Now Streaming: Netflix Instant Alternatives to Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hangover Part III, And Epic

By Kristy Puchko 2013-05-24 05:25:14discussion comments
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Epic
In this animated adventure, teen Mary Katherine steps out of her humdrum routine and into a world of magic and wonder when she's shrunk down and transported to a world that lies beneath our noses. Within the forest she finds a climatic battle is raging, and she must muster her strength to fight alongside her new friends to conquer an evil that could not only destroy their world, but also ours. Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Chritstoph Waltz and Aziz Ansari lend their voices. Chris Wedge directs.

Looking for something that'll be fun for the whole family this weekend? How about three celebrated animations that center on brave kids confronting fantastical creatures? One's a Disney classic, another is one of 2012's most critically heralded cartoons, and the third is an emerging pop culture sensation. All of them are terrific, no matter your age.

James and the Giant Peach (1996) Based on the beloved children's novel by Roald Dahl, this inventive adaptation blends live-action footage with stop-motion animation to tell the story of an orphan boy named James who dreamed of New York City. At the film's start, James is miserable living with his cruel aunts, Spiker and Sponge. But spilling a magic concoction onto the family's peach tree gives James an incredible way to make his way to the Big Apple, as well as some buggy companions to help him along his journey. Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon, David Thewlis, and Simon Callow lend their voices. Henry Selick directs.

ParaNorman (2012) This original monster story from Laika Entertainment made appearances on many critics' top ten lists, and earned an Academy Award nod for Best Animated Feature. Its hero is a boy named Norman who has a bizarre ability to see and talk to the ghosts of the dead. This power makes him a total outcast until a witch's curse unleashes zombies on his hometown. Now it's up to Norman to uncover Blithe Hollow's past and save the day with the help of his motely monster-fighting crew. Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse lend their voices. Chris Butler and Sam Fell direct.

Adventure Time (2010) This cartoon series created by Pendleton Ward has earned three primetime Emmy nominations as well as the love of critics, and fans young and old. The show centers on a human boy named Finn who lives in the magical land of Ooo, where he battles monsters, explores dungeons, and rescues princesses from the deranged Ice King, all with the help of his best friend, a magical dog named Jake. Kids will love the goofy humor and 11-minute long adventures. Adults will enjoy the whimsy and thought-provoking themes Finn encounters as he interacts with the scientifically brilliant Princess Bubblegum, the deeply shallow Lumpy Space Princess, the mischievous vampire queen Marceline, and more. Jeremy Shada and John DiMaggio star as the voices of Finn and Jake, but guest stars to date have included Maria Bamford, Ron Perlman, Neil Patrick Harris, Keith David, Cloris Leachman, Clancy Brown, Lou Ferrigno, Kristen Schaal, and George Takei. Season one is now streaming.

For even more selections, peruse our Now Streaming archive.

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