(part 5 of 6) 2016 to 2017
Below is a checklist of every animated feature released theatrically in the United States, in order of release, from 2016 to 2017, followed by information on 2018 releases (and beyond) as known. This page is continously updated with new information on a regular basis!
509. NORM OF THE NORTH (1/15/16) Lionsgate. D: Trevor Wall. When a real estate development invades his Arctic home, Norm and his three lemming friends head to New York City, where Norm becomes the mascot of the corporation in an attempt to bring it down from the inside and protect his homeland.
510. MONSTER HUNT (1/22/16) Film Rise. D: Raman Hui. (Live action/Animation) In an ancient world where monsters rule the land while humans keep to their own kingdom, a baby monster, Wuba, is born to a human father and monster queen.
511. KUNG FU PANDA 3 (1/29/16) Dreamworks/20th Century-Fox. D: Jennifer Yuh Nelson; Co-Director: Allesandro Carloni. Continuing his “legendary adventures of awesomeness”, Po must face two hugely epic, but different threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to his home.
512. SNOWTIME (2/19/16) Shout Factory. D: Jean-François Pouliot. When winter break arrives, a boy and his friends are joined by the new girl in town for a prolonged snowball fight.
513. THE BOY AND THE BEAST (3/4/16) Funimation. D: Mamoru Hosoda. (anime) When a young orphaned boy living on the streets of Shibuya stumbles upon a fantastic world of beasts, he’s taken in by a gruff warrior beast looking for an apprentice.
514. ZOOTOPIA (3/4/16) Disney. D: Byron Howard, Rich Moore. In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a rookie bunny cop and a cynical con artist fox must work together to uncover a conspiracy.
515. RACHET AND CLANK (4/29/16) Focus Features. D: Jerrica Vleland, Kevin Munroe. When the galaxy comes under the threat of a nefarious space captain, a mechanic and his newfound robot ally join an elite squad of combatants to save the universe.
516. THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE (5/20/16) Sony. D: Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly. When an island populated by happy, flightless birds is visited by mysterious green piggies, it’s up to three unlikely outcasts to figure out what the pigs are up to.
517. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS (6/3/16) Paramount. D: Dave Green. After facing Shredder, who has joined forces with a mad scientist and his henchmen to take over the world, the Turtles must confront an even greater nemesis: the notorious Krang.
518. FINDING DORY (6/17/16) Disney/Pixar. D: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane. The friendly but forgetful blue tang fish begins a search for her long-lost parents.
519. THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (7/8/16) Universal (Illumination). D: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney. The quiet life of a terrier named Max is upended when his owner takes in Duke, a stray whom Max instantly dislikes.
520. PHANTOM BOY (7/15/16) GKIDS. D: Jean-Loup Felicioli, Alain Gagnol. A super-powered boy helps a wheelchair-bound policeman in his attempt to bring down a mob kingpin.
521. ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE (7/22/16) 20th Century-Fox. D: Mike Thurmeier. Manny, Diego, and Sid join up with Buck to fend off a meteor strike that would destroy the world.
522. THE LITTLE PRINCE (8/5/16) Netflix. D: Mark Osborne. A little girl lives in a very grown-up world with her mother, who tries to prepare her for it. Her neighbor, the Aviator, introduces the girl to the extraordinary world of the Little Prince.
523. SAUSAGE PARTY (8/12/16) Sony. Sony. D: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon. A sausage strives to discover the truth about his existence.
524. KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS Focus/Laika. (8/19/16) D: Travis Knight. A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.
525. SPACE DOGS: ADVENTURE TO THE MOON Epic Pictures Group. (8/26/16) D: Mike Disa. A canine teenage astronaut is determined to find his missing astronaut father. Stowing away on a rocket to the moon he is reunited with his mom, a macho monkey and a baby alien.
526. THE WILD LIFE Lionsgate. (9/9/16) D: Vincent Kesteloot, Ben Stassen. A daring parrot recounts how Robinson Crusoe came to be stranded on a tropical island.
527. STORKS (9/23/16) Warner Bros. D: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland. Storks have moved on from delivering babies to packages. But when an order for a baby appears, the best delivery stork must scramble to fix the error by delivering the baby.
528. LONG WAY NORTH (9/30/16) Shout Factory. D: Rémi Chayé. In 1882, a young Russian aristocrat goes on an epic adventure to find out what happened to her grandfather and save her family’s reputation.
529. MISS HOKUSAI (10/14/16) GKids. (anime) D: Keiichi Hara. The life and works of Japanese artist and painter Katsushika Hokusai, as seen through the eyes of his daughter.
