Along with hopes for what lies ahead, the new year also brings us a whole 12-months worth of fun movie releases. Whether your family seeks a good laugh, the thrills of action and adventure, or the heartwarming moments packed into stories of hope, the list of 2020 family-friendly movies expected from Disney has something for everyone.
It's never too early to start planning family outings, and one of the best ways to get the whole fam out of the house (especially on a rainy day) is with a trip to the movie theater. But you'll want to know ahead of time what films are most likely to keep your brood entertained.
Will it be the wild adventures of an adorable St. Bernard-Scotch Collie mix dog or the ancient legend behind Mulan? Or perhaps your family would rather settle in to watch teenage elves set off on a quest or delve into the heroic story of Marvel's latest superheroes? Or maybe you'd simply like to share your love of a certain classic musical with your own children by catching a new adaptation. With at least 12 family-friendly movies scheduled for release by Disney and its subsidiaries — Marvel, Pixar, 20th Century Fox, etc... — this year, your family is unlikely to find themselves with nothing worth seeing in theaters.
Here are the family-friendly movies from Disney and its subsidiaries that are expected to wow audiences in 2020:
'Call of the Wild' — February
Mixing live-action with CGI animation, Call of the Wild will take families on a wild adventure as it follows Buck, a St. Bernard-Scotch Collie mix. Stolen from his home in California, Buck finds himself sold to freight haulers and taken to a cold and wild new land. Harrison Ford stars as John Thornton, a man who teams up with Buck in a story about courage and friendship.
Call of the Wild is expected to hit theaters Feb. 21, 2020.
'Wendy' — February
Wendy is being described as "a wildly reimagined" telling of Peter Pan. It sees Wendy lost as a young girl on a mysterious island with a ragtag gang of wild boys and forced to fight for her freedom, her family, and her youthful spirit. The film has been rated PG-13, meaning that some material in the film may be unsuitable for children younger than 13.
Wendy is being released by Disney subsidiary Fox Searchlight Pictures and is expected to hit theaters Feb. 28, 2020.
'Onward' — March
Disney and Pixar have teamed up once again to tell the story of two teenage elf brothers who leave their fantasy suburban neighborhood behind on an epic quest to discover what, if any, magic might be left in the world. With the voice talents of Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and the director behind Monsters University, Dan Scanlon, at the helm, Onward is sure to be a tale of adventure that delights the whole family.
Onward is expected to hit theaters March 6, 2020.
'Mulan' — March
Disney's highly-anticipated live-action version of Mulan is expected to be less remake and more adaptation. The film details the ancient legend of Hau Mulan, a Chinese female warrior who masqueraded as a man in order to take her ailing father's place in the Imperial Army.
Mulan is expected to hit theaters March 27, 2020.
'Black Widow' — May
Marvel's latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe follows the adventures of Natasha Romanoff, better known as the Black Widow. But the film doesn't pull viewers into the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Instead, it unveils what Romanoff was doing between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War — namely having a family reunion of sorts. According to IMDb, the action film, which stars Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and David Harbour as the Red Guardian, is expected to be rated PG-13 due to violence as well as some suggestive content and language.
Black Widow is expected to hit theaters May 1, 2020.
'Artemis Fowl' — May
Based on a book series of the same name written by Eoin Colfer, Disney's Artemis Fowl is a family-friendly Sci-Fi adventure film that follows a 12-year-old criminal genius as he seeks to find his missing father and restore his family's fortune. Although initially slated to hit theaters in 2019, the release of Artemis Fowl was pushed back to May 29, 2020 following Disney's decision to terminate its partnership with producer Harvey Weinstein after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against him. While the book series is considered to be tween friendly, the film has not yet been rated and is expected to contain some violence, meaning it may not be suitable for young children.
'Soul' — June
After tackling emotions in Inside Out, Pixar aims to break down another equally-important life lesson in Soul. The animated film tells the story of Joe Gardner, a musician who finds his soul transported out of his body after he looses his passion for music, and life. As Gardner seeks to reconnect with his physical body, he rediscovers his passionate self thanks to the help of a young, infant soul still learning about herself.
Soul, which stars the voice talents of Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey, is expected to land in theaters June 19, 2020.
'Jungle Cruise' — July
Inspired by a ride of the same name at Disneyland, Disney's Jungle Cruise sees scientist Lily Houghton, played by Emily Blunt, embark on an adventure of a lifetime when she goes in search of a tree that lies within the Amazon and possesses healing powers. Dwayne Johnson stars as Frank, a riverboat captain who, for a price, agrees to take Houghton into the jungle. While an official age rating has yet to be released, the film is advertised as suitable for the whole family.
Expect Jungle Cruise to hit theaters July 24, 2020.
'The One and Only Ivan' — August
Not too much is known about Disney's The One and Only Ivan, which is thought to be an adaptation of K.A. Applegate's children's book. According to IMDb, the film will center around a Silverback gorilla named Ivan who, with the help of Stella the elephant, hatches a plan to escape the circus they're held captive by. It will feature the voice talents of Sam Rockwell, and star Angelina Jolie and Bryan Cranston, according to Disney News.
Look for The One and Only Ivan in theaters in August 2020.
'Eternals' — November
Based on a comic book series first created in the 1970s by Jack Kirby, Marvel's The Eternals will center around a race of immortal beings that live on Earth and influence both civilizations and the course of history. Along with featuring Chloé Zhao, the first woman of color to direct a Marvel superhero film, The Eternals will also feature Marvel's first ever hearing impaired superhero. The character of Makkari will be played by Lauren Ridloff, an actress who was herself born deaf according to BuzzFeed. The film also stars Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kit Harington, Richard Madden and Kumail Nanjiani.
The Eternals is expected to hit theaters in early November 2020. But parents of small children beware, it's currently being described by IMDb as an action and adventure film rather than a family flick.
'Raya and the Last Dragon' — November
Inspired by East Asian mythology, Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon will introduce viewers to the land of Lumandra. The story centers around Raya, a fearless warrior who is determined to find the last dragon. No trailers or teasers have been released for the film so far, although Disney has dropped some concept art and a look at Sisu the dragon.
Raya and the Last Dragon is expected to hit theaters in November 2020 and likely to be suitable for all ages.
'West Side Story' — December
Steven Spielberg's adaptation of West Side Story, a musical that sees teenagers from rival gangs fall in love to create their own Romeo and Juliet tale, is expected to be released by Disney subsidiary 20th Century Fox on Dec. 18, 2020. The show sees Rita Moreno, who played Anita in the 1961 original film, slip into a new role expanded and reimagined just for her. While Spielberg's adaptation does not yet have an official Motion Picture Association of America film rating, the 1961 film was largely given a PG rating around the world.