2015 is shaping up to be a monumental year for cinema. Not only do we have the likes of ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and ‘Ant-Man’ to look forward to, but there are also new films from David O. Russell, Neil Blomkamp and Ron Howard to feast upon too.
Even with this cavalcade of cinematic delights already lined up, there is one particular genre that has a very impressive stream of releases coming up over the next 12 months. There’s a lot of hype surrounding the upcoming releases from the animated genre and when you see what’s in store, it’s hard not join in with the excitement.
By the time ‘Inside Out’ is released it will have been 24 months since the last Pixar film, ‘Monsters University’, hit cinemas. That’s simply too long for the world to be without a Pixar film. But all signs suggest that ‘Inside Out’ will more than make up for the break.
Set inside the consciousness of an 11-year-old girl, ‘Inside Out’ revolves around her progression into a teenager, while we are also privy to the various battles between her five emotions: anger, fear, disgust, sadness, and joy.
The first trailer showcased just how truly unique and inventive the film promises to be, while each of the characters seem to have been perfectly cast too.
We will find out if it lives up to this promise when ‘Inside Out’ finally hits UK cinemas on 24th July, 2015.
Big Hero 6
Disney and Marvel’s first animated collaboration is an adaptation of Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau’s cult late 90s comic.
Set in the rather magnificently named San Fransokyo, it revolves around 14-year-old robotics genius, Hiro Hamada, who forms his own eclectic superhero posse to tackle a villain that is wreaking havoc across the city.
‘Big Hero 6’ has already pocketed $325.5 million at the box office ahead of its release in the United Kingdom on 30 January 2015. While the fact that it has also been met with critical acclaim and sterling reviews suggests that it has continued Marvel and Disney’s recent cinematic hot-streak too.
The fact that ‘Strange Magic’ possesses the esteemed vocal talents of Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristen Chenoweth, and Maya Rudolph means that you immediately can’t help but be slightly intrigued by it. Then when you add in the fact that its story comes from the mind of George Lucas the attraction surrounding the Lucasfilm project increases tenfold.
‘Strange Magic’ is inspired by Bill Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and director Gary Rydstrom previously explained that Lucas “really wanted to make a beautiful fairy tale with goblins and elves, and do it in a way that only his company can do.”
The animated fantasy musical truly sounds unique, while its first trailer suggests that it could be a perfect meshing of a classic Disney animated film with Dreamworks’ tone. It is released on 11 February, 2015.
Shaun The Sheep
Having instantly become a national treasure following his debut in ‘Wallace & Gromit: A Close Shave,’ Shaun the Sheep now has his own solo movie, which is based on the children’s television series of the same name.
Will he be able to carry an entire film on his own though? That’s still very much up for debate. But the gang over at Aardman are always able to create sublime comedy in an idiosyncratic style while still remaining loyal to its stop-motion animation roots.
The trailers indicate that ‘Shaun the Sheep’ will see the studio do just that again, but I doubt that it will have the same appeal to adults as the ‘Wallace & Gromit’ shorts and feature film did. Hopefully I’ll be proved wrong when it hits cinemas on 6 February, 2015.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
Those of you who didn’t see ‘The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie’ back in 2004 would be well within their rights to assume that it was woeful. But it wasn’t. It was sweet, absurd and joyously amusing.
More of the same will be expected when its sequel, ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water’ is released on 27 March 2015. The eleven year gap between the films would probably be an issue for other animated adventures, but I can’t help but feel that this break might actually lend more mirth to the follow-up.
The fact that it will also include live action scenes should help to set it apart from its predecessor, and the inclusion of Antonio Banderas and Slash sums up how randomly awesome the franchise is.
Based on the 2007 Adam Rex children’s book, ‘The True Meaning of Smekday’, ‘Home’ will include the vocal talents of Rihanna, Jim Parsons, Jennifer Lopez, and Steve Martin.
‘Home’ revolves around an alien invasion of Earth by a race called the Boov, who are led by Captain Smek and are rather inept at everything they try their hand at. They land on our planet to hide from their enemy and then set about making it their new home.
However one resourceful little girl, Rihanna’s Tip, avoids capture and then befriends a banished Boov. Like every other Dreamworks animation it’s set to be bright, ambitious yet ultimately rather safe, but still packed to the brim with great visual jokes and goofy characters. It will be released into UK cinemas on 20 March, 2015.
Having wowed, charmed and ultimately stolen the show in ‘Despicable Me’ and ‘Despicable Me 2′, it was always likely that the powers that be for the animated franchise would create a spin-off film for the loveable Minions.
And the fact that they are planning to release it slap-bang in the middle of the summer, amidst the annual barrage of superhero films and sequels, shows just how much confidence they have in its success.
And why wouldn’t they. They have acquired a cavalcade of talented actors for voices, including Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Allison Janney, and Steve Coogan, while its plot, which sees them assist a T-Rex, Genghis Khan, Dracula and Napoleon before they end up in 1968, looks delightfully ambitious yet still joyously silly. It will almost certainly make a ton of money too.
The Good Dinosaur
Arguably Pixar’s most troubled film to date, ‘The Good Dinosaur’ has been in development for over five years now. In fact it was originally touted for a November 2013 release date, then May 2014, before finally settling on November 2015.
Peter Sohn has now replaced the original director, Bob Peterson, and ‘The Good Dinosaur’s’ plot has allegedly undergone a huge transformation too.
Pixar have previously managed to make huge alterations to struggling films that has turned them into majestic slices of animated cinema, most notably with ‘Ratatouille’, but we will have to wait until the release of the first trailer for ‘The Good Dinosaur’ before we can make that assumption with their sixteenth feature film. It will be released in the United Kingdom on 25 November 2015.
Hotel Transylvania 2
2012’s ‘Hotel Transylvania’ was ultimately rather disappointing.
This was despite the fact that it possessed a stellar line-up of comedic talent, including Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Kevin James and Steve Buscemi, who were unable to make amends for its clichéd gags and a contrived plot.
It still earned a rather impressive $358 million around the world though, which was enough to convince Sony Pictures to order a follow-up.
Robert Smigel, one of American televisions most respected writers, returns as the solo scribe for the sequel, while the entire cast, plus Mel Brooks, are back too.
You’ll be able to see if they can make up for the original’s failures when ‘Hotel Transylvania 2′ hits cinemas on October 9, 2015. Via (uk.yahoo.com)