This list is for all you animated film fans out there who are wondering what computer animated, and at times, stop motion animated films you can feast your eyes on in 2016. Well wonder no more as we bring you a list of the animated films confirmed for release in the UK in 2016. Not included in this list are the films that combine live action and animation together, otherwise we’d be here all day, and lets face it do you really want to watch a trailer for Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip?
Kung Fu Panda 3 – Release Date 11th March 2016
You know it, I know it, and everybody else knows that the Kung Fu Panda franchise is awesome. They’re funny, full of action and even have some touching moments to soften those hearts of stone. Coming from the Dreamworks Animation studio the series is one of the big jewels in their crown, alongside Shrek, Madagascar and now How To Train Your Dragon the studio has some big hitters in their arsenal. The film has just released in the U.S. but we have to wait a couple more months to get it over here, but I’m sure it will be worth the wait. The voice cast is as diverse and talented as they come, with Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, David Cross, and Lucy Liu all return, and with them this time is the ever rising Bryan Cranston. Check out the trailer below, the end of it is golden.
Anomolisa – Release Date 11th March 2016
This is one strictly for the adults amongst us, Anomolisa is a stop motion animated film from the talented writer turned director Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation., Being John Malkovich). It’s been nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar and has David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tom Noonan providing voices in the film. This is my most anticipated animated film of the year, I love stop motion animation and the trailer looks fantastic, so much detail! Check it out below.
Norm of the North – Release Date 18th March 2016
This is a film that is already earning headlines as one of the worst reviewed films of 2016 and we aren’t even past January. After a January release in the U.S. the film has garnered a 2.3 rating on IMDB and a…wait for it….3% (at the time of typing) score on Rotten Tomatoes, the future does not look good for this animated film. Utilising the voice talents of Rob Schniedier, Heather Graham, Ken Jeong and even Bill Nighy, one might have thought it could be a reasonably funny animated film, then you watch the trailer.
Zootropolis – Release Date 25th March 2016
Following up the success of Big Hero 6, Walt Disney Animation Studios are releasing two films this year and this is the first of them. Much like Wreck It-Ralph in 2012 this film could be one of the gems of all the animated films released this year. The voice cast includes some impressive talents with Jason Bateman, Ginnifer Goodwin, Idris Elba, Alan Tudyk, Octavia Spencer and J.K. Simmons all proving their voices to the film. If your unsure then watch the first trailer from the film below, it’s hilarious.
The Angry Birds Movie – Release Date 13th May 2016
Some will call it genius, some will call it greed, but whatever you think you had to know it was inevitable. After coming from nowhere and becoming one of the most profitable mobile games ever then you had to know a film was always on the cards. Coming from Sony Pictures animation studio (Imageworks) this film doesn’t look set to break way from the wafer thin plot of the game. Pigs invade, Angry Birds retaliate, what more do you need. The film has recruited the cream of the crop from the world of comedy with names like Jason Sudeikis, Danny McBride, Keegan-Michael Key, Maya Rudolph and Bill Hader voicing alongside Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad. It could be good, but I’m not sold on it yet.
The Secret Life of Pets – Release Date 24th June 2016
The release of The Secret Life of Pets in June starts an epic summer animated film battle as Universal Pictures go head to head with 20th Century Fox and Disney/Pixar. Following 2 successful Despicable Me films, and the aforementioned Minions gravy train Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment will be hoping they have another Minions sized hit on their hands. They’ve moved the film to the same spot that Minions played so well in alongside Jurassic World, another Universal Pictures monster. Warcraft is also due out in June so they’ll be hoping for another wildly successful one two combination with the films. The teaser trailer has already got tongues wagging, filling in the imagination for all those pet owners who wonder what their animals are doing home alone. If successful you can guarantee we will have another franchise on our hands with this.
