There was a time when people used to think that animated films were for kids. I did, too, when I was a kid! But, growing up, you realize how wrong this statement is! I mean, if ‘Coco’ is just for kids, I wouldn’t have been crying my eyes out by the end. If ‘Moana’ and ‘Frozen’ were just for kids, well then, you can categorize me as a kid!
Over the years, the content of animated films has taken a strong, expressive tone. Their stories have succeeded in surpassing the bounds of being limited to only one genre for only a certain age group. While Disney still holds the supremacy on the animated side of the world, it is not alone any more. And, this type of film-making is not just limited to telling the tales of princesses and their knights in shining armor. For someone who loves animated films, I always keep an eye out for the upcoming movies. If you, too, want to clear your schedule for the good ones, the following is the list of upcoming and new animated films in 2020, 2021 and beyond.
28. The Mitchells vs the Machines (January 10, 2020)
The Mitchells are the epitome of a proper dysfunctional family. They have their differences and they never come together on anything. Somehow, they decide to take a road trip together to rekindle their fading bonds with each other. Most of their problems are rooted in the technology that has become an inseparable part of their lives. So, when this technology turns against them, the Mitchells are forced to keep aside their differences and find a way to save the world. With two machines as dysfunctional as them, the Mitchells and their dog set out to save humanity from falling at the hands of the very machines that were made to serve them.
27. Sonic the Hedgehog (February 13, 2020)
After facing some controversy and a lot of flak from the fans, ‘Sonic the Hedgehog‘ is set to make an appearance on the big screen. After the release of its first trailer, it received such strong backlash that the film went back in production to correct its mistakes and give the fans what they desire and deserve. With the star-cast of Ben Schwartz, James Marsden and Jim Carrey, this film follows the story of the titular hedgehog and a small-town sheriff who try to stop an evil doctor from destroying the world. Though the film is not completely animated, we are excited about it because we want to see how they have treated Sonic this time around.
26. Onward (March 6, 2020)
Pixar has become a prominent name in making quality animated films. There is a bunch of new Pixar films that are to be released in the next couple of years, and ‘Onward’ is one of them. The story of this film is set in a world where there are no humans. Instead, there are magical creatures like trolls, unicorns and elves. It focuses on two young elves who take an exceptional journey to rediscover their relationship with their father. Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, Octavia Spencer and Julia Louis-Dreyfus voice the main characters in the film. Considering what an emotional joy-ride ‘Coco‘ is, and considering that the writer and director, Dan Scanlon, has channeled this story from his own life, we can expect a lot of things from ‘Onward’.
25. Peter Rabbit 2 (April 3, 2020)
‘Peter Rabbit 2’ is an upcoming live-action/computer-animated comedy film to be directed by Will Gluck and written by Rob Lieber and Gluck, based on the stories of Peter Rabbit created by Beatrix Potter. Since both the director and the writer are returning for the sequel, there is a possibility that the movie might turn out in the same taste as the prequel. It is expected that the script this time would be much better than the prequel since the movie had lost out to ‘Paddington 2’ in terms of critical acclaim, although achieving better commercial success.
The prequel was based on the traditional story of Peter Rabbit : In England’s Lake District Peter Rabbit, his cousin Benjamin Bunny, and Peter’s triplet sisters Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail, spend most of their days picking on Mr. Joe McGregor and stealing vegetables from his garden. They are friends with a local woman named Bea who spends her time painting pictures of the rabbits as well as the surrounding nature. Bea takes on a mother-like relationship with the rabbits due to the death of their parents, who were killed by McGregor. It is expected that the new sequel will do justice to the shortcomings of the prequel.
24. Wish Dragon (2020)
Most of us have wished to have something or someone that could make things come true for us, grant our wishes with the batting of an eyelash. In a long line of such films, we have another story which focuses on wishes coming true; the setting, however, is quite different. ‘Wish Dragon’ is set in contemporary China where a boy discovers a dragon that can grant wishes. Actors like Jackie Chan, Constance Wu and John Cho lend their voices to the characters who act as a means for raising questions on the moral limitations of granting someone’s wishes.
