Happy New Year! 2017 was a good year for animation, but there's a lot to look forward to in 2018 as well! Some that are sequels from long ago and others that leave us in full wonderment. Listed below are only a few of animations you can keep an eye out for in the next year!
1. Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad
Release date: April 27, 2018
Dreaming of becoming the Top Dog of a delivery service in the arctic, Swifty must prove himself. During his mission on doing so he encounters almost every arctic animal you can think of, and they join together to stop the evil walrus to save the day!
Directed by Aaron Woodley and produced by AMBI Group and AIC Studios the Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad trailer can be seen here!
2. Sherlock Gnomes
Release date: March 23, 2018
Directed by John Stevenson, Sherlock Gnomes is about one Gnomeo and Juliet who move into a garden with all their gnomes to live happily ever after! When they find they have all disappeared, they hire the only one they knew would solve the mystery, "The greatest ornamental detective"!
Check out the trailer that brought to us by Paramount Pictures here!
3. Incredibles 2
Release date: June 15, 2018
Normal is a hard type of life to lead when there is so much crime to fight, and this family is back at it! Mr. Incredible stays home to watch the kids, as Elastigirl and Frozone find ways to tackle the new villian, The Underminer!
Directed by Brad Bird and brought to us by Disney Pixar, the Incredibles 2 trailer can be seen here!
Release date: September 28, 2018
Yeti's really do exist in this animated feature directed by Karey Kirkpatrick, and they are on the hunt for the mythical creatures know as "Smallfoot", otherwise known as humans! The fame that Migo's stories of this creatures makes him even more determined to prove his tale to the Yeti community.
"Yeti or not..." Warner Bros. Studios has the trailer ready to watch here!
5. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Release date: December 14, 2018
Peter Parker's passing leaves a teenager with the struggle of balancing high school with his duties as a superhero. Directed by Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti and Rodney Rothman and produced by Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Marvel Entertainment, Arad Productions, Pascal Pictures, this large team shows us what the Spider-Verse is all about in this comic-book style animation.
Watch the teaser trailer here!
Be sure to keep an eye out for all the other animated features being released this year, we have a lot more to look forward to! Check out a few more here!
As we near the end of the year, we had a very eventful month in the world of animation! From expositions, to animation feature releases, to more about what is coming up. What better way to spend the day after Thanksgiving than to catch up on what went on in the world of animation during the month of November!
Design plays a big role in the animation process and Designer Con includes many great designers in the toy and art industry. It takes place in Pasadena, CA every November and has over 400 vendors, art & custom shows, and live demonstrations all about toys and art, with many that are based off animations! Since it keeps growing every year, next year it will be moving to the Anaheim Convention Center, so keep an eye out!
Check out the vendors who were there this year here!
2. Google Spotlight Stories
Google Spotlight Stories launched as a new VR experience on Steam, Vive Port, Google Daydream, and Google Spotlight Stories mobile app. Son of Jaguar and Sonaria were both recently debuted on Google Spotlight Stories and available for us to be immersed into their art as you watch through the goggles.
Check iour the trailer for Sonariaon YouTube!
CTNx is always a great experience and this year was a little more special for us! It was the first year we had a table at CTNx, and we are so glad to have had the opportunity. On top of still being able to see what is going on in the industry and attending all the knowledge filled panels, we met a lot of talented artists who we hope to have the chance to work with on upcoming projects!
Get a little glimpse of CTNx 2017 here!
If you read our last blog, we wrote quite a bit about Coco being the highest grossing movie of all time in Mexico. With just a few days in theaters in the US, it already made 48.4 million and has 96% on Rotten Tomatoes! It's cultural education is the cherry on top of the visual impact it has. Critics say "Pixar's Day-of-the-Dead gem pays loving tribute to Mexican culture with animation that brims over with visual pleasures, comic energy and emotional wallop."
If you haven't seen it yet, check out the trailer here!
5. Creators Society
Very glad we were able to meet even more creatives at this years CTNx and looking forward to learning more about everyone at this month's mixer! We will be enjoying great company, good food, and a beautiful view at the Crystal View Lounge at the Holiday Inn in Burbank. We hope you can make it out too, RSVP here!
This was a big year for animation, but the year isn't over yet! There's still quite a bit that will be released before the end of the year. Here's a list of just a few of the one's coming out this fall!
Happy First Day of Fall!
The Lego Ninjago Movie
Released by Warner Animation Group and animation produced by Animal Logic, The Lego Ninjago Movie will be in theaters today, September 22, 2017!
