2023 family movies: from Puss in Boots to Ghostbusters

Mapping out your movie calendar for 2023? Allow us to step in and do the job for you.

As we build towards the new year, here's your essential round-up of next year's family movie releases.


1. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

  • Starring Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Olivia Colman, Florence Pugh
  • Released February 3rd

The pitch Who can resist another helping of those adorable kitten eyes? Antonio Banderas' swashbuckling Puss (imagine Zorro with furballs) is back some 11 and a bit years after the first Puss in Boots movie, itself a spin-off from the blockbusting Shrek franchise.

In the sequel, Puss is once again accompanied by claw-some associate Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) as he sets out to restore eight out of his nine lives. Starry new additions to the series include The Favourite's Olivia Colman and Don't Worry Darling's Florence Pugh.

2. Super Mario Bros

  • Starring Chris Pratt, Jack Black, Anya Taylor-Joy, Keegan-Michael Key
  • Released March 31st

The pitch Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt is the voice of Nintendo icon Super Mario in this animated adaptation. Thrown into the Mushroom Kingdom and pitted against the behemoth Bowser (Jack Black), Mario must work with the likes of Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy) to help save the day.

3. The Little Mermaid

  • Starring Halle Bailey, Melissa McCarthy, Javier Bardem, Jacob Tremblay, Daveed Diggs
  • Released May 26

The pitch Disney's spate of live-action remakes continues as they alight on one of their most treasured properties. Released in 1989, The Little Mermaid rejuvenated Disney's fortunes and kickstarted the 'Disney Renaissance', fuelled by lush animation and the Broadway-aping show tunes of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman.

Menken returns to score the soundtrack for the live-action remake, which uses cutting-edge CGI to plunge us into mermaid Ariel's extraordinary underwater world. Star-in-the-making Halee Bailey portrays the aspirational Ariel, the mermaid who desires to walk on land with the humans, while Melissa McCarthy portrays the vicious sea witch Ursula who grants Ariel her wish.

Behind the camera: Rob Marshall who has spun Disney gold with the likes of Mary Poppins Returns.

4. Elemental

  • Starring Mamoudou Athie, Leah Lewis
  • Released June 6

The pitch Disney-Pixar's latest forges a friendship between two unlikely elements – literally. The Toy Story geniuses are back with another typically imaginative conceit, which is set in a landscape where air, water, earth and fire are literalized and depicted as living together in relative harmony.

Jurassic World: Dominion's Mamoudou Athie voices a happy-go-lucky water dude who bonds with a distinctly fiery woman. The Good Dinosaur's Peter Sohn is directing.

5. Barbie

  • Starring Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Emma Mackey, Will Ferrell, Simu Liu
  • Released July 21

Since the dawn of time, kids have played with dolls. However, the arrival of uber-stylish Barbie changed everything. Can we expect the same from the Mattel icon's live-action movie debut?

The ubiquitous Margot Robbie has a glint in her eye in the title role and we can't wait to see Ryan Gosling get to grips with the role of the knuckle-headed Ken. Little Women's Greta Gerwig directs, working from a script co-written by her partner Noah Baumbach.

6. Haunted Mansion

  • Starring Jared Leto, Owen Wilson, Tiffany Haddish, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lakeith Stanfield
  • Released August 11

The pitch Disneyland attraction the Haunted Mansion gets its second live-action treatment following the 2003 movie that starred Eddie Murphy. This new version was initially spearheaded by Guillermo del Toro and later rewritten by Parks and Recreation's Katie Dippold.

The all-star cast includes House of Gucci's Jared Leto and Marley and Me's Owen Wilson. No doubt we're in for an enjoyably spooky ride that will thrill audiences of all ages.


7. Trolls 3

  • Starring Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick
  • Released October 20

The pitch The first two Trolls movies cooked up a storm with their colourful animation, chart-topping songs and easy-going chemistry between stars Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick. The two actors are back for the third helping of Trolls mayhem, another adventure centering around their characters Poppy and Branch.


8. Wish

  • Starring Ariana DeBose, Alan Tudyk
  • Released November 24

The pitch Walt Disney Animation Studios has long urged us to wish upon a star. Now, said star, a mainstay in the Disney canon since animated classic Pinocchio, becomes a leading character in its own right. 

The new movie from Frozen screenwriter Jennifer Lee follows Princess Asha (West Side Story Oscar winner Ariana DeBose) and her goat Valentino (Alan Tudyk) from the Kingdom of Rosas as she meets a literal star and goes through an epic adventure among the stars through the various worlds to help save her people.


9. Wonka

  • Starring Timothée Chalamet, Rowan Atkinson, Sally Hawkins, Olivia Colman
  • Released December 15

The pitch Prepare to return to a world of pure imagination. Dune star Timothée Chalamet voices the younger iteration of classic Roald Dahl creation Willy Wonka in this big-budget origin story.

Director Paul King spun cinema gold from Michael Bond's Paddington stories, delivering two of the best family movies of recent times. Can he work his magic again? The good news is King reunites with Paddington 2 writer Simon Farnaby and the cast is stuffed with much-loved Brit faces. We've got high hopes for this one.


10. Ghostbusters: Afterlife sequel

  • Starring TBC
  • Released December 20

The pitch Released in 2021, Ghostbusters: Afterlife handing the ghostbusting baton to a scrappy band of tenacious youngsters. The movie's blend of gentle nostalgia and visual throwbacks yielded a warm audience response, and now the writer of Afterlife, Gil Kenan, is back to helm the sequel. (That movie's director Jason Reitman will be on-board in an executive capacity.)

Script and casting details are thin on the ground at the time of writing. In keeping with Afterlife's closing moments, it's expected that the story will return us to the classic New York firehouse where the Ghostbusters legend first took hold. More details as we get them.


Which of these family movies will you be watching at Cineworld? Don't forget that with a Cineworld Family Ticket, adults pay kids' prices, which means you can be more childish together. (Valid for groups of four people with up to two paying adults.)