23. Trolls World Tour (April 10, 2020)
‘Trolls’ tells the story of, well, trolls. They are happy beings, never saddened by anything and spend their lives singing and dancing and making merry. But their happiness, or rather, they are an eyesore for monstrous creatures called the Bergens. They find happiness only after they eat a troll, and this becomes the cause of great sadness for the trolls. Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake voice the roles of the lead characters, and the film was a huge success, with one Academy Award nomination in the Best Original Song category. But, the story of trolls doesn’t end with just the first film. The cast is set to return, along with some new voices, in the sequel which takes us further into the stories of the characters.
22. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 ( April 8, 2022)
‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse‘ is an Academy Award winning film which is set in an alternate universe. It follows the story of Miles Morales, who comes to know about the presence of parallel universes and the various versions of Spider-Man that exist there. He teams up with these versions to save New York City. The film became a huge box-office success and winning the Oscar only legitimized a sequel for it. While the plot is kept under wraps, we expect the original cast to return and voice their characters. It is directed by Joaquim dos Santos.
21. Dragon’s Lair: The Movie (May 1, 2020)
‘Dragon’s Lair’ is a popular video game franchise that has found its way into the world of comic books and television. Now, it is being brought to the big screen in all its glory. It follows the story of a knight named Dirk the Daring who saves a damsel in distress named Princess Daphne, who is held captive by a dragon named Singe. The project is developed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, who serve as both the writers and the directors of the film.
20. SCOOB! (May 14, 2020)
If there is one dog you want to accompany you on a mystery quest, it is Scooby Doo. ‘SCOOB!’ brings him back on the screen, along with the rest of the gang, as they embark on an epic adventure to save the world. The stakes are, of course, higher this time. It has come to their attention that Cerberus, the most evil of all ghost dogs, is being summoned in order to take over the world. Meanwhile, we come to know more about the legacy of Scooby, a secret no one ever knew about. Directed by Tony Cervone, the film has the voice-cast of Frank Welker, Zac Efron, Gina Rodriguez, Will Forte, Amanda Seyfried, Tracy Morgan and Mark Wahlberg.
19. Soul (June 19, 2020)
Everyone is born with a passion, a talent for something, anything. Joe Gardner, a music teacher, knows that the purpose of his life is to play jazz. After years of waiting for an opportunity, he finally has it when he succeeds in impressing people at the Half Note Club. However, his happiness is short-lived. Soon after, he finds out that his soul has been separated from his body and he is now in a realm where souls find their passion before being transported in the body of a person. Now, Joe has to find a way out of this place, as soon as possible. ‘Soul’ is a Disney-Pixar production, which means you should be ready to have your mind blown and heart broken. Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey and Daveed Diggs voice the lead characters.
18. The SpongeBob Movie: It’s a Wonderful Sponge (May 22, 2020)
‘The SpongeBob Movie: It’s a Wonderful Sponge’ is a film based on Nickelodeon’s hit TV show ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’. It is the third SpongeBob SquarePants film in the franchise. It will likely consist of both computer-generated (CG) animation and traditional 2D animation, as used in the second movie. The series has chronicled the adventures and endeavors of the title character, and his various friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom in the previous films. It is expected that the new film will again create a new adventure for SpongeBob SquarePants and his friends. There are many recurring characters that are expected to make appearance such as the muscular lifeguard of Goo Lagoon, Larry the Lobster; a pirate specter known as the Flying Dutchman; and retired superheroes Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, who are idolized by SpongeBob and Patrick.
17. Wolfwalkers (2020)
Set in a world where magic and evil are considered synonymous, a young man becomes the apprentice of a seasoned hunter. Their job is to seek out wolves, who are considered demonic, and kill them. But then the apprentice comes across a girl who is turning into a wolf. He can’t kill her because she is innocent, but his master won’t feel the same. Directed by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart, it has Sean Bean in the lead role.
16. Bob’s Burgers (July 17, 2020)
‘Bob’s Burgers‘ is an animated sitcom which tells the story of the Belcher family, who run a hamburger restaurant. The story follows their day to day ordeals while presenting several social and cultural issues through the lens of a middle-class American family, much like ‘The Simpsons‘. The show is set to start its tenth run on television, but before that, we will be blessed with the Belchers coming to the big screen. The original cast of the series is coming together to voice their characters in the film. It is produced and written by Loren Bouchard, who is also the creator of the series.
