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Knuckles & the 8 best and latest movies for your kids these holidays

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• Showmax guides you through the best kids content of the year so far
• Just in time for the winter school holidays and Father’s Day
• Knuckles, the most-watched kids and family title ever on Paramount+, streams from today
• Showmax also has the two biggest box office hits of last year (Barbie and The Super Mario Bros. Movie)

Somehow, we’re nearly halfway through 2024 and the coldest school holidays of the year are upon us. 

Thankfully, African streaming service Showmax has rounded up their best kids content of the year so far, to help Showmies keep the peace inside during those long, chilly winter days.

So if you’re looking for something to watch with the kids on Sunday for Father’s Day, start here:

KNUCKLES S1 | First on Showmax | Binge from Friday, 14 June

• For the Sonic the Hedgehog and Idris Elba fans
• For ages 9+

The most-watched kids and family title ever on Paramount+, this Sonic The Hedgehog spinoff follows Knuckles as he tries to teach his protegé Wade the ways of the echidna warrior. 

Knuckles is once again voiced by Emmy nominee Idris Elba, with Critics Choice nominee Adam Pally as Wade.

IGN Movies says, “Knuckles is an absolute riot”, calling the six-part miniseries “laugh-a-minute.”

BARBIE | First on Showmax | Stream now

• For everyone who’s owned a Barbie. And the haters too.
• For ages 11+

To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken.

With two-time Oscar nominee Margot Robbie in the title role, Barbie was the biggest blockbuster of 2023 globally and is the highest-grossing live-action comedy of all time. 

Barbie won more than 190 awards and was up for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Screenplay (for director Greta Gerwig and co-writer Noam Baumbach), Supporting Actor for Ryan Gosling as Ken and Supporting Actress for America Ferrera as Gloria. 

THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE | Stream now

• From Nintendo and Illumination (the studio behind Despicable Me)
• For ages 7+

The biggest animated opening of all time, and the second biggest box office hit of last year, The Super Mario Bros. Movie follows a plumber named Mario who travels through an underground labyrinth with his brother Luigi, trying to save a captured princess named Peach. 

The all-star voice cast is led by Kids’ Choice winners Chris Pratt and Jack Black as Mario and Bowser, with Critics Choice nominee Charlie Day as Luigi and Emmy nominee Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach. 

Variety says, “You don’t have to be a Mario fan to respond to it, but the film is going to remind the millions who are why they call it a joystick.” 

Showmax is also streaming other Illumination favourites like Despicable Me, Minions, Sing, and The Secret Life of Pets 1 and 2. 

SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE | Stream now

• Best Animated Feature, 2024 Critics Choice Awards
• For ages 9+

The Oscar-nominated Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse reunites Miles Morales with Gwen Stacy and catapults him across the multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence. When the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles has to redefine what it means to be a hero if he’s to save the people he loves most.

Across the Spider-Verse was the sixth-biggest blockbuster of 2023 and won Best Animated Feature at the 2024 Critics Choice Awards. It’s #37 on IMDb’s Top Rated Movies of All Time, with a 95% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes

Miles is once again voiced by Critics Choice nominee Shameik Moore, with Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy. Listen out for the likes of Emmy nominee Issa Rae, Oscar nominee Brian Tyree Henry, and Oscar winners Mahershala Ali and Daniel Kaluuya.

Showmax is also streaming Sony Pictures Animation favourites like Hotel Transylvania 1-3

TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS | Stream now

• For action movie fans
• For ages 11+

The fifth-biggest movie in South Africa in 2023, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts centres on ex-military electronics expert Noah Diaz and artefact research intern Elena Wallace as they work with the Maximals and the Beasties to fight an invasion that threatens to consume Earth. It’s both a prequel to 2007’s original Transformers and a standalone sequel to 2018’s Bumblebee

Directed by Black Reel winner Steven Caple Jr (Creed II), Transformers: Rise of the Beasts stars Emmy nominees Anthony Ramos (In the Heights) and Dominique Fishback (Swarm, Judas and the Black Messiah) as Noah and Elena, with Grammy nominee Tobe Nwigwe as Reek. Also listen out for the likes of Michelle Yeoh, Peter Dinklage, Colman Domingo and award-winning Zimbabwean actor Tongayi Chirisa as transformers. 

Geeks hails it as “perhaps the best Transformers movie since the first.”

Also watch the first six Transformers movies on Showmax, starting (chronologically) with Bumblebee

THE FLASH | Stream now

• For DC and superhero fans
• For ages 13+

The #20 biggest movie of 2023, DC’s The Flash sees worlds collide when Barry Allen uses his super speed to change the past. But his attempt to save his family creates a world without superheroes, forcing him to race for his life in order to save the future.

