by Jessica Toomer
As summer winds down, so do the offerings at the box office, giving us just enough time to catch up on the movies we may have missed. From superhero blockbusters to family-friendly inspirational dramas, here are the five inspirational films to catch before the summer officially ends.
This year marked the 50th anniversary of the premiere of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, so it’s only fitting that a documentary about Fred Rogers’ life and legacy hit theaters this summer. Won’t You Be My Neighbor is a poignant reminder of a TV icon who changed the world for so many young children, but it’s also an intimate look at the man behind the character: a father, a husband, a minister, and a truly inspiring person. Guideposts.org chatted with a good friend of Fred Rogers’, Reverend George Wirth, who gave us some insight into the making of the documentary and why he thinks it’s the perfect family film for the summer.
Speaking of family films, Pixar made animated superhero fans everywhere happy when they announced the box office hit, The Incredibles, would be getting a sequel this summer. It’s hard to top the original film, a movie that explore the bonds of a family with special powers, but the follow-up proved a fun, immersive, and refreshingly modern ride. This time around, the fun is in watching Mr. Incredible try to become a stay-at-home dad while his wife, Elastigirl is tasked with providing good publicity for the Supers of the world, who’ve earned a bad reputation after a few disastrous rescue missions. At the end of the day, it’s up to the kids to once again save their parents, and to this loveably dysfunctional family to save the world.
Another sequel, this one takes place ten years after the original Mamma Mia film starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried landed in theaters. Seyfried is back to reprise her role as Sophie, a young woman trying to honor her mother’s legacy and continue her dream of opening a hotel on the island. Meanwhile, Lily James comes onboard playing a younger version of Streep’s Donna, exploring the origins of the characters, her love life, and her relationship with her daughter through musical flashbacks. The film is a moving tribute to the unbreakable bond between mother and child. With some colorful renditions of classic ABBA hits, you can’t help but have fun watching it.
Our favorite absent-minded, honey-loving bear is back in Disney’s live-action Winnie the Pooh remake Christopher Robin. Despite promising his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood that he’d never forget them, a grown-up Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) does just that, becoming a businessman with no time for his family. After Pooh comes knocking on his door looking for a way back to the Hundred Acre Wood, Christopher Robin sets out on an adventure that ultimately brings out his inner-child and reminds him of the important things in life. It’s a sweet look at growing up, growing older, and still hanging onto your imagination.
If you’ve seen films like Love, Actually and Valentine’s Day, you already know the format of this barkingly-fun comedy. Dog Days is a series of vignettes with stories and characters intertwining, thanks to some loveable and adorable pups. Eva Longoria stars as an adoptive mother at her wits end, Vanessa Hudgens is a local barista looking for love, and This Is Us star Ron Cephas Jones is an elderly man looking for his beloved four-legged friend who’s gone missing. There are more familiar faces in this one, and plenty of animals to coo over, plus the movie has a ton of heart and a worthy message attached.
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