Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Peanuts and Hotel Transylvania 2 among January’s Autism Friendly Films

Star Wars Record-breaking sci-fi blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens leads the Autism Friendly Films line-up for January, service provider Dimensions has confirmed.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – note this is a 12A rated film – will be shown at selected ODEON cinemas on Sunday, January 24 at 11.30am. Cineworld cinemas showed it on January 3.

In addition, 9 ODEON cinemas will show In the Heart of the Sea (12A) on Monday, January 25 at 6pm. This is part of its ongoing trial screenings for older audiences.

Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie will play at selected Showcase cinemas on Sunday, January 10 at 10am.

Finally, Hotel Transylvania 2 will be shown at selected Vue cinemas on Sunday, January 31 at 10am.

In Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie, the beloved comic strip is given a big-screen makeover with 3D animation. But the plot will be familiar to all those who know the strip – perennial underdog Charlie Brown embarks upon an epic and heroic quest, while his best pal, Snoopy, takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis, the Red Baron. The rest of the Peanuts gang – Lucy, Linus, Peppermint Patty et al – are on hand to help and hinder.

Meanwhile Star Wars: The Force Awakens – one of the most eagerly-anticipated films of the past year – begins 30 years after the end of Return of the Jedi and features characters from that film, including Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, alongside a new generation who are fighting against a new threat, the evil Kylo Ren and his army of Stormtroopers.

Animated comedy sequel Hotel Transylvania 2 picks up the action several years after the first film. Now, Count Dracula has opened up his hotel to non-monsters, and also has a half-human half-vampire grandson, Dennis. However, Dennis isn’t showing his vampire side, so when his mother, Mavis, goes to visit her human-in-laws with Johnny, Drac decides to put Dennis through a ‘monster-in-training’ boot camp. But then matters are complicated when Drac’s grumpy and traditionalist dad, Vlad, turns up and is not happy to see humans welcome at Hotel Transylvania or that his great-grandson is not a pure-blood vampire…

Finally, In the Heart of the Sea is the story of the real-life maritime disaster that inspired Herman Melville’s classic novel, Moby Dick. Set in the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was attacked by a huge whale, which was said to have an almost human sense of vengeance. The movie also shows the aftermath of the event, with the surviving crew members having to brave storms, starvation, panic and despair to stay alive. The men question their beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the whale down.

Sensory friendly environment

Autism Friendly Screenings are mainstream films shown in a sensory friendly environment. Lights are on low, sound is turned down, trailers are omitted and people can bring their own food, make noise and move around the cinema as they feel comfortable.

To view a full list of participating cinemas visit www.dimensions-uk.org/autismfriendly.

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