As the year comes to a close, it comes time again to prepare ourselves for the animated films being released next year! So read on below to find a list of the theatrical animated films set to be released in 2017! Like usual, I’m only listing the ones that have confirmed US release dates at the moment, hence this list is mostly composed of films from the major animation studios. Enjoy!
1) The Lego Batman Movie [February 10, 2017]
This year we don’t seem to have a bad animated film planned for January like the previous years had (or at least there isn’t any planned yet), so our first animated film of the year comes out in February. From Warner Animation Group, The Lego Batman Movie takes the breakout character from The LEGO Movie, Lego Batman, and gives him his own movie. In the film, Lego Batman must protect Lego Gotham City from being taken over by the Joker whilst also learning about teamwork and friendship. W/the voices of Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Roasario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Mariah Carey, Billy Dee Williams, Jenny Slate, etc.
2) The Boss Baby [March 31, 2017]
Dreamworks Animation’s first film of the year is about a boy who gets a new briefcase-carrying baby brother and how the two have to work together to stop a plot that will destabilize the balance of love in the world. Sounds fun, right? W/the voices of Alec Baldwin, Tobey Maguire, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, etc.
3) Smurfs: The Lost Village [April 7, 2017]
Sony Animation’s first film of the year has the Smurfs returning to the big screens, but entirely animated this time. In the film, Smurfette seeks to find purpose in the village which leads to her and a few other Smurfs going out to find the legendary Lost Village before Gargamel does. W/the voices of Demi Lovato, Mandy Patinkin, Jack McBrayer, Rainn Wilson, Gabriel Iglesias, Joe Manganiello, Danny Pudi, etc.
4) Spark [April 14, 2017]
Ok, stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but a teenage monkey, a fox, and a warthog embark on a mission to take back the planet Bana from the evil General Zhong. Oh, you’ve heard this before? Oh, well. I feel this was supposed to be the annual January animated film. W/the voices of Jace Norman, Jessica Biel, Hilary Swank, Patrick Stewart, Susan Sarandon, etc.
5) The Nut Job 2 [May 19, 2017]
Remember that 2014 movie, The Nut Job, that everyone “loved”? Well, we finally have the much-delayed sequel to it in which the animals from the first film must prevent the crooked Mayor from destroying Liberty Park and replacing it with an amusement park. W/the voices of Will Arnett, Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham, Jackie Chan, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Bobby Moynihan, etc.
6) Captain Underpants [June 2, 2017]
Dreamworks Animation’s second film of the year is based on the popular book series of the same name. In the film, two kids hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s their comic book creation, Captain Underpants. W/the voices of Kevin Hart, Nick Kroll, Ed Helms, Kristen Schaal, Thomas Middleditch, Jordan Peele, etc.
7) Cars 3 [June 16, 2017]
Pixar’s first film of the year continues the saga of Lightning McQueen. In the film, McQueen is pushed out of the racing game when a new generation of racers takes over in popularity. He then seeks the help of a race technician to get back into the game. Now, the question is, will Michael Caine be back as Finn McMissile? I hope so, but doubt it! W/the voices of Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, Cheech Marin, etc.
8) Despicable Me 3 [June 30, 2017]
Illumination Entertainment’s film of the year brings back their hit franchise with a third entry…whether you wanted it or not! In this film, Gru faces off with a former child star who’s bent on world domination (as well as being obsessed with the character he played in the ’80s) and meets his long-lost twin brother, Dru. W/the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, etc.
9) Blazing Samurai [August 4, 2017]
Inspired by the film, Blazing Saddles, this film revolves around a dog who dreams of becoming a samurai and fights to save a town from a feline warlord. W/the voices of Michael Cera, Samuel L. Jackson, Michelle Yeoh, Ricky Gervais, Mel Brooks, Djimon Hounsou, Gabriel Iglesias, George Takei, etc.
10) Emojimovie: Express Yourself [August 4, 2017]
Sony Animation’s second film of the year is one that most people are dreading from the mere mention of its name. This film will be about a multi-expressional emoji and his journey to become a normal one. W/the voices of T.J. Miller, James Corden, Ilana Glazer, etc.
11) The Lego Ninjago Movie [September 22, 2017]
Yep, we get two The LEGO Movie spin-offs in 2017! This one tells the story of 6 young ninjas who defend their island home of Ninjago at night and struggle with high school during the day. W/the voices of Dave Franco, Michael Peña, Fred Armisen, Jackie Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Olivia Munn, Justin Theroux, etc.
12) My Little Pony: The Movie [October 6, 2017]
Based on the popular My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic TV show, this film features the “Mane Six” leaving Equestria in order to stop a threat to the town of Ponyville….yeah, I have no idea what any of this means! W/the voices of Tara Strong, Ashleigh Ball, Andrea Libman, Michael Peña, Emily Blunt, Liev Schreiber, etc.
13) The Star [November 10, 2017]
Sony Animation’s third film of the year revolves around a donkey, a sheep, and a dove who accidentally become heroes in the story of Christmas. No voice cast announced yet.
14) Coco [November 22, 2017]
Pixar’s second film of the year centered around the Día de Muertos holiday deals with a boy who sets off a chain of events relating to a century-old mystery and leading to an extraordinary family reunion. W/the voices of Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Renée Victor, Benjamin Bratt, etc.
15) Ferdinand [December 22, 2017]
We end the year with Blue Sky Studios’ adaptation of the story of Ferdinand, the bull who would rather smell flowers peacefully instead of taking part in bullfights. W/the voices of Gabriel Iglesias (wow, he has 4 animated film roles in 2017?!), etc.
Well, 2017 seems to be an interesting year for animation with many of the films seeming….okay, at best. I am disappointed that there will be no film from Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2017, but at least we get two of them in 2018.
My top 3 awaited animated films of 2017 are The Lego Batman Movie, Cars 3, and Coco. Let me know what yours are in the comments below!