There are so many exciting, strange, promising animated films headed our way in 2019 that you absolutely need to see.
It's already shaping to be yet another terrific year at the movies. The Best Picture nominees are stealing the spotlight at the moment but once the ceremony closes, attention will no doubt shift to the wider promises offered by the cinematic year. There are some particularly intriguing efforts headed our way, a lot of which happen to be animated; or rather, films which interestingly utilise animation to blend worlds. Here are the ten most exciting animated films coming in 2019 in order of release:
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (February 8, 2019)
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's film The Lego Movie completely surpassed expectations when it was released back in 2014. It was anticipated to be just another cash-grab toy adaptation but audiences were overjoyed to discover that the film boasted a great deal of heart and humour. Although quite the wait, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part finally arrived on February 8, 2019.
Five years after the events of the original, our heroes must save the day from a Lego Duplo alien invasion. The sequel has gone proved yet another delight, with a terrific voice-cast boasting the likes of Chris Pratt, with Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks reprising their roles. Although this time directed by Mike Mitchell, the magic remains.
Alita: Battle Angel (February 14, 2019)
Although Alita: Battle Angel isn't exactly an animated film, it's based on the Japnese manga Gunnm created by Yukito Kishiro. Stylistically, director Robert Rodriguez - along with producer James Cameron (Avatar) - has done well to give the film the look and feel of an anime effort, especially when one considers the explosive action sequences and editing style.
The film is a heartwarming tale of self-discovery, centralising on a reactivated female cyborg grappling with her true potential. Alita: Battle Angel boasts a stunning cast, featuring the likes of Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) and Jennifer Connelly (Requiem for a Dream). Yet, the real star of the film is its vast, immersive world which has already left fans desperate for a sequel.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (February 22, 2019)
Dreamworks hit the jackpot in 2010 with How to Train Your Dragon, an adaptation of the popular children's book series by Cressida Cowell. There are twelve books and plenty of source material to work with; this, of course, means sequels. We have now reached How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third entry in the franchise.
The series is beloved by children and adults alike, captivating wide audiences with its escapist fantasy. This time, Hiccup discovers that Toothless is one of many Night Fury's and sets out to discover a concealed dragon utopia before the evil tyrant Grimmel reaches it. Fans have thoroughly enjoyed all three films, so a fourth is definitely on the cards. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is not to be missed.
Dumbo (March 29, 2019)
The string of Disney remakes continues into 2019 with the reimagining of numerous studio classics. First up is Dumbo, which chronicles the emotional journey of a circus elephant suffering from loss and ridicule. Although with a positive central message, Dumbo has always been regarded as a particularly dark tale. So, who better to helm it than Tim Burton.
The director of Edward Scissorhands and Alice in Wonderland is renowned for his sinister fairytale visions and will now offer his take on yet another Disney effort. With a cast featuring Eva Green (Casino Royale), Danny DeVito (Big Fish), Michael Keaton (Batman), Colin Farrell (The Lobster) and more, this should be nothing less than spectacular. If the trailer offers any indication, we're about to have our hearts broken once again.
Pokémon Detective Pikachu (May 10, 2019)
It seems we're all ready to witness this generation's Who Framed Roger Rabbit when Pokémon Detective Pikachu arrives on May 10, 2019. The trailer boasts a curious balance of animation and live-action, teasing a world in which people actually collect Pokémon to battle with. Things brighten up for one trainer when he discovers a talking Pikachu who claims to be a detective.
It's certainly an alluring premise, especially when one considers that Pikachu is voiced by the charming Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool). Directed by Rob Letterman (Goosebumps), this is set to be one of the year's most popular oddities.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 (June 7, 2019)
What happens when you leave your pets alone? Illumination Entertainment perfectly answered this question with 2016's The Secret Life of Pets. The film was a total hit and it's highly likely that this year's sequel will be too.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 is due to hit cinemas this June. The plot is currently unknown but the trailers suggest we're in for more hilarious - perhaps all too relatable - pet behaviour.
Toy Story 4 (June 21, 2019)
Perhaps the most highly anticipated film on this list, the forthcoming Toy Story 4 is set to conclude the series which has brightened our lives since 1995. The gang will be returning this June with a new member, Forky, who joins the toys as they embark on an emotional road trip.
The plot suggests that we'd all be wise to bring some tissues for this one. Saying farewell to Woody, Buzz and all is sure to come with some reluctance on our part but the film should offer fans a truly beautiful slice of cinema. Audiences are already counting down the days for this one.
The Lion King (July 19, 2019)
In with another Disney remake, we have Jon Favreau's The Lion King to look forward to in June. Set to adhere closely to its beloved 1994 predecessor, this reimagining will reacquaint us with the film's world in visually-striking new ways.
The voice-cast features the likes of Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Beyoncé, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amy Sedaris, Keegan-Michael Key and more. If recent efforts such as Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book are anything to go by, then The Lion King is destined to be crowned king of the Summer box-office.
Spies in Disguise (September 13, 2019)
Nick Bruno and Troy Quane's Spies in Disguise could be the unexpected aminated hit of the year. With a voice-cast featuring Will Smith, Tom Holland, Ben Mendelsohn, Karen Gillan, DJ Khaled, Ian McShane, Rashida Jones and more, this will likely attract more attention as its September release date draws nearer.
The film's odd premise seems to centre on the world's greatest spy. However, he is inconveniently turned into a pigeon; of course, his nerdy tech assistant must now rise to the challenge and save the world. Spies in Disguise should offer audiences heaps of cartoonish fun.
Frozen II (November 22, 2019)
As Frozen II promises to conclude another exciting year of animated output, it appears that Disney didn't - in fact - "let it go". For this, fans of the first are absolutely delighted. The success of 2013's Frozen was astronomical and the phenomenon still remains to this day. With Frozen II, we are due to see a significant resurgence in merchandise and more.
The sequel will follow Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff as they journey deep into the forest to discover the concealed truths of their kingdom. There's no doubt that the film will be an unprecedented financial success, with existing Frozen fans set to recruit more as they return to the side of the increasingly iconic characters on November 22.
There you have it! The ten most anticipated animated movies headed our way in 2019. How many will you be seeing?
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