Everyone knows that 2016 was an AMAZING year for the movies. Just in case you need a refresher, here’s our round-up of the best animation of 2016.
Okay, now that you’re up to speed, it’s time to look to the future! 2017 looks like it’s going to be another mind-blowing year in entertainment, so to help you keep track here’s a list of some highlights to look forward to in the year to come. You’ll want to bookmark this one!
-The Animation Mentor Crew
Director: Chris Wedge
Studios: Disruption Entertainment, Nickelodeon Movies, Paramount Animation
To be honest, we weren’t sure at first what we’d be getting into with a movie called Monster Trucks. Would it be about the monster trucks we all know and…know? Racing around arenas and using their less powerful normal-sized comrades as ramps to reach great heights amidst the cheers of spectators? Or would it be…something else?
Based on the trailer, it seems to be in the “something else” camp and in the form of a pretty adorable monster that likes to inhabit, and power, a truck. Hence, Monster Trucks. Okay, now we’re all on the same page. And with a cast including Lucas Till (Havok from X-Men) and Jane Levy (badass scream queen from Evil Dead and Don’t Breathe) along with Jane Lynch, Amy Ryan, Rob Lowe, and Danny Glover, we’re also on board.
The Lego Batman Movie
Director: Chris McKay
Studios: Animal Logic, DC Entertainment, et al.
Ever since Lego Batman grumbled his way into our hearts in The Lego Movie we’ve been anxious for more angst and more sweet tunes about darkness and no parents. Now that he has his very own movie, we’ll get the added bonus of more classic Batman characters in Lego form! Lego Alfred? Check. Lego Batgirl? Check. Lego Joker and Harley Quinn? Check and Check. We. can. not. wait.
Kong: Skull Island
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Studio: Legendary Entertainment, Warner Bros.
It’s been 11 years since beauty killed the beast in the latest King Kong movie, so it makes sense that we’re starting here with a reboot. This one takes place in the 70s instead of the 30s, which will definitely give it a different look and feel (helloooo, mustaches). We’re looking forward to seeing how this familiar story is reimagined with the help of Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, and more.
Directors: Eric Summer, Eric Warin
Studios: Quad Productions, Caramel Film, Main Journey
Félicie is a ballerina with a dream, just trying to make her way in 1880s Paris. Will she achieve her dream with the help the ragtag group she meets along the way? We’re not sure, but we’re anxious to find out! Fun Fact: The animators used performances by Aurélie Dupont and Jérémie Bélingard, two star dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet, to create the realistic dance choreography for the film.
Beauty and the Beast
Director: Bill Condon
Studio: Mandeville Films, Walt Disney Pictures
Who isn’t excited about a re-imagining of this tale as old as time?! The live action Beauty and the Beast no doubt proved challenging for the filmmakers involved—how true do you stay to the original 2d animated look without making these beloved characters look too cartoony for live action? Based on the trailer, it seems like they struck just the right balance, and we can’t wait to see this movie come to life.
Bonus: Sir Ian McKellen as the voice of grumpy old Cogsworth. Mic drop.
Director: Dean Israelite
Studio: Lionsgate, Saban Entertainment, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
A Power Rangers reboot?! Do you hear that? That’s the sound of millions of 90s kids hearts swelling with pride and joy. But don’t worry, early-2000s kids—we remember that the Power Rangers reboot that aired on Nickelodeon in 2010. See, there are reasons for everyone to rejoice.
Technically the third Power Rangers movie to be produced, this will be the first reboot of the 21st century and will include most of our favorite main characters, portrayed by new actors, from the original 90s show. We’re excited to see Bryan Cranston as Zordon, the rangers’ mentor, and—presumably—a far cry from his Walter White days.
The Boss Baby
Director: Hendel Butoy, Tom McGrath
Studio: DreamWorks Animation
Alec Baldwin as the voice of a briefcase-toting boss baby. I don’t know that we need any more information than that.