The Flash is directed by multi-award winner Andy Muschietti (the It films), with Ezra Miller reprising their Justice League role as Barry Allen. The stacked support cast includes Oscar nominees Michael Keaton and Michael Shannon as well as cameos from the likes of Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Jeremy Irons, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, and more. 

CNN.com says The Flash “wears its love for the comics that inspired it on its crimson-streaked sleeve. Funny, action-packed and effectively touching…” while Rotten Tomatoes calls it, “one of the best DC movies in recent years.”

Showmax is also home to DC Comics favourites like Aquaman, Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, Black Adam, Man of Steel, and Shazam! Fury of the Gods

TROLLS BAND TOGETHER | Stream now

• For fans of Troye Sivan, NSYNC and animated musicals
• For ages 6+

Poppy and Branch are finally a couple: #broppy. As they grow closer, Poppy discovers that Branch and his brothers were once her favourite boyband, BroZone. When Branch’s closest brother is kidnapped, he and Poppy go on a journey to reunite his family, get the band back together, and rescue Floyd. 

Oscar nominees Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake voice Poppy and Branch, with Joburg-born Grammy nominee Troye Sivan as Floyd. 

RogerEbert.com says Trolls Band Together is the best of the three Trolls movies – “sweet without being sugary, colourful, and very charming, with terrific voice talent and a lot of music.” 

Fun fact for parents: Timberlake’s 90s boy band NSYNC reunited for the movie with their first song in more than 20 years, the award-winning Better Place. 

Showmax is also streaming DreamWorks’ first Trolls movie. 

PAW PATROL: THE MIGHTY MOVIE | Stream now

• For dog lovers of all ages
• For ages 5+

When a meteor crashlands in Adventure City, it gives the Paw Patrol superpowers, transforming them into The Mighty Pups. 

In their 4/5-star review, Common Sense Media says, “The adorable rescue pups continue to charm little kids and their parents, and this sweet sequel reminds all viewers that even the tiny can be mighty.”

Listen out for Emmy nominee Mckenna Grace (Ghostbusters: Afterlife) as Skye and multi-award-winning Sweet Tooth star Christian Convery as Chase.

Showmax is also streaming Paw Patrol S3-9 as well as the specials Jet To The Rescue; Mighty Pups; and Ready, Race, Rescue.  

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM | Stream now

• For the dads on Father’s Day, especially fans of Seth Rogen and the word ‘cowabunga’
• For ages 8+

After years of being sheltered from the human world, the teenage mutant ninja turtles set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers by taking on a mysterious crime syndicate.

This year, Mutant Mayhem was nominated as Best Animated Film at the Annie and Critics Choice Awards, as well as Best Superhero Movie at the Critics Choice Super Awards, where Ayo Edebiri (The Bear) was up for Best Actress. 

Also listen out for the likes of Paul Rudd, John Cena, Jackie Chan, Post Malone, Ice Cube, Emmy winner Maya Rudolph, YouTube phenomenon Mr. Beast, and Emmy nominees Giancarlo Esposito, Rose Byrne, and Seth Rogen, who also wrote the script. 

Mutant Mayhem is the best reviewed film (or series) in the franchise yet, with a 95% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes as “an animated treat for the whole family.”

Showmax is also streaming Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles S2-4. 

MUCH, MUCH MORE ON SHOWMAX

This is just a taster of the kids content on Showmax, which also includes family favourites like: 

  • S1-3 of Alex Rider, based on the bestselling teen spy books by Anthony Horowitz
  • The BAFTA-nominated documentary, David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived, about Harry Potter’s stunt double, who was paralysed in a tragic on-set accident on the penultimate film
  • S1-3 of Avatar: The Last Airbender, IMDb’s highest rated animated series ever
  • S1 of Eli Roth’s 2024 Annie Awards nominee Fright Krewe
  • The hilarious Showmax Original 2D animated series Twende, about a boda-boda driving pangolin
  • The Oscar-nominated How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World, Dragons Rescue Riders Heroes of the Sky S1, and Dragons: The Nine Realms S2
  • Beloved animated features like DC League of Super-Pets, Miraculous: Lady Bug and Cat Noir, The Movie, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, and Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken
  • Emmy-nominated shows like Baby Shark’s Big Show, Big Nate S1, and The Tiny Chef Show S1 
  • First seasons of Cocomelon and Cocomelon Animal Time

To see everything coming to Showmax in June:

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