What’s New and Streaming for Families in June (2019)

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Can you believe we’re slip-sliding into summer once more? Yes indeedy. So while you’re breaking out your shorts and T-shirts and waiting for the official start of the sunshine season on June 21st—not to mention anticipating the upcoming blockbuster movie season—let’s see what’s new in the realm of streaming this month.

Netflix
Netflix will be streaming some pretty big-name pics that you and yours might want to see for the first time (or again for a second or third time).

A.I. Artificial Intelligence  (PG-13, 2001) This Steven Spielberg-helmed pic tells the story of a robotic boy named David who’s one of the first robots ever programmed to actually love others. But what happens to a totally dedicated robot boy who’s not loved in return? In fact, where is the line between artificial … and real? Plugged In’s Steve Isaac noted that this well-made film deals with some thoughtful and very emotional issues, both philosophical and spiritual. But he also warned that along with some more adult-minded content, “A.I. isn’t at all designed for young children. A heart-wrenching scene of abandonment will prove unsettling to almost everyone who watches it.”

And here’s another blockbuster pic with more edge than some kids might be able handle:

Batman Begins (PG-13, 2005) A young Bruce Wayne, plagued by fear and guilt, wants justice after his parents’ murder. So he travels to the Far East, where he’s trained in the martial arts by the mysterious League of Shadows. But once he returns home to fight crime as the Batman, he realizes that the League of Shadows has dark plans of its own. Our reviewer Bob Smithouser said, “Christian Bale is perfectly cast as the caped crusader. He has the presence, dry wit and smoldering intensity to make Bruce Wayne believable, whether he’s being tormented by personal demons, assuming the role of spoiled playboy, creating his cowled alter-ego or taking out the bad guys with brute force.” But Smithouser warned that there is plenty of brute violence for mom and dad to be aware of.

Ralph Breaks the Internet (PG, 2019) Video game bad-guy-turned-good-friend Wreck-It Ralph accidentally helps break his pal Vanellope’s racing game. So he has to bash his way into the internet to find the necessary part to fix things. As I said in my review of this pic, Ralph Breaks the Internet raises some great questions about friendship and making good choices that kids can chew over with their parents and pals on the ride home from the theater. And this animated flick also takes a couple humor-packed swings at issues such as cyberbullying and being consumed by a viral-video world.

And later in the month, superhero fans will want to be on the lookout for:

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PG, 2018) In this animated super-flick, a bunch of alternate-reality Spider-Beings are dragged into our dimension. Now it’s up to a kid named Miles to take charge and help them all get home. Oh, and save the world, while he’s at it. This was another pic I had the pleasure of reviewing, and with its animated charm and lots of fun action and adventure, “pleasure” was the operative word. “Now, I won’t call it Amazing or Spectacular, or go so far as to say this is the Ultimate in superhero movie fare,” I said in the review. “But it’s safe to say this is one of the very best Marvel movies my editor has had the good spider-sense to send me to see.”

Amazon Prime
If one Marvel movie isn’t enough, you can always venture over to Amazon Prime if you decide to catch one of this year’s biggest superhero blockbusters:

Captain Marvel (PG-13, 2019) Carol Danvers, a skilled fighter pilot working on an experimental science project, is accidentally exposed to an incredible power source. And she becomes one of the most powerful, high-flying superheroes in the Marvel universe … even without a plane. This female hero-centric movie wowed moviegoers and was certainly super-powered at the box office, too. Our reviewer, Paul Asay, wasn’t quite as high-flying in his praise, though. He said it was “a little less violent, but a little more profane [than other flicks in the Marvel canon]. It gives us an inspiring protagonist—the first female superhero to get her own movie in the MCU—without giving her a chance to transcend the traditional superhero story.” So Paul thinks it’s pretty good, but don’t expect great.

Hulu
And if you want something geared for the youngest kids in the fam, you can flip over to Hulu for:

The Ant Bully (PG, 2006) A destructive boy named Lucas gets shrunken down to the size of an ant to learn the error of his anthill smashing ways. Plugged In reviewer Christopher Lyon suggested that some parents may shake their heads at the magicky silliness in this flick, as well as the anthropomorphization of the ants in the yard. But if looked at from a purely kiddish fantasy perspective, he says you can’t miss the applicable lessons about bullying and the potential teachable moments “about how we ought to both respect and reach out to those who believe differently than we do—without compromising our own convictions.

Who wrote this?

Bob Hoose is a senior associate editor for Plugged In, a producer/writer for Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey, a writer of plays and musicals and one-half of the former comedy/drama duo Custer & Hoose. He is a husband, father of three and a relatively new granddad.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous 14 days ago
Saw Ant Bully once. It was odd. It's in my childhood lineup of strange films I saw when young right up there with Spy Kids. I don't like ants.
-Emma Bibliophile
Anonymous 14 days ago
Thanks to tv I've seen all 4 Spy Kids movies, and in my opinion the first two are sort of blah, with the third one getting better thanks to the awesome video game graphics and Sly Stallone being in it, but for my money All The Time In The World is by far the best Spy Kids movie. With the additions of Jessica Alba and a young Rowan Blanchard into the mix (aka Riley from Girl Meets World), the movie became a lot better than it had any right to be. And of course the talking dog was a lot of fun too, so I say even if you've given up on the Spy Kids franchise thanks to some mediocre beginning ones, try giving the fourth one a chance. There's enough new stuff in it that totally makes it worth it I think.
Anonymous 14 days ago
I saw Spy kids as a young child in daycare. I had no idea what one it was or if it was a franchise, and it was one of the first live action films I ever saw. I was mostly confused (Being, after all, a very young child who only knew Disney and Rodgers and Hammerstein.)
 Maybe you can identify the one I saw, because I don't know. 
 The kids' parents vanished and a guy was with them who said he was their uncle but really wasn't. Then the kids left in a submarine or something. I thought they were looking for their parents. People were chasing them, and there were also these people who looked like clones of the kids, and their real uncle who was sort of scruffy and grumpy.  A lady's head was on fire (I think) and her minions sunk the submarine (I think). 
 There. That's my youthful impression. Which Spy Kids movie was it? 
-Emma Bibliophile
Anonymous 13 days ago
The Spy Kids movie you saw was the very first one released way back in 2001, and it definitely is a weird funky movie that isn't really worth watching in my opinion. The second one The Island of Lost Dreams is pretty much more of the same with only the third one Game Over and the fourth and final one All The Time In The World being at all different from one another I think.
Anonymous 13 days ago
I see. Thanks. 
-Emma Bibliophile
Karl The Klown 15 days ago
Where did A-non-mouse go? He banned?
Anonymous 15 days ago
I was wondering the same thing. Maybe he's taking a break?
-Emma Bibliophile
Anonymous 14 days ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Speaking respectively, I don’t really miss A-Non-Mouse. I honestly found it really annoying how he kept reminding us how big of a Marvel fan he was.

