Movies

Family Entertainment

New family-worthy movies on DVD

Daisy Ridley stars in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
David James/Lucasfilm Ltd.
Daisy Ridley stars in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

It certainly seems that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015) worked just as intended by J.J. Abrams and the franchise’s other new stewards. You dutifully brought your kids to the local multiplex to indoctrinate them in the legacy of Luke and Vader and Han and Leia. But by the time John Williams’s exit music played, these young padawans were likely the ones helping you tell your Kylo Rens from your Kylie Minogues. As Abrams sums up in a well-done production documentary, “The fun of celebrating the return of these characters that we know is certainly a part of this movie. [But] it felt like a story about a generational handoff, that this was really a story about Rey, Finn, Poe, Kylo Ren.” If the hour-plus feature isn’t brisk enough for your crew, there’s always the deleted-scenes gallery, which includes a must-see snowspeeder chase. But there should be a little something for everyone in the overview, from cast members at work to others at play. John Boyega, who plays good-guy stormtrooper Finn, ecstatically lets his fanboy flag fly when he first sees the Millennium Falcon set, while Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”) dons an out-there getup in real life for her motion-capture turn as Maz Kanata, the film’s diminutive watering-hole matriarch. Abrams is all good humor discussing Maz’s scenes, admitting, “Basically you go, ‘Oh, they’re just trying to do the cantina again.’ But on the other hand, it’s ‘Star Wars,’ and if you don’t have a version of [the cantina], I would leave feeling like, Well, where was that?” (Disney, digital HD $19.99, DVD $22.98, Blu-ray $29.98)

NORM OF THE NORTH (2016)

Sorry, Judy Hopps fans, no word just yet on a home entertainment release for “Zootopia.” But there’s always this month’s other story about an animal with gumption migrating to the big city to see justice served. Here it’s oddball polar bear Norm (Rob Schneider) heading to New York to stop a nominally human developer (Ken Jeong) from encroaching on the wilderness. Oh, and to bust a few moves to “The Arctic Shake” — which is featured in a bonus singalong, naturally. Other extras include a trivia segment and outtakes. (Lionsgate, digital HD $14.99, DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $34.99, available Tuesday)

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WABBIT. SEASON ONE, PART ONE (2015-16)

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Call us Elmer Fuddy-duddies, but we were never huge fans of “The Looney Tunes Hour,” Cartoon Network’s “hip” Bugs-and-Daffy makeover from a few years back. If anything, we’ve got even bigger reservations about this latest series, which none too subtly alters the ’toons classic visual style. (What’s up with the Twittery handle, BTW — something they brainstormed watching “Frozen”?) Still, it’s always interesting to see how and where an update like this connects with our kids, and whether that translates into curiosity about the vintage stuff. Includes 26 episodes altogether. (Warner, DVD $19.97, April 26)

LEGO SCOOBY-DOO!: HAUNTED HOLLYWOOD (2016)

Think we’re throwing grown-up shade on “Wabbit”? Don’t get us started on Cartoon Network’s “Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!,” which for whatever reason feels the need to make Scoob, Shaggy, and the gang look like Seth MacFarlane doodles. On a less curmudgeonly note, we can’t wait to see our favorite meddling kids and their dog get the Lego treatment. Comes with a miniature figurine. (Warner, digital HD $14.99, available now; DVD $19.98, Blu-ray $24.98, May 10)

KUNG FU PANDA 3 (2016)

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A story that builds toward Po (Jack Black) training an army of his panda brethren is agreeable enough, even if the fun isn’t exponentially greater. Cast newcomers include Bryan Cranston, as Po’s long-lost birth dad, and J.K. Simmons, as a villainous, chi-stealing bull. (Fox, digital HD $14.99, DVD $19.99, Blu-ray $24.99; May)

LEGO DC COMICS SUPERHEROES: JUSTICE LEAGUE — COSMIC CLASH (2016)

Maybe you’re among those who caught “Batman v Superman” and got a bigger charge out of the preview trailer for “The Lego Batman Movie.” If so, there’s a whole universe of plastic-brick superheroics you can check out already, including this recent made-for-DVD feature. (Warner, digital HD $19.99, DVD $19.98, Blu-ray $24.98)

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP (2015)

When the Chipmunks become convinced that beleaguered father figure Dave (Jason Lee) is going to marry his kindly new girlfriend and dump them, they follow him on a trip to Miami to thwart the proposal. Not the freshest, but worth it for an energetic New Orleans jazz parade rendition of “Uptown Funk.” And still superior to those visually creepy Chipmunks your kids are watching on Nick Jr. (Fox, digital HD $14.99, DVD $29.98, Blu-ray $39.99)

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MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE: MICKEY’S SPORT-Y-THON (2016)

Soccer and T-ball rained out? You might try passing the time with this Olympics-style (or Laff-a-Lympics-style?) diversion. Your future all-stars might learn a few things about teamwork and sportsmanship, to boot. (Disney, DVD $19.99, May 24)

OPEN SEASON: SCARED SILLY (2016)

It’s more high jinks with Elliot the deer and Boog the bear in this made-for-video sequel. (Sony, DVD $25.99, Blu-ray $30.99)

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: HALF-SHELL HEROES — BLAST TO THE PAST (2016)

The Turtles + dinosaurs — something to appease your crew if they’re already dreaming about this summer’s TMNT big-screen sequel. (Or if those freakishly realistic movie iterations are still giving them nightmares.) And next month, the intrepid terrapins go futuristic in another DVD release, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Beyond the Known Universe.” (Paramount, DVD $19.99)

THE 5TH WAVE (2016)

As a resilient teen heroine facing an escalating alien invasion, Chloë Grace Moretz (“Hugo”) performs quite capably — until she finds emotional connection amid the chaos and the tone turns soapy. Still, the target audience might be fine seeing melodrama mingled with intriguing themes about humans being robbed of their humanity. Violent on a par with “The Hunger Games” at points. (Sony, digital HD $14.99, DVD $26.99, Blu-ray $34.99, May 3)

KINDERGARTEN COP 2 (2016)

“Expendable” is right: Dolph Lundgren subs for Arnold Schwarzenegger in this sequel to the unfathomably ridiculous 1990 comedy. Because you, um, demanded it? (Universal, DVD $19.98, May 17)

Titles are available now unless specified. Tom Russo can be reached at trusso2222@gmail.com.