Ice Age: Collision Course – 29th July
20th Century Fox after a stellar 2014, had a reasonably quiet year in 2015 but they look to be back with a vengeance in 2016. The fifth instalment of the popular Ice Age series which started in 2002 (Feeling old?) adds another title to a potentially banner year for the company (Just search their film slate for 2016). If you missed Snoopy & Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie then you would have missed the Scrat-tastrophe short that played at the beginning. It didn’t disappoint and you can see it below as it essentially become the Ice Age: Collision Course trailer.
Finding Dory – Release Date 29th July 2016
I told you there was an epic animated film battle coming didn’t I? The release of Finding Dory opposite the release of Ice Age: Collision Course, and a month after The Secret Life of Pets will show us who will be crowned animated film champion. Universal trumped Disney/Pixar last year after Minions (financially) beat Inside Out by a considerable margin, however the advantage is in the court of Disney/Pixar. With a sequel to one of their most revered animated films and with a story that just makes sense, it could be a sure fire success. That being said Finding Nemo was released in 2003 is now 13 years old, any child who went to see that film over the age of 6 is going to be 20 years old. It could play more like an original film instead of a sequel. Time will tell.
Kubo and the Two Strings – 9th September 2016
The incredible animation studio Laika is a young one, but have brought us three beautifully detailed films and worlds to our screens. Following Coraline, Paranorman and The Boxtrolls we now get another seemingly distinct universe in Kubo and the Two Strings. The voice cast includes some top tier actors and actresses, with Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara and Matthew McConaughey all submitting their talent to the film. The trailer shows off the studios remarkable visual abilities with a very nice of version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps playing in the background. It certainly looks to be a more action packed film then we have seen from them in the past, and I’m sure it’ll be a good one.
Storks – Release Date 14th October 2016
Despite having an incredibly deep catalogue of popular animation characters Warner Bros have made the unusual decision to not actively pursue animated feature films with their subsidiary Warner Animation Group. Prior to the brilliant The Lego Movie in 2014 the only animated films we’ve seen in the past 6 years from WB have been Happy Feet 2 and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole. But now we have Storks, an animated film about those birds who supposedly sent babies our way, except now they don’t they just send internet deliveries. With Andy Samberg and Kelsey Grammer on the mic we could get something decent to rid the memory of Happy Feet 2.
Trolls – Release Date 21st October 2016
Not to be confused with the ridiculous but cult classic horror films, this is an animated film based on those fuzzy haired toys in the 90s (They actually were first created in the 1960s!). So following Kung Fu Panda 3, Alvin & The Chipmunks 4 and Ice Age: Collision Course (I told you they have a big year!) we get a new animated film from 20th Century Fox looking to for franchise potential. This film has been in development for ages but it’s finally here, and honestly just looks like it is going to be a replacement for The Smurfs or 20th Century Fox’s own Alvin franchise, which means it’ll make a ton of money and potentially be a bit rubbish. With Anna Kendrick, James Corden, Gwen Stefani, and Justin Timberlake on board it screams musical, which usually go two ways, great or… sh*t. We certainly hope it’s not but time will tell.
Moana – 2nd December
The second of Walt Disney Animation Studios films is due out in the winter of 2016, and unfortunately we do not have a trailer for the film yet. Dwayne Johnson and Alan Tudyk are listed as cast in the film with a debuting Auli’i Cravahlo voicing the lead role. The only synopsis detail we have is that it follows the story of Moana, a born navigator who begins an epic journey to a fabled island, assisting her on this trip of a lifetime is the demi-god Maui. Below is a very brief sneak peek at some footage, just do yourself a favour and ignore the two teens.
As release dates change and studios amend their tactics to compete with rivals there are likely to be more films popping up here and there, and as always dates are not always set in stone. Here are some other animated films to keep an eye on that don’t have a solid release date for the UK yet.
The Little Prince
An animated film that utilises stop motion and computer animation with a stellar cast. Due in March in the U.S.
Ratchet and Clank
An animated film based on the popular Playstation game franchise of the same name. Due in April in the U.S.
Another adaptation of a Playstation franchise set for release in 2016, anybody sense what Sony are doing? It’ll be Spyro the Dragon next.
That is it for now, if you notice that we have missed anything then give us a shout! And as always thank you for reading.