Looking Forward - The Animated Features of 2017
Hello everyone, and welcome to the new year of 2017! Instead of the usual Weekly News (there’s honestly barely anything to report this week), I have decided to do another special article where I list all the major theatrical animated releases that are coming out this year.
The release dates are based on the 2017 schedule on Box Office Mojo. Please note that this list is not final, as some movies may have a title or date change in the future.
Grab your calendar, and lets dive in!
The Lego Batman Movie
Warner Animation Group starts the year with their first of two Lego Movie spinoffs, The Lego Batman Movie. In his own solo adventure, masked vigilante Batman (Will Arnett) protects Gotham City from his many foes, including the master criminal Joker (Zach Galifianakis). Co-producer Christopher Miller promises this movie will be “chock full of stuff for Batman aficionados. It is just a 90-minute Easter egg.”
In an usual production choice, Rock Dog (Chinese: 摇滚藏獒) was 100% funded by Chinese companies, and animated in the United States by Reel FX. It adapts the story from Zheng Jun’s graphic novel about Bondi (Luke Wilson), a Tibetan Mastiff who leaves his village to pursue his dream career as a rock musician. Lionsgate will give the film a North American release under their Summit Premiere label.
Ballerina / Leap!
French-Canadian production Ballerina tells the story of Félicie Milliner (Elle Fanning), a girl of 1879 Paris who dreams to be a dancer. She inherently “borrows” the identity of another person, so she can participate in the Opera Ballet School. The Weinstein Company will release the film in the United States under the title Leap!.
The Boss Baby
Based on the picture book by Marla Frazee, The Boss Baby stars Alec Baldwin as a corporate baby who tries to foil a secret love-unbalancing plot with his jealous brother Tim (Miles Bakshi). Director Tom McGarth (the Madagascar trilogy) implements inspiration from his childhood experiences into the story.
Smurfs: The Lost Village
After two terrible live-action Smurfs movies, Sony Pictures Animation is giving the franchise a fully-animated reboot with Smurfs: The Lost Village. This one serves as an origin story where the blue creatures search through the Forbidden Forest for a lost village before evil wizard Gagamel (Rainn Wilson) does. Director Kelly Asbury (Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron) aims to make the film as faithful to Peyo’s works as possible.
In Spark, a sci-fi adventure from ToonBox Entertainment, teenage monkey Spark (Jace Norman) embarks on a mission with his friends Vix (Jessica Biel) and Chunk to reclaim their planet from General Zhong (Alan C. Peterson). During this quest, Spark will discover his true secret identity.
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature
Surly (Will Arnett) the unlikable purple squirrel makes his comeback in The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature. When the evil mayor of Oakton (Bobby Moynihan) plans to bulldoze the park, Surly and his animal friends step in to save their home. The sequel is being handled by Cal Brunker and Bob Barlen, the duo behind Escape from Planet Earth.
Action! Thrills! Laughs! Captain Underpants, the epic novel series by Dav Pilkey, is being turned into an animated movie by DreamWorks Animation and Canada’s Mikros Image. Two trouble-making kids George (Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch) hypnotise their mean principle Mr. Krupp (Ed Helms) to become their elastic-banded comic creation.
Released a full 11 years after the first movie, Cars 3 seems to be returning to the series’ routes after the embarrassing second film. A shocking event forces Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) to pull out of the sport he loves. Determined to get back on track, he must work along with others, and take on his new rival Jackson Storm.
Despicable Me 3
Gru (Steve Carell) and his new wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) are back in Despicable Me 3, the third instalment of Illumination’s highly-successful Despicable Me series. In their latest mission, they must face against their greatest foe yet: 80s-obsessed former child star Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker). Gru will also come across his long lost twin brother, Dru (also Carell).
(Note: I’m showing early concept art because the current poster is embarrassing.)
A collaboration between Mass Animation and Jam Filled Toronto (the revived Arc Productions), Blazing Samurai serves as homage to the Mel Brooks comedy Blazing Saddles. It is the story of young dog Hank (Michael Cera) who desires to be a samurai, and fights to save the town of Kakamucho from becoming Ika Chu’s (Ricky Gervais) litter box. Lion King co-director Rob Minkoff serves as one of the producers.
The Emoji Movie
Sony Pictures Animation is making a movie based on emojis. Gee, doesn’t that sound like a great idea? The Emoji Movie takes us to the world inside a smartphone, where a glitching emoji named Gene (T.J. Miller) goes on an “app-venture” through many real-world apps in search for code that can make him normal like the other emojis.
The Lego Ninjago Movie
Continuing on with the Lego Movie universe, Warner Animation Group gives us The Lego Ninjago Movie, based on Lego’s successful Ninjago lineup. Six ninjas defend their homeland of Ninjago from threatening monsters and villains, but they also must regularly deal with their current worst enemy: high school!
My Little Pony: The Movie
Bronies rejoice! The cultural phenomena My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is heading to the big screen. In My Little Pony: The Movie, the “Mane Six” set off on a quest to save Ponyville, and meet new friends on the way. Along with the voice talents from the show, they will be joined by several celebrity voices including Emily Blunt, Liev Schreiber, and Australian singer Sia.
Sony Pictures Animation teams up with The Jim Henson Company to create The Star. A faith-based tale about Bo the brave donkey and his fellow stable animals who follow the Star, and become the unintentional heroes of in the first Christmas. It is being directed by Timothy Reckart, who was nominated an Oscar for his 2012 animated short Head Over Heels.
Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich helms Pixar’s take on the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with Coco. The movie centres on 12-year-old Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) who attempts to emulate his favourite singer, but his actions take him to the Land of the Dead. This is where he meets the souls of his family.
Blue Sky Studios and director Carlos Saldanha (the Rio movies) end 2017 by bringing the classic story of Ferdinand to a new audience. As a peaceful bull, Ferdinand would prefer to smell roses than fight with the others. But things take a giant turn when he is mistakenly chosen for the big bullfights in Madrid.
So which ones are you excited for the most? Let me know in the comments below, and have a fantastic 2017!
|January 01, 2017|
The only movie on this list I'm really interested in is the Nut Job 2. (Yes, I liked the first movie. What of it?) The Captain Underpants movie looks like something I'd consider. I haven't read any of the books in years though.
|January 01, 2017|
|it's over, isn't it?|
to be honest, nothing here particularly stands out to me. the mlp movie is mildly interesting considering the big names signing on, but im concerned considering the recent writing of the show as to whether or not it'll actually be good, or at least live up to the standards of big screen movies - but then again, from the look of "emoji movie," they don't have big competition
|January 01, 2017|
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