What You Need to Know About Ridge Hill's Outdoor Movie Series

What do anthropomorphic pandas, sentient emotions, and an unhinged candy crafter have in common? For one, they’ve collectively been a source of considerable color in children’s lives via the Kung Fu Panda franchise, Inside Out, and Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, respectively. More pressingly, they’ll be on display—literally—at Ridge Hill’s third annual Movie Monday Nights series of free outdoor screenings under the stars, taking place at the Yonkers mall’s Town Square on July 11 (Kung Fu Panda 3) and 25 (Inside Out), as well as Aug. 8 (Willy Wonka), all starting at 7 pm.

And just in case you’ve yet to catch any of the above (though honestly, if you have yet to see Willy Wonka, you must be living under a chocolate river) or are wondering whether it’s worth making the trip with family, food, and blankets in tow, here are a few fun facts to bear in mind about each kid-friendly flick.


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Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)

• Yes, Jack Black again voices the lovably plump Po for this series’ third iteration, but also returning are Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen, David Cross, and Jackie Chan.
• J.K. Simmons provides the voice of Kai, the film’s menacing villain, although he has a hard time out-terrorizing his character in Whiplash (let alone Oz). 
• Expect to see much more than one Panda this time around; Po finds a secret village of his kind, and is even reunited with his father, Li Shan, voiced by Breaking Bad’s Walter White himself, Bryan Cranston.


Inside Out (2015)

• Yes, its target audience is young, but like most Pixar films, Inside Out is crammed with jokes for adults, allusions to the studio’s previous releases, and a hard-hitting message about mental illness. This is way more than just kid’s entertainment.
• According to Pixar tech artist David Lally, all the broccoli in the film was changed to green peppers for the Japanese version; green peppers are apparently the bane of Japanese children’s existence when told to eat their greens.

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• It turns out that two out of the five actors voicing the movie’s central emotions are Office alum: Phyllis Smith as Sadness and Mindy Kaling as Disgust (make it three if you count Fear personifier Bill Hader, who technically made a cameo once in the sitcom).


Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

• Gene Wilder is iconic as Willy Wonka, yet most of us still jump in our seats a little when we watch him turn, er, wild in that crazy boat-tunnel scene.  (Yet, he still doesn’t freak us out as much as this guy.)


• Perhaps re-watching Charlie pass Slugworth’s test of his moral character by returning the Everlasting Gobstopper to Wonka will remind us to be a little more selfless in our everyday life. 
• Apparently, we can take a few fashion lessons from Willy Wonka himself if we need to dress up for a big occasion, like, let’s say, the BET Awards.
• In fact, the snozzberry wallpaper did not taste like snozzberries, but wallpaper.

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