530. TROLLS (11/4/16) Dreamworks – 20th Century-Fox. D: Mike Mitchell, Walt Dorhn. After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy, the happiest Troll ever born, and the curmudgeonly Branch set off on a journey to rescue her friends.
531. MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI (11/11/16) GKids. D: Claude Barras. (submitted by Switzerland as its official nominee for Best Foreign Film, 2016) Zucchini is an intriguing nickname for a 9-year-old boy who, after his mother disappears, is befriended by a police officer who accompanies him to his new foster home.
532. THE RED TURTLE (11/18/16) Sony Pictures Classics. D: Michaël Dudok de Wit. The dialogue-less film follows the major life stages of a castaway on a deserted tropical island populated by turtles, crabs and birds. Produced by Studio Ghibli.
533. MOANA (11/23/16) Disney. D: Ron Clements, John Musker. When a terrible curse incurred by Maui reaches an impetuous Chieftain’s daughter’s island, she answers the Ocean’s call to seek out the demigod to set things right.
534. YOUR NAME (12/2/16) Funimation. D: Makoto Shinka. Two high school kids who’ve never met – city boy Taki and country girl Mitsuha – are united through their dreams.
535. NERDLAND (12/16/16) Samuel Goldwyn. D: Chris Prynowski. Two best friends, whose dreams of super-stardom have fizzled, decide to do whatever they can to become famous before they reach being 30.
536. SING (12/21/16) Universal (Illumination). D: Garth Jennings, Christophe Lourdelet. A koala named Buster Moon has one final chance to restore his theater to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.
NOTES: Limited-release theatricals (movies going Direct-to-Video (DVD, VOD but getting a theatrical billboard) began this year with theatrical showings of YELLOW DAY, a faith-based live action/animation feature, directed by Carl Lauten, which opened in L.A. on January 8th 2016 via the Alabama-based Idyllic Entertainment Group. Funimation released the anime feature THE EMPIRE OF CORPSES, directed by Ryoutarou Makihara, for two days on April 19th and 20th. Momentum Pictures released the Korean produced BLING!, directed by Kyung Ho Lee and Wonjae Lee, to select theaters on May 6th. Aniplex America released anime feature CLASSMATES (Doukyusei) by Shoko Nakamaura on May 6th. Funimation released the anime feature HARMONY, directed by Michael Arias and Takashi Nakamura, animated by Studio 4°C and based the novel of the same name by Project Itoh, for two days on May 17th and 18th. Shout Factory released the Russian made QUACKERZ, directed by Viktor Lakisov, on June 3rd. NUTS, a documentary by Penny Lane, that uses much animation to illustrate its true story, had its theatrical premiere in New York on June 22nd. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Fathom Events partnered to give BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE, a special one-night big screen release on Monday, July 25th in select cinemas across the country. Shout! Factory Kids released the CGI Australian feature BLINKY BILL: THE MOVIE on October 7th in Los Angeles. Barajoun Entertainment released BILAL: A NEW BREED OF HERO in Los Angeles on October 7th. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Fathom Events partnered to give BATMAN: RETURN OF THE CAPED CRUSADERS, a special one-night big screen release on Monday, October 10th in select cinemas across the country. Animated documentary 25 APRIL, directed by Leanne Pooley, opened theatrically in LA for an Oscar qualifying run on October 21st.
2017 (this list is a work-in-progress and is updated throughout the year)
537. YU-GI-OH! DARK SIDE OF DIMENSIONS (1/27/16) Screen Vision Media. D: Satoshi Kuwabara.
538. THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (2/10/17) Warner Bros. D: Chris McCay.
539. ROCK DOG (2/26/17) Summit. D: Ash Brannon.
540. THE BOSS BABY (3/31/17) Dreamworks-20th Century Fox. D: Tom McGrath.
541. SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (4/7/17) Sony. D: Kelly Asbury.
542. MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA (4/14/17) GKids. D: Dash Shaw
543. SPARK: A SPACE TAIL (4/14/17) Open Road. D: Aaron Woodley
544. ANIMAL CRACKERS (4/21/17) D: Tony Bancroft, Scott Christian Sava.
545. CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS (6/2/17) Dreamworks. D: David Soren.
546. CARS 3 (6/16/17) Disney-Pixar. D: Brian Fee
547. DESPICABLE ME 3 (6/30/17) Universal (Illumination). D: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin, Eric Guillon.
