The best family films to watch this autumn

The best family films to watch this autumn

Charlie Brown and Snoopy: The Peanuts Movie (21 Dec)

Top kid-friendly cinema fare coming your way this autumn, from Snoopy to Star Wars

This autumn offers a variety of treats when it comes to family films.

First up is feel-good sports drama McFarland (25 Sep). Based on a true story, it stars Kevin Costner (making a welcome return to sports movies) as a former football coach who moves to the impoverished town of McFarland, California and attempts to turn a group of no-hopers into one of the country's best cross-country running teams.

If it's fantasy escapism you're after, look no further than Pan, directed by Joe Wright. Essentially a prequel to JM Barrie's classic children's tale Peter Pan, it tells the story of an orphan boy (Levi Miller) who's spirited away to Neverland where he joins forces with adventurer James Hook (Garrett Hedlund) and colourful warrior Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) in order to defeat the sinister pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman).

Animation fans are also in for a treat this autumn. Spooky comedy Hotel Transylvania 2 (16 Oct) sees Dracula (Adam Sandler) and his monster friends (including Kevin James as Frankenstein and Steve Buscemi as Wayne the Wolfman) trying to bring out the monster in his half-human, half-vampire grandson, so that his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) won't leave the horror hotel.

And Asterix and Obelix: The Mansions of the Gods (23 Oct) is a CGI animated adventure based on the popular French comic book series by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, in which Roman emperor Caesar attempts to absorb the rebellious Gaulish village by tearing down the surrounding forest and erecting a giant housing estate. Needless to say, plucky warrior Asterix and his best friend Obelix fight back, aided by the druid Getafix and his magic potion.

If live action is more your thing, check out charming Australian drama Paper Planes, in which a young boy (rising star Ed Oxenbould) decides to enter the world junior paper planes championship, hoping that the competition will snap his widowed father (Sam Worthington) out of his depression.

Young adults are also well catered for in the autumn season, with the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part Two (20 Nov), which sees Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) turning revolutionary and attempting to take down President Snow (Donald Sutherland). This is the concluding half of the final book in the Hunger Games series.

If you prefer your fantasy a little less Earth-bound, there's always Star Wars: The Force Awakens (17 Dec), JJ Abrams' eagerly-awaited continuation of the Star Wars saga, set 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi and featuring the return of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamil), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher).

Finally, as Christmas approaches, there's a pair of animated adventures that are certain to bring plenty of joy to the world. First up is The Good Dinosaur (27 Nov), the latest film from the geniuses at Pixar, in which a young dinosaur named Arlo forms an unlikely friendship with a young human child. This is Pixar, so bring tissues.

And Charlie Brown and Snoopy: The Peanuts Movie (21 Dec) is a gorgeous-looking CGI animated comedy based on the popular comic strip characters created by Charles M Schulz, the trailer for which is an absolute treat.