Director: James Mangold
Studio: Donners’ Company, Marvel Entertainment, TSG Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Film
A far cry from its two predecessors, Logan looks shaky, gritty, and grim—much like its protagonist. Set to Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt,” the trailer suggests a largely post-mutant world that’s in a pretty dire state. Even the usually ageless Wolverine is looking worse for wear, and it seems we’ll learn more about Logan’s many scars. In short, this looks like it’s going to be amazing.
Smurfs: Lost Village
Director: Kelly Asbury
Studio: Columbia Pictures, Kerner Entertainment Company, Sony Pictures Animation
In this fully-animated Smurfs story, Smurfette takes charge in a journey to find a mysterious lost village before Gargamel does. Do the smurfs really have any other enemies? Nope. Just Gargamel. Everyone else loves em!
Spark: A Space Tail
Director: Aaron Woodley
Studio: ToonBox Entertainment, Redrover Co. Ltd., Gulfstream Pictures, Shanghai Hoongman Technology Co.
Spark, a teenage monkey and his friends—Vix, a fighting fox, and Chunk, a tech-savvy pig—set out to save the universe from an evil general hell-bent on destroying the universe with the help of a black-hole-creating Kraken. Sounds just wacky enough to be awesome.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Director: James Gunn
Studio: Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
The Starlord is back! Set two-ish months after the last movie ended, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the journey of our mismatched group of lovable adventurers as they try to get along and to learn more about Peter Quill’s origins. Bonus: BABY GROOT
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Director: Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Infinitum Nihil
Pirates movie number 5! Who would have thought Jack Sparrow could stay alive and stumbling this long? This time, Javier Bardem is our villain as Capitán Salazar. Along with his ghostly crew, his aim is to kill every pirate at sea—including our wobbly hero.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Director: Guy Ritchie
Studio: Safehouse Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, Warner Bros., Weed Road Pictures, Wigram Productions
A new hipster-haired spin on the classic tale of King Arthur? We’re game. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword goes back to the beginning, before he even knew about his sword-pulling talents—back to when he was adventuring around with his crew and, if we’re to believe the trailer, bare-knuckle boxing? That’s okay. A little poetic license never hurts when you’re making a grim- but epic-looking action-packed version of King Arthur’s legend. Bonus: We spied Little Finger/Tommy Carcetti in this trailer (Aidan Gillen).
Director: Patty Jenkins
Studio: Atlas Entertainment, Cruel & Unusual Films, DC Entertainment, Dune Entertainment, Warner Bros.
That guitar riff, that no-nonsense glare, that badassery. We’re so pumped to watch Gal Gadot kick some turn-of-the-century butt as Wonder Woman after her all-too-brief appearance during Batman v Superman. And we’re hoping we’ll get that petticoat fight scene that’s teased in the trailer. Bonus: Patty Jenkins is directing Wonder Woman! It’s refreshing to see a live-action superhero movie directed by a woman—and it seems especially fitting given that the protagonist is a strong woman as well.
Despicable Me 3
Director: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin, Eric Guillon
Studio: Illumination Entertainment, Universal Pictures
Gru and the girls are back! This time they’re battling Balthazar Bratt, a former 80s child star bent on world domination, and it looks like it’s going to be just as amazing as the previous two.
Director: Brian Fee
Studio: Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures
When Lightning McQueen crashes at the Los Angeles International Speedway trying to keep up with younger, faster racers, he knows he has to work hard to get back in the game. Lightning teams up with a new race technician to train for Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage against his new rival, Jackson Storm. We predict a training montage!
Director: Jon Watts
Studio: Columbia Pictures, LStar Capital, Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Studios, Pascal Pictures
Believe you me, we will be the first ones to admit that we do not need another Spider-man origin story. Luckily, this isn’t one! Whew.
Peter Parker is back in high school after his little brush with superherodom in Captain America: Civil War, and it’s not necessarily the easiest transition. We get it. If we had been flying around fighter planes battling Captain America, Scarlet Witch, and a few others including two bird-themed heroes, it might be hard to concentrate when you’re back in algebra class.