548. THE GIRL WITH NO HANDS (7/21/17) GKids. D: Sébastien Laudenbach
549. THE EMOJI MOVIE (7/28/17) Sony. D: Tony Leondis.
550. BLAZING SAMURAI (8/4/17) Open Road. D: Chris Bailey, Mark Koetsier.
551. IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD (8/11/17) Shout! Factory/Funimation. D: Sunao Katabuch.
552. THE NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE (8/11/17) D: Cal Brunker.
553. LEAP! (8/25/17) The Weinstein Company. D: Eric Summer, Éric Warin.
554. NAPPING PRINCESS (9/8/17) GKids. D: Kenji Kamiyama.
555. THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE (9/22/17) Warner Bros. D: Charlie Bean.
556. LOVING VINCENT (09/22/17) Good Deed Entertainment. D: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman.
557. WINDOW HORSES (09/29/17) National Film Board of Canada. D: Ann Marie Fleming.
558. MY LITTLE PONY THE MOVIE (10/6/17) The Weinstein Company. D: Jayson Thiessen.
559. THE STAR (11/10/17) Columbia Pictures. D: Timothy Reckart
560. THE BREADWINNER Gkids. (11/17/17). D: Nora Twomey.
561. COCO (11/22/17) Disney-Pixar. D: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina.
562. BIRDBOY: THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN Gkids. (12/15/17). D: Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero.
563. FERDINAND (12/15/17) 20th Century-Fox (Blue Sky). D: Carlos Saldanha.
NOTES: 2017 Limited-release theatricals (movies going Direct-to-Video (DVD, VOD but getting a theatrical billboard) began this year with ONE PIECE FILM: GOLD, directed by Hiroaki Miyamoto, on January 10th via Funimation. Studio Ghibli’s 1993 TV movie OCEAN WAVES, directed by Tomomi Mochizuki, got a U.S. theatrical release via Gkids on January 13th. Similarly, the 1993 anime feature SAILOR MOON R THE MOVIE, directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara, was also a limited U.S. release by Eleven Arts on the same date, January 13th (in Los Angeles at the Theater in the Ace Hotel). Denmark’s 2010 feature THE TROUBLE WITH TERKEL was given a token theatrical run in several U.S. cities on February 3rd, via Indican Pictures. BUNYAN AND BABE, directed by Tony Bancroft and Jim Rygiel, was given a limited NY/LA theatrical release by Cinedigm on February 3rd. Fathom Events, ELEVEN ARTS, and Aniplex held a one night theatrical for SWORD ART ONLINE THE MOVIE: ORDINAL SCALE, directed by Tomohiko Itō, on March 9th. Viva Pictures opened Spanish family film OZZY, directed by Alberto Rodríguez and Nacho La Casa, on April 21st. GKids and Fathom Events did a one-day 350 theatre nationwide release of MUNE: GUARDIAN OF THE MOON, Directed by Benoît Philippon and Alexandre Heboyan, on Saturday, August 12th. Warner Bros. and Fathom Events presented a one-night nationwide cinema screening of BATMAN AND HARLEY QUINN on August 14th. Lionsgate theatrically released DEEP, directed by Julio Soto Gurpide, on August 25th. Viva Pictures released the Mexican made TOP CAT BEGINS, directed by Andrés Couturier, on September 29th. Fathom Events released the anime feature NO GAME NO LIFE ZERO, directed by Ishizuka Atsuko, for nationwide theatre screenings on October 5th and 8th. Eleven Arts released A SILENT VOICE: THE MOVIE (directed by Naoka Yamada) on October 20th. Fathom Events released POKEMON THE MOVIE: I CHOOSE YOU, directed by Kunihiko Yuyamait, on November 5th. And finally, Lionsgate released the Chinese produced HEDGEHOGS (directed by Jianming Huang) on December 15th.
IN ADDITION: The following features were given a token theatrical run in Los Angeles to qualify for a 2017 Oscar nomination: CINDERELLA THE CAT (Italian, directed by Directors: Ivan Cappiello, Dario Sansone, Marino Guarnieri and Alessandro Rak), ETHEL AND ERNEST (British, Directed by Roger Mainwood), MARY AND THE WITCHES FLOWER (Japanese anime, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi), and MOOMINS AND THE WINTER WONDERLAND (Finland, directed by Jakub Wronski and Ira Carpelan).
On The Radar
Blue Sky (Fox)
TOY STORY 4 (2017)
Dreamworks (20th Century-Fox)
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3 (6/29/18)
B.O.O.: BUREAU OF OTHERWORLDLY OPERATIONS
PUSS IN BOOTS 2: NINE LIVES AND FORTY THIEVES
LEO THE LION
THE TRICK OR TREATERS
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3 (7/13/2018)
BUNYAN AND BABE
THE CAT IN THE HAT
WISH POLICE D: Headless
Written, compiled and copyright (c) 2018 Jerry Beck (From a forthcoming book)
Go to Jerry Beck’s CARTOON RESEARCH home page.