16. The One and Only Ivan (August 14, 2020)
‘The One and Only Ivan’ is based on the children’s book of the same name by K. A. Applegate. It follows the story of a silverback gorilla who lives in a cage at the mall. When a secret from his past comes to light, he decides to break free and know more about himself. The award winning novel has been written for the screen by Mike White. It is directed by Thea Sharrock, known for ‘Me Before You’ and ‘Call the Midwife’. The voice of Ivan the gorilla is given by Sam Rockwell. Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, Danny DeVito and Bryan Cranston voice the supporting characters.
15. The Croods 2 (December 23, 2020)
They were the first people on the planet and they were the ones that named certain things as we know today! ‘The Croods’ is an affable tale set in the pre-historic times and spoke of a family that discovers new lands and new animals as it starts moving out of the cave-home fearing an impending apocalypse. The movie is a good watch and Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds did a great job in the voice-over department. ‘The Croods 2’ will make us wait a few more years but we are sure it will be another engaging movie for the entire family.
Read More: Upcoming DC Animated Movies
14. Minions 2: The Rise of Gru (July 3, 2020)
They speak a mix of Hindi, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, French and Russian; yet what they say is totally gibberish and thankfully we don’t need the brains to understand a word of Minionese! While the pill-shaped, yellow creatures looked to serve the greatest super-villain of all time, they toppled civilizations inadvertently and bumped off the fierce T-Rex in the process, finally settling for Scarlett Overkill. The sequel to ‘Minions’ is set to release on the big screens in 2020 and it is to be seen what act the harebrained Minions have up their sleeve next.
13. Untitled Rugrats movie (November 13, 2020)
As a kid, there were only a few TV channels that mattered to us. Nickelodeon was one of them. It is still a favorite among children because it produces some very good shows, and better, keeps rerunning its previous hits. In 1991, it started a show that captured the world from the point of view of the toddlers. Tommy Pickles and his friends are at the focus of the story that shows how the babies communicate with each other in a language which, although English, is incomprehensible to the adults. The show is funny and highly entertaining, and as the years passed, there were a couple of movies that followed its immense success. It is receiving a reboot and is set to appear as a new series on television, but there is more exciting news. It is being turned into a live-action movie! Get ready to relive your childhood.
12. Sing 2 (December 25, 2020)
In 2016, a musical was released that focuses on a group of animals who are amazing singers, but they are all held back by one thing or another. In the middle of them is a koala, named Buster Moon, who dreams of a helming a successful theater. Animals from all walks of life and in all sizes and shapes come for the auditions and only a handful are selected for a competition, that they falsely believe will bring them a lot of money. After their ups and downs, the show turns out to be a success and the koala succeeds in saving his theater. But, can he keep up with this success? What happened to the participants after they were done with the show? ‘Sing 2’ is set to answer all these questions along with a lot more music.
11. Tom and Jerry (December 23, 2020)
‘Tom and Jerry’ is one of the best timeless animated series. It follows the misadventures of a cat and a mouse who are always at each other’s throats. Generations have spent their childhood watching the show and the immense nostalgia associated with it is what brings everyone back to it. Now, the famous duo is coming to the big screen with the film that explores their early relationship. The only thing we have ever known for sure about Tom and Jerry is that they are cut-throat rivals. But what happened between them that led to this is what the film focuses on. It is directed by Tim Story and has actors like Chloe Grace Moretz, Michael Pena and Ken Jeong voicing the characters.
10. Raya and the Last Dragon (November 25, 2020)
For the lovers of dragons, there is another great movie lined up for release. If the end of ‘Game of Thrones‘ and ‘How to Train Your Dragon‘ has broken your heart, worry not. With ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’, Disney brings back the magic of these mythical beasts. Written by Adele Lim, the film is directed by Paul Briggs and Dean Wellins. Awkwafina and Cassie Steele voice the lead characters. It is set in a world called Lumandra, where a warrior named Raya sets out on the journey to track down the last dragon.
9. Blazing Samurai (June 10, 2021)
Mel Brooks‘ Academy Award nominated film ‘Blazing Saddles’ forms the inspiration of this animated-comedy. Written by Ed Stone and Nate Hopper, it is directed by Chris Bailey. It stars Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Cera, Ricky Gervais, Michelle Yeoh and Mel Brooks as the voice cast. It follows the story of Hank, a dreamy dog who finds himself in the unforgiving world of cats. He dreams of becoming a samurai and is tricked by an evil warlord in fighting as one for Kakamucho. This is when Hank comes in touch with Jimbo, a retired samurai who decides to teach the dog what it truly means to be a warrior.
