Released in 2017, The Boss Baby became a mega box office hit, unleashing the voice of Alec Baldwin as pint-sized Ted, a corporate CEO who recognised the rivalry between puppies and babies. In 2021, Ted returns to confront his greatest nemesis: villainous Dr. Armstrong (Jurassic Park's Jeff Goldblum), the mysterious founder of Ted's sister Tabitha's new school.



3. Cruella

  • Release date 26th May 2021
  • Directed by Craig Gillespie
  • Starring Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Mark Strong

Oscar-winning star of La La Land Emma Stone dons the furs in this prequel/origin story to Disney classic One Hundred and One Dalmatians. Stone brings us the iconic Cruella De Vi in her pre-fashionista days, showing how the young fashion designer fell under the influence of The Baroness (Emma Thompson). Million Dollar Arm and I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie fills in the blanks as to this classic Disney antagonist with the excellent supporting cast including Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser as the bumbling Horace and Jasper. There's also a credited role for Emily Beecham as Anita, so we wonder how closely this will tie in with the events of the original animated movie?


4. Ghostbusters: Afterlife

  • Release date 11th June 2021
  • Directed by Jason Reitman
  • Starring Finn Wolfhard, Paul Rudd, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd 

The legacy of 1984 comedy blockbuster Ghostbusters hangs over this spooktacular sequel – in more ways than one. Behind the camera, Jason Reitman (helmer of the acclaimed Juno) steps into the shoes of his father Ivan, bringing us the story of some new ghostbusting incumbents. This time they're a group of kids, headed by Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard, and it turns out they've got an important link to New York's finest paranormal investigators. Nostalgics rejoice: most of the original gang, including Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts and Ernie Hudson, are returning, while Paul Rudd plays a schoolteacher with acute knowledge of what went down in 1984.


5. Luca

  • Release date 18th June 2021
  • Directed by Enrico Casarosa
  • Starring TBC

Disney-Pixar whisk us to the sun-dappled Italian riviera for this emotive coming of age drama. Director Enrico Casarosa draws on his own life experiences to bring us the story of Luca, "one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides". The twist is Luca's new best friend is a sea monster in human form. Sounds like we're in for another quintessential Pixar blend of awe-inspiring beauty and tearjerking pathos. Casarosa describes it as a "deeply personal" story and we can't wait to see the end result.


6. Minions: The Rise of Gru

  • Release date 2nd July 2021
  • Directed by Kyle Balda
  • Starring Steve Carell, Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh

He's attempted to steal the moon and he's fought his own twisted twin brother. But where did fiendish yet loveable supervillain Gru actually come from? We finally get the answers in the follow-up to 2015 smash-hit Minions. That movie was spun off from the blockbusting Despicable Me franchise, and now the threads are going to be drawn together, to no doubt hilarious effect. While we get more language-mangling slapstick from the minions themselves, Gru's (Steve Carell) backstory clicks into place in another surefire hit from animators Illumination. This time, Gru must battle The Vicious 6, a baddie's collective headed by Taraji P. Henson's Belle Bottom, with further star voices coming from Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren and Lucy Lawless.


7. Space Jam: A New Legacy

  • Release date 16th July 2021
  • Directed by Malcolm D. Lee
  • Starring LeBron James, Don Cheadle

If you're old enough, cast your mind back to 1996 and the first Space Jam movie. This animated/live-action hybrid was the unlikely meeting point between the Looney Tunes and basketball sensation Michael Jordan, and it proved a hit at the box office. With Jordan now off the court, the 21st-century equivalent, LeBron James, steps up to spar with the likes of Bugs Bunny in a new Space Jam adventure. Black Panther's Ryan Coogler has co-written the script and Girls Trip's Malcolm D. Lee is directing. Let the games begin! (Again.)


8. Jungle Cruise

  • Release date 30th July 2021
  • Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
  • Starring Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Jack Whitehall

We love Dwayne Johnson. We love Emily Blunt. Therefore the prospect of them starring together in a river-going adventure makes us ever so slightly giddy. Disney's theme park attraction is the basis for this chalk and cheese quest, in which Johnson's no-nonsense riverboat captain pairs with Blunt's tenacious scientist to discover the tree of life. Non-Stop director Jaume Collet-Serra marshals the action, and clearly loved working with Johnson so much that he's now collaborating on DC's Black Adam movie. Johnson returns to Disney following his vocal role as Maui in Moana. Blunt, meanwhile, is a dab hand with the old Disney whimsy, having played Mary Poppins in 2018 hit Mary Poppins Returns. We think the omens are good for this one.

9. In the Heights

  • Release date 30th July 2021
  • Directed by Jon M. Chu
  • Starring Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace

Lin-Manuel Miranda's stage musical sensation (no, not that one) gets a vibrant big screen adaptation courtesy of Crazy Rich Asians' Jon M. Chu. The foot-tapping story revolves around charismatic Washington Heights bodega owner Usnavi de la Vega (Hamilton's Anthony Ramos) who dreams of escaping his humdrum environment and giving his family a better life. The talented young cast also includes Straight Outta Compton's Corey Hawkins, singer-songwriter Leslie Grace and Mexican music sensation Melissa Barrera. Could this further consolidate Miranda as the EGOT (Emma, Golden Globe, Oscar and Tony award winner) of our times?

10. West Side Story

  • Release date 10th December 2021
  • Directed by Steven Spielberg
  • Starring Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Rita Moreno

Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein's rousing Broadway musical West Side Story inspired the 1961 movie of the same name. Directed by Robert Wise, it became an Oscar-garlanded success, winning 10 out of its 11 nominations. So the pressure is on director Steven Spielberg to recalibrate this classic story for a 21st-century audience. As before, it's a foot-tapping twist on the classic Romeo and Juliet story, with the battle between rival New York gangs the Jets and the Sharks acting as a backdrop to a story of forbidden love. Baby Driver's Ansel Elgort is our new Tony and original star Rita Moreno will also be appearing.


11. Clifford the Big Red Dog

  • Release date December 2021
  • Directed by Walt Becker
  • Starring Darby Camp, Jack Whitehall, John Cleese

Author Norman Bridwell's popular children's book series about an oversized red labrador now bounds onto the big screen. The endearing Clifford's heart matches his immense size, and he soon forms a bond with a lonely young girl.



Which family movie in 2021 are you most excited about? Let us know @Cineworld.