Chocolate dream ‘Wonka’ leads December’s new cinema releases

01 Dec 2023 in New Releases

5 mins

As we reach the end of the year and the cold settles in, cinemas offer a cosy haven to get lost in marvellous spectacles and broaden one's horizons. The new releases this month sure to capture young people's imagination include the magical backstory of Roald Dahl's eccentric chocolatier, a heroic buddy movie from the makers of Toy Story, the return of the Ghostbusters and Taika Waititi's new football comedy. Not to mention a subversive French-language romantic drama set in a young men's correctional facility, an illuminating documentary on being intersex and the latest fantastical anime feature from Studio Ghibli.

Wonka (PG) - in cinemas 8 December

From the makers of Paddington and based on Roald Dahl's timeless characters as seen in the adaptations Willy Wonka and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (available to watch on Into Film+) comes the origin story of the eccentric inventor, magician, and chocolate-maker. The young Wonka dreams of setting up a chocolate shop but finds himself up against the town's powerful Chocolate cartel. With the help of a young orphan named Noodle and Lofty the Oompa-Loompa, Wonka is determined to change the world. This meltingly delicious, musically infused, magical spectacle is true seasonal treat.

Find new classroom inspiration with Wonka: Pure Imagination! To mark the release of Wonka we've collaborated with Warner Bros. Pictures to create a free learning sequence to excite and engage young minds. Register and download the resource here

The Inseparables (U) - in cinemas 8 December

Don Quixote meets Toy Story in this epic animated adventure. Don is a small wooden puppet who, despite being a bit clumsy, can conjure up vivid and exciting fantasy quests. Keen for heroic adventure, he leaves the safety of his puppet theatre to cross the vast and treacherous plains of New York's Central Park. Along the way he pairs up with DJ Doggy Dog, an abandoned stuffed toy who can spit rhymes but still needs to find his own voice. This sweet buddy movie is a celebration of friendship, bravery, and the power of imagination.

The Inseparables © nWave Pictures SRL - OCTOPOLIS SAS - A Contacorriente

The Lost Boys (12A) - in cinemas 15 December

This French-language film sensitively explores a young person's search for freedom, touching on themes of oppression, sexuality, and race. Joe is about to turn eighteen and begin his adult life, away from the youth correctional facility that has housed him for several years. He longs for independence, and often escapes from the facility to simply explore the outside world. When the quiet, tattooed, and troubled William arrives at the facility, an instant attraction sparks between them. Joe must navigate this newfound passion for another human being whilst also attempting to stay out of trouble in a world full of prejudice and injustice. 

Every Body (12) - in cinemas 15 December

The term intersex refers to any variations in a person's sex characteristics that don't fit typical binary notions of biologically male and female bodies. It is the I in LGBTQIA+ and part of nature, yet it is not widely discussed or understood. People born with these variations, even if there's no medical evidence to suggest that surgery is necessary for their health, have been regarded by society as bodies that need to be ‘corrected', as early as possible, resulting in secrecy and shame overriding consent and authenticity. This educational and highly accessible documentary follows three individuals who talk candidly about their experiences, and who are advocating for increased understanding of the intersex community and the recognition of bodily autonomy.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire - in cinemas 22 December

The Ghostbusters franchise is taken to chilling new dimension in this action-packed blockbuster with a strong climate change message. Ghost-catching progenies Callie and her two teenagers, tech-savvy Trevor and scientist-in-the-making Phoebe, have moved back to New York to join forces with the original Ghostbusters. They're developing a top-secret research lab when a mysterious artifact accidentally unleashes a powerful winter spirit that takes over the city. In a race against time, Ghostbusters new and old must pull out all the stops to prevent the terrifying Death Chill and save the world from a second Ice Age. Putting extreme weather at the heart of supernatural thrills, the film offers young audiences though-provoking considerations about issues concerning the environment.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire © SONY ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Next Goal Wins (12A) - in cinemas 26 December

Feel-good underdog films are one of Taika Waititi's specialities (Jojo Rabbit, Hunt for the Wilderpeople), and this new heart-warming comedy, based on a true story that also inspired a documentary (available to watch on Into Film+), takes triumph over adversity to a whole next level. Following their spectacular 31-0 loss against Australia, the American Samoa football team doesn't know which way to turn. Luckily for them, nor does the unorthodox Dutch coach Thomas Rongen, who has been unceremoniously booted out of his club and strong-armed into transforming the ‘world's worst football team' into a competitive and confident set of players. But the coach and islanders' transformative journey turns out to be one of empathy and human spirit, in this hilarious and uplifting celebration of diversity and the universal power of sport. 

The Boy and the Heron (12A) - in cinemas 29 December

The latest Studio Ghibli film gives breath-taking colour and shape to the philosophical storytelling of one of the studio's legendary animators, Hayao Miyazaki (The Wind RisesPrincess Mononoke). Set in 1943 Japan, this fantastical tale follows Mahito, a 12-year-old boy whose mother is tragically killed in a Tokyo fire. His father remarries and they try to make a fresh start in the countryside, but Mahito still has nightmares of his mother's death. Until, through an encounter with a mysterious talking heron, the boy is seized by a spark of hope and is guided by the bird to an abandoned tower that acts as a portal to another, potentially dangerous, world. Relatable themes including grief and trauma merge with more surreal elements, building to a beautifully cosmic conclusion.

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