Hey, I love Marvel movies too, but when all he wanted to do was talk about the Avengers and remind us for the umteenth time that he loves the Avengers, it just got irritating pretty fast.
Karl The Klown 14 days ago
Eh, I'd disagree.
I hate Marvel more than anyone else here, and his love for it never bothered me.
Anonymous 14 days ago
Yeah, I'm not really a Marvel person either and I didn't particularly mind. Not that I hate it. I'm just not a superhero person. 
 He knew Tolkien books that weren't Lord of the Rings. I have literally never known anyone to have read those besides myself, and it was nice to know I'm not the only one. 
-Emma Bibliophile
Big Mike 13 days ago
i've read half the simmarilion and wasn't a big fan
Veronica Pyle 12 days ago
I love Tolkien, including the Silmarillion. It's definitely not a book for everyone though. My sister couldn't get past the first page haha, even though she loves Tolkien too.
Anonymous 12 days ago
@Veronica Pyle I haven't met anyone face to face who has read the Silmarillian, and I can't convince anyone to give it a try except my younger brother who can't really read it yet. I tell him the stories though and he seems to like them, and is trying to read the Hobbit at present. 
-Emma Bibliophile
Anonymous 16 days ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

I love Batman Begins! It’s one of my favorite films.

Don’t need Netflix to watch it though; I already own it on dvd.
Anonymous 16 days ago
I've only seen 3 of those and in my opinion Into the Spider-Verse is horribly overrated and way too gaudy and garish to look at, Batman Begins is way too dark and depressing, which leaves The Ant Bully, a movie that's not exactly great either, but has its moments and is ten times better than the other two movies I mentioned.
Anonymous 16 days ago
Ant Bully is better than Spider-Verse....

*breathes in....*

BOI!

-Evan
Anonymous 15 days ago
Spider-Verse is one of the best animated movies Ive seen in quite a while. What do you have against it?

-some guy
Anonymous 15 days ago
First off I couldn't stand the animation. It was weird and garish looking, almost as if a box of crayons threw up on the screen. It sort of reminded me of Moulin Rouge but without the cool atmosphere that movie had. Also forgive me but I thought the hero Miles Morales was just plain annoying and stupid as heck. I didn't care for him one single bit. Plus the whole movie didn't seem to make much sense with all the multiple storylines stacked up against one another, and many of the multiple spider people were just plain weird like the Pig one and the brooding ugly looking Noir one. Basically the story simultaneously annoyed, confused, and bored me, and the animation was downright weird and funky and not in a good way. It was one of the worst animated films I've ever seen and definitely the worst Spiderman film I've ever seen. The Tobey Maguire led Spiderman films remain the very best in my opinion, with this Spider-Verse travesty being the worst by a long shot. Maybe it's more for teens and I'm just not its target audience turning 40 on Halloween this year, but I really truly did hate the film while realizing that everyone else on the planet inexplicably doesn't.
Anonymous 15 days ago
Spiderverse hating anonymous, first off, the animation was actually something never before seen: cgi animation done over with hand-drawn animation. I had seen something similar in a Disney short which actually looked a lot like Spiderverse, but nothing like that in a whole movie, and I thought the effect was rather striking. But, the method is new, and it would be understandable that some might be put off by it. (Example: You. And possibly others.)
 As for the "Box of crayons throwing up on the screen," I actually had that same feeling at times, though not in so many words. The effect of that was a bit strange to me the first time I saw it, but the second time around I didn't really mind. 
 You know what, though? You are entitled to your opinion. A movie or book may seem amazing and unmissable to some, and plain repugnant or boring to others. And that's okay. I know movies that I hate but others laud to the skies and I understand. 
-Emma Bibliophile
Anonymous 15 days ago
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was a an excellent movie, and that's coming from someone who is not all that into superheroes, but I really enjoyed the artistry and storyline. The only thing I wish they would have changed is maybe delve more into the characters of some of the Spider-people besides Gwen and Peter B. Parker. Otherwise, it was great! 
 I have not seen Batman Begins. I have only seen Lego Batman, but that was an amazing movie. 
-Emma Bibliophile
Karl The Klown 15 days ago
Pish Posh son. I hate superhero movies, and even I enjoyed ITSV. 
Batman Begins is ok, but the Dark Knight was better.

@Emma. Lego Batman is by far the best Batman movie out there.
Anonymous 15 days ago
It is hilarious, and I love the message about adoptive dads, it being a personal thing with me. Also all those villains! It's so cool.
-Emma Bibliophile