War for the Planet of the Apes
Director: Matt Reeves
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Film
Following the tensions of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, it’s the apes vs. an army of humans in The War for the Planet of the Apes. This time, it will determine the fate of the species—as well as the fate of the planet.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Director: Luc Besson
Studios: EuropaCorp, Fundamental Films, Grive Productions, Gulf Films
Based on the French sci-fi comic book series Valérian and Laureline, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets looks like it’s going to be pretty gorgeous. And who better than The Fifth Element’s Luc Besson to take us on a journey exploring a thousand planets? (Do you really think we’ll see a thousand?!)
The Emoji Movie
Director: Tony Leondis
Studios: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation
Another one where we weren’t quite sure what to expect (and still aren’t), but we’ve got a sense of the plot and of what primarily interests us. The plot: Gene is an outsider emoji becuase he’s able to make more than one expression. While you’d think that would be coveted in the emoji world, his goal is to become normal. What primarily interests us: Patrick Stewart as the voice of Poop Daddy, the poop emoji. You read that right: Poop Daddy.
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature
Director: Cal Brunker
Studios: ToonBox Entertainment, Redrover Co. Ltd., Gulfstream Pictures, Shanghai Hoongman Technology Co.
The crew is back in The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature to keep the evil mayor from bulldozing their park and erecting a dangerous, nutless, amusement park. Clearly he must be stopped!
Director: Chris Bailey
Studio: Brooksfilms, Flying Tigers Entertainment, Huayi Brothers Media, Mass Animation
We can’t help by notice that Mel Brooks will be a voice in Blazing Samurai. Is this somehow going to call back to Blazing Saddles? We think this is a family movie, so, presumably not too much.
Anyway, Blazing Samurai is the story of a young dog named Hank who dreams of becoming a samurai and fights to save his town from becoming the litter box of a feline warlord Ika Chu (Yussssss. Ricky Gervais).
Director: Taiki Waititi
Studio: Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
For those of you who don’t know as much as we do about Norse mythology, Ragnarök is a grim series of events that have been foretold in their mythology. They include a great battle which will mean the death of a number of major Norse figures (including gods), a number of natural disasters, and the submerging of the world in water. Yipes. After all that, the world is meant to begin again—revitalized and fertile. All the remaining gods will meet, and the world will be repopulated by two human survivors.
Just kidding. We totally had to look that up. Anyway, Thor is back home, fighting to stop the Ragnarök as well as the evil goddess Hela (a Marvel invention based on the Norse goddess of death, Hel). To get back home, he unfortunately must take on an old friend—Hulk—gladiator style. And he is missing his hammer. Things don’t look great for Thor…
Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
Studios: Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures
Woo! Pixar! Coco is the story of Miguel, a 12-year-old who visits the land of the dead after pursuing musical dreams that his family has banned, Footloose-style. While in the underworld, Miguel has an extraordinary family reunion with some dearly departed and learns more about his own family history.
Director: Zack Snyder
Studios: DC Comics, DC Entertainment, Dune Entertainment, Lensbern Productions, Warner Bros.
More than a year after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince, feeling inspired by Superman’s sacrifice, assemble a team of heroes to face a new foe, Steppenwolf and the Parademons, who are searching the Earth for three Mother Boxes. We can’t decide which new hero we’re most anxious to see in action! The Flash? Cyborg? Aquaman? Who are you most excited to see?
Star Wars: Episode VIII
Director: Rian Johnson
Studios: Lucasfilm, Bad Robot, Formula Film, Ram Bergman, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
STAR WARS. STAR WARS, YOU GUYS. While we were insanely excited for Episode VII, now that we know how awesome it was, we’re even MORE excited for Episode VIII. Bring on more Kilo Ren. Bring on more LUKE. Bring on more REY and FINN. Bring on the return of John Williams’s scores. Bring. it. on.
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