Capture The Flag (29th Jan)
The first animation of 2016 is a Spanish production, with the English-dubbed version being released much later than the original. Directed by Enrique Gato, Capture The Flag follows a young surfer who rallies his friends to stop a billionaire from rewriting history as a way to horde Helium 3, the clean energy of the future.
Kung Fu Panda 3 (11th March)
Next up is DreamWorks’ sequel to the 2011 film Kung Fu Panda 2 and the third installment in the Kung Fu Panda franchise. Directed by Alessandro Carloni and Jennifer Yuh, the film features the voices of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, David Cross, James Hong, Bryan Cranston, Kate Hudson, and J. K. Simmons. Continuing his “legendary adventures of awesomeness”, Po (Black) must face two hugely epic, but different threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to his home.
Zootopia (25th March)
Also known as Zootropolis, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ first film of 2016, and the 55th Disney animated feature film altogether, Zootopia is directed by Byron Howard (Bolt and Tangled). With a voice cast including Ginnifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman, the film is set in the animal city of Zootopia, where a fast-talking fox goes on the run when he’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Zootopia’s top cop, a self-righteous rabbit, is hot on his tail, but when both become targets of a conspiracy, they’re forced to team up and discover even natural enemies can become best friends.
The Secret Life of Pets (24th June)
From Illumination Entertainment, The Secret Life of Pets, directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney, takes place in a Manhattan apartment building. With a voice cast including Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Steve Coogan, Ellie Kemper, Bobby Moynihan, Lake Bell, Hannibal Buress and Albert Brooks, the film follows Max, whose life as a favorite pet is turned upside down when his owner brings home a sloppy mongrel named Duke. But they have to put their quarrels behind when they find out that an adorable white bunny named Snowball is building an army of abandoned pets determined to take revenge on all happy-owned pets and their owners. This trailer is hilarious, so I’m actually really looking forward to this one.
Finding Dory (29th July)
Pixar’s first film of 2016 is the sequel to 2003’s Finding Nemo. Directed by Andrew Stanton, that original characters from the first film will appear in the sequel, including Dory, Nemo, Marlin and the “Tank Gang”. The film will focus on the amnesic character Dory, and will take place six months after the events of Finding Nemo and explore the idea of her being reunited with her family. The voice cast sees the return of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, and Hayden Rolence, and introduces new characters voiced by Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy.
Ice Age 5: Collision Course (29th July)
The fifth installment in the Ice Age film series and sequel to 2012’s Ice Age: Continental Drift. Directed by Mike Thurmeier and Galen T. Chu, the film will follow Scrat’s epic pursuit of his elusive acorn catapults him outside of Earth, where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the planet. To save themselves from peril, Manny, Sid, Diego, and the rest of the herd leave their home and embark on a quest, traveling to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colorful new characters as well as a new enemy who is a brother to one of their old foes. Denis Leary, Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, John Leguizamo, Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Wedge, and Simon Pegg will reprise their roles from the previous installment, while new additions to the cast include Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Adam DeVine, Nick Offerman, Max Greenfield, Stephanie Beatriz, Melissa Rauch, Carlos Ponce, Michael Strahan, Jessie J and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Sausage Party (12th Aug)
More of an adult animation (and, yes, that is really what this film is called), Sausage Party tells the story of a sausage (Paul Rudd) and his quest to discover the truth about his existence. Directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, the voice cast for this film also includes Kristen Wiig, Salma Hayek, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Edward Norton, Michael Cera, David Krumholtz and Nick Kroll. It’s hard to know what to think about this film with only an odd title and this picture below to go off.
Kubo and the Two Strings (9th Sep)
Directed by Travis Knight, Kubo and the Two Strings follows Kubo (Art Parkinson), who lives a quiet, normal life in a small shoreside village, until a spirit from the past turns his life upside down by reigniting an age-old vendetta. This causes all sorts of havoc as gods and monsters chase Kubo who, in order to survive, must locate a magical suit of armor once worn by his late father, a legendary Samurai warrior. The voice cast also includes Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes and Brenda Vaccaro.
Trolls (21st Oct)
Based on the Troll dolls by Thomas Dam and directed by Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn, Trolls is an animated musical that follows Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) as they venture “far beyond the only world they have ever known”. Together, their quest will test their strength and reveal their true colours. (Image courtesy of The Movie Network).
Storks (14th Oct)
Directed by Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland, which follows a story we’ve all been told, that Storks deliver babies… or at least they used to. Now they deliver packages for a global internet giant, but Junior, the company’s top delivery stork, is about to be promoted when he accidentally activates the Baby Making Machine, producing an adorable and wholly unauthorized baby girl. Desperate to deliver this bundle of trouble before the boss gets wise, Junior and his friend Tulip, the only human on Stork Mountain, race to make their first-ever baby drop – in a wild and revealing journey that could make more than one family whole and restore the storks’ true mission in the world. Kelsey Grammer, Andy Samberg, Keegan-Michael Key, and Jordan Peele provide the voices.
Moana (2nd Dec)
Another animation from Disney, and the 56th animated Disney film, Moana follows a young woman who uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled island. Joining her on the adventure is her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson provide the lead voices.
Sing (22nd Dec)
A musical including the voice cast of Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Nick Offerman, and John C. Reilly, Sing follows a koala named Buster who recruits his best friend to help him drum up business for his theater by hosting a singing competition. I can’t wait to see the trailer for this one.
The final animation in this list, directed by Adam Wood and based on his own 2014 short film Henchmen: Ill Suited, this film is set in a world of super-villains with evil schemes and global domination. But someone has to take out the trash. Welcome to the world of Henchmen, third class. When a fresh-faced new recruit joins the Union of Evil, he is assigned to a motley crew of blue-collar workers led by fallen henchmen Hank. But when The Kid accidentally steals the super villain’s ultimate weapon, Hank must break his risk-nothing code to save the boy he’s befriended, even if it means becoming the one thing he has always avoided being: a hero. The voice cast includes James Marsden, Thomas Middleditch, Rosario Dawson, Alfred Molina, Nathan Fillion, Jane Krakowski, Rob Riggle, Craig Robinson and Will Sasso.