It's based off the toy line, and a spin-off on 2014’s “The Lego Movie”. Lego Ninjago is an animation about the “Green Ninja”, who is being trained by Master Wu to defeat “The Worst Guy Ever”. All the other secret ninja warriors help “The Green Ninja” plot against his father.
Watch the trailer here!
My Little Pony: The Movie
Lionsgate will release the "My Little Pony" movie on October 6, 2017! It was Directed by Jayson Thiessen from a screenplay written by Megan McCarthy, and produced by Allspark Pictures and DHX Media!
Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Rarity, or the Mane 6, use the magic of friendship to help them on their quest to defeat The Dark Force’s threat on Ponyville!
Watch the trailer here!
Director Lee Unkrich and so many other talented co-directors, producers, voice actors, and more from Disney and Pixar have been working on "Coco" for years! The Día de los Muertos themed animation that will be released a little bit after the holiday on November 22, 2017!
His drive to prove his talent as a musician gets Miguel in a bit of a mix up. But, it does not stop him from undertaking a journey with his two friends to find out about his ancestor’s ban on music.
Watch the trailer here!
Based off “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson, 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios bring "Ferdinand" to big screen on December 15, 2017!
"Ferdinand" is directed Rio helmer Carlos Saldanha, with John Cena as the voice of Ferdinand. We get to follow a giant bull through his adventure in Spain! Don't let his size fool you though, he is actually just trying to get away from his captors and home to his family. A gentle giant that proves that appearances are often misleading!
Watch the trailer here!
Underneath the humor and cute animated characters in today's top Pixar and Disney Movies, we've seen a trend: these top box office films are also addressing some big issues. It's interesting to think about how these underlying messages may be subconsciously persuading us to think differently about some of the world's large issues. Today we're going to take a look at two top animated films that had prominent underlying messages and also look at how nonprofits may use animated films to raise awareness.
While this movie tells a cute story about how Riley's emotions changed her life when they left their post at the "control center" inside of her brain, it also addresses mental health and how depression can affect someone's life very quickly. This film looks at the variety of emotions that a young girl might experience while growing up and also addresses the importance of talking about your feelings. It reminds us that's it's okay to feel emotional sometimes and that being sad is okay. This movie looks to start a conversation in our society about mental health and may even prompt parents to think more about their child's mental well-being.
This movie tells the story of how an adorable bunny proves to the world that she's capable of being a great police officer and solve some of Zootopia's biggest cases. On the surface it looks like this movie's message is to follow your dreams and that you can do anything you put your mind to. The underlying message is much deeper; throughout the movie you see multiple political references as well as examples of racial profiling and prejudice. An article from Screen Crush discusses how this is Disney's first overtly political movie.
Unlike the older Disney films that skirted around harsher realities to uphold impractical messages, Zootopia shows a true evolution in the studio’s desire to tell young audiences stories that reflect the political zeitgeist. One classic contrast to Zootopia that reflects how far Disney has moved from outdated stories of divided identities is Disney’s The Fox and the Hound. The 1981 film uses two friends separated by their domesticated roles of the hunter and the hunted, showcasing a world where good and evil share no middle ground. Zootopia challenges that simplistic perspective, suggesting a world with varying degrees of right and wrong morals, one where the prey are just as susceptible to making hurtful assumptions as the predators are to discounting their worth.
The biggest strength of Zootopia is in how it acknowledges all identities are capable of carrying prejudice and wielding judgement, yet the first step toward change is awareness. And now more than ever, Disney is proving how aware it is. Hopefully Zootopia marks the beginning of a new era of bold, socially-conscious animated storytelling.
UNICEF's Unfairy Tales
UNICEF is looking to end discrimination toward child refugees with a series of PSAs called "Unfairy Tales". These short animated films will show the hardships refugee children have to face when leaving to get shelter from Syrian conflict. UNICEF's goal behind the PSAs is to "build empathy and promote kindness". UNICEF will be hosting a private screening of their newest PSA next week in Los Angeles. Below is the first video, which tells the story of 7-year-old Malak as she crosses the Mediterranean in search for safety.
The Take Away
It's important to think about how we, as animators, have the power to change the way the world views certain issues. As an audience, we should look for these underlying messages and be aware of how these studios might be trying to prompt us to think more in depth about what's going on in the world. Have you seen a movie recently that really got you thinking? Leave a comment below!
This year boasts a large amount of animated film releases from major studios. In fact, there are 167 animated films listed on IMDB to be released in 2016. These are the ten films we’re most looking forward to within the coming year, in order of release date.