8. Madagascar 4 (TBA)
The last time we saw our favorite animals from the Central Park Zoo was back in 2012. Since then, there has been a spin-off movie, focusing entirely on the penguins. In addition to this, there have been television series as well as a short film, which tell the stories of the side characters. But the creators are now in the mood to bring back the original gang on the screen. The project has been going on and off for a while, but lately, there have been some developments that suggest that it might happen after all. Details are scarce about the plot, but this film marks the return of the animals to New York.
7. Scarygirl (TBA)
Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Nathan Jurevicius, ‘Scarygirl’ is a popular video game that is now ready for its theatrical run. The film follows the story of a girl whose appearance is marked by a distinctive eye-patch and a mouth sewn-shut. When some mysterious events bother her, she is forced to leave her world and travel to another in order to find a solution to her problem, and in turn, save her world from destruction. Directed by Luke Jurevicius, it has Shailene Woodley voicing the lead character. The supporting cast includes Jai Courtney, Tim Minchin and Andrew Bachelor.
6. Ron’s Gone Wrong (February 26, 2021)
Technology has been slowly taking over the world, assisting humans with their work, making every task easier and simpler. You just have to say something and it will be done. While this technology is still developing in our world, ‘Ron’s Gone Wrong’ paints the picture of the time where it has reached its peak. In this story, every kid has their own robot that helps them with everything. These bots have become an integral part of their lives and it becomes quite a hassle when they don’t work. An eleven-year-old boy is irritated when his bot stops working right. He decides to teach the robot which results in a journey that strengthens their bond of friendship and makes the boy realize that there are much more important things in the world.
5. The Boss Baby 2 (March 26, 2021)
The 2017 film ‘Boss Baby’ had a very different storyline, where an infant thinks like an adult and is sent to the Templeton family under cover to get to know why puppies were receiving more love than human babies. The film garnered mixed reviews at the box office, though it was praised for its unusual thought and A-listers in the voice-over cast. There was also one major drawback in it: the film failed to appease its target audience – the children. Let’s just hope ‘Boss Baby 2’ comes up with a subject that even the little ones will like.
Read More: Upcoming Thriller Movies
4. B.O.O: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations (TBA)
This film follows the story of a secret agency that is tasked with protecting the humans from haunting by ghosts and evil spirits. The agents come across a sinister conspiracy and have to find out who is behind it before their world as well as that of humans is completely unraveled by it. The film boasts the star-cast of Melissa McCarthy, Seth Rogen, Bill Murray, Matt Bomer, Rashida Jones and Octavia Spencer. It was supposed to have an early release, however, Dreamworks went through some changes, which made them push back its production. However, we do hope that with such a promising premise, this film finds its way to the theaters soon enough.
3. Animated Ghostbusters Movie (TBA)
‘Ghostbusters‘ is one of the classic films that enjoy massive cult-following. It tells the story of a group of people who come up with weird technologies to tackle the ghost problems in people’s homes. The 1984 film, starring Bill Murray, is a milestone that laid the ground for the animated series and the 2016 reboot starring Melissa McCarthy. Despite a shaky performance from the reboot, the producers still believe in the potential of the series. Not only do we have a live-action film on the way, but an animated film is also in the works. What makes it more interesting is that it follows the story from the perspective of a ghost!
2. The Adventures of Tintin Sequel (TBA)
Directed by Steven Spielberg, ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ is based on the comic book series of the same name. It follows the story of a young reporter who embarks on daring adventures to find treasures and solve puzzles. With the success of the first film, there have been discussions and rumors about the content and the release of the second. We are close to a decade now, since we last saw Tintin, Snowy and Haddock. Spielberg and Peter Jackson have confirmed that the work is in progress, though they are divided about what should be adopted as the follow-up story.
Read More: Upcoming Horror Movies
1. Nimona (January 14, 2022)
‘Nimona’ is based on the fantasy webcomic of the same name by Noelle Stevenson. It follows the story of a shape-shifter who is the sidekick of a knight-turned-mad-scientist named Lord Ballister Blackheart. The film traces the origins of their story, focusing on the events that brought them together. One of the main tasks of the team is to expose the villainy of the ruler of their kingdom. The film is written by Marc Haimes and Max Werner and is directed by Patrick Osborne.
Read More: Upcoming Romance Movies