This summer checks nearly every box on the kid geek must-list. “Star Wars”? Spider-Man? Japanese animation? Check, check, check. Take a look at some new films, a few annual events and a little baseball.
Studio Ghibli Fest
May, July, and August at the Regal Elmwood (2001 Elmwood Ave.) and Regal Transit (6707 Transit Road)
One of the most delightful cinematic developments in recent years is Fathom Events’ ongoing Studio Ghibli Fest, a screening series devoted to the legendary Japanese animation studio. Here are the movies. “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,” May 20 and 21: Hayao Miyazaki’s epic classic about a young princess in a devastated worlds (Rated PG). “Whisper of the Heart,” July 1 and 2: The story of a quiet schoolgirl and a mysterious cat (Rated G). “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” July 28, 29 and 31: This is the 30th anniversary of Miyazaki’s beloved tale of a young witch (Rated G). “My Neighbor Totoro,” Aug. 25, 26 and 28: The giant forest spirit, Totoro, is one of Miyazaki’s most inspired creations (Rated G).
Buffalo Bisons “Star Wars” Night
6:05 p.m. June 8 at Sahlen Field
“Star Wars” Night at the ballpark is a sight to behold, from the "laser swords” (you are going to need to buy one per kiddo) waving in the crowd to the many characters wandering the ballpark. The game starts at 6 p.m. and the fireworks and on-field "Star Wars" event do not occur until well after 9 p.m. It’s a long night, and recommended for children ages 5 and older.
“Men in Black: International”
Opens June 14
Do kids in 2019 know of the “Men in Black” franchise? I’m guessing they do not. But they do know “Thor: Ragnarok” stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, and the aliens-among-us “MIB” universe is likely to pique their interest. No MPAA rating yet; expected to be PG-13.
“Spider-Man: Far From Home”
Opens July 5
If your little ones could handle “Avengers: Endgame,” they can surely handle this sequel to “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Set in the aftermath of “Endgame,” Peter Parker and his classmates head to Europe. No MPAA rating yet; expected to be PG-13.
Green Acres Ice Cream Free Outdoor Family Movie Night and Kids Pajama Party
Starts at dusk on Wednesdays from July 10 to Aug. 14 at Green Acres Ice Cream (4357 Broadway, Depew)
For several years nowm Green Acres has hosted a free film series. This summer features gems for little geeks, including “The Lego Movie 2” on July 17 and “Incredibles 2” on July 31. All films are rated PG. Full list at greenacresicecream.com.
Town of Amherst Youth and Recreation Department Summer Movie Series
Starts at dusk on Fridays from July 12 to Aug. 23; locations vary.
This free summer series is held at several different locations, including Bassett Park, South Long Park, Willowridge School and Island Park. Several geek-friendly films are on the list, including “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” on July 12 at South Long Park, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” on July 19 at Bassett Park, and “Bumblebee” on Aug. 16 at Bassett Park. Ratings veer between PG and PG-13; make sure to check before attending if your kids are pre-teens. Full list at amherstyouthandrec.org.
Buffalo Bisons Superhero Night
6:05 p.m. Aug. 17 at Sahlen Field
Perhaps the second most popular Bisons promotion after “Star Wars” Night, Superhero Night features the Superhero Alliance and lots of Marvel and DC-fueled fun. Kids are encouraged to don capes, but there usually is a special item for sale; last year featured Captain America shields.