Halloween is over. Make way for the holiday films.
Santa Claus, a Christmas grinch, a bottom-dweller named SpongeBob and a romantic named Bridget will all be at theaters this yuletide movie season, which kicks off Friday with the debut of "The Incredibles." (search)
New York Post movie critic Lou Lumenick said viewers are going to have an exceptionally wide range of choices this year.
"'The Incredibles’ is going to be gigantic — it might even be the top-grossing movie of the season," he said. 'Polar Express' is also going to be a big one, although I hear it’s a little cold and creepy. 'Finding Neverland' is a beautifully done movie story starring Johnny Depp as the man who created Peter Pan. 'Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason' — I just saw it — it's good enough to satisfy."
"The Incredibles," an action comedy about retired superheroes recalled to action after 15 years of humdrum life in the 'burbs, is the latest cartoon collaboration between Disney and Pixar Animation, makers of "Finding Nemo," "Monsters, Inc." and the "Toy Story" flicks.
"The premise is that superheroes are real, they're unionized, they're members of society, and a series of unfortunate events happens where they are forced underground," said Brad Bird, the film's writer-director. "Almost like a witness protection program for superheroes, where they must assume normal identities and can't engage in any activities that would expose them."
"The Incredibles" features the voices of Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson and Jason Lee.
Also on the animated front: "The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie," (search) the big-screen debut for the underwater guy from the Nickelodeon series, and the Christmas tale "The Polar Express," (search) featuring Tom Hanks in multiple roles for the adaptation of the best-selling picture book.
Hanks, who starred in director Robert Zemeckis' "Forrest Gump" and "Cast Away," plays a young boy whisked by train to the North Pole, the rail conductor and Santa Claus, among other roles.
The season's other holiday-themed tale features one of Hollywood's favorite Kris Kringles, Tim Allen, in "Christmas With the Kranks," (search) based on John Grisham's "Skipping Christmas," about a modern grinch who decides to forgo the yule festivities.
Allen, who starred in "The Santa Clause" and its sequel, said his character and his wife (Jamie Lee Curtis) find themselves treated like lepers by friends and neighbors who cannot fathom why anyone would abandon the Christmas trappings.
"It's like if you have a good friend who, God forbid, just goes cold turkey on cigarettes or alcohol or even worse, starts working out and losing weight, and the rest of you don't," Allen said. "You will besiege that person because his choice calls your life into question."
In "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason," (search) Renee Zellweger returns as Britain's favorite lonely-heart wondering if her happy ending from "Bridget Jones's Diary" is what she wanted, after all.
"It's about finding what it is you presume will be your happiness and finding out it might not be your idealized version," Zellweger said. "It might not be what you anticipated, but does that make it less of a good thing? She's discovering her fantasy idea of love might not necessarily be what she needs in her life."
Other anticipated films: "The Aviator," starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes, "Alexander," featuring Colin Farrell as the great conqueror, "Closer," with Julia Roberts and Natalie Portman; "Phantom of the Opera," "Ocean's 12," "Meet the Fockers" and Jim Carrey's "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events."
FOX News entertainment reporter Bill McCuddy thinks "Bridget" will be the hot ticket this season.
"I laugh every time I see the double-decker bus splash her in the trailer," he said. "There are some real laugh-out-loud moments."
And while he's not looking forward to "SpongeBob," McCuddy knows someone who can't wait to see it.
"My 4-year-old daughter is already standing in front of the theater," he said.
FOX News' Jennifer D'Angelo and The Associated Press contributed to this report.