(part 6 of 6) 2016 to 2020
Below is a checklist of every animated feature released theatrically in the United States, in order of release, from 2016 to 2020, followed by information on 2021 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. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $143,528,619
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. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $341,268,248
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. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $107,509,366
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. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $82,051,601
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. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $486,295,561
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. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $64,063,008
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. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $97,685,686524. 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. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $48,023,088
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. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $72,679,278
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. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $153,707,064
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. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $248,757,044
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. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $270,448,425
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.
2017537. YU-GI-OH! DARK SIDE OF DIMENSIONS (1/27/16) Screen Vision Media. D: Satoshi Kuwabara. The stakes are high when Yugi and Kaiba have a duel that transcends dimensions.
538. THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (2/10/17) Warner Bros. D: Chris McCay. If Bruce Wayne wants to save the city of Gotham, he might have to learn to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others, and maybe- just maybe- lighten up. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $175,750,384
539. ROCK DOG (2/26/17) Summit. D: Ash Brannon. When a radio falls out of the sky and into the hands of a Tibetan Mastiff, he decides to leave his home to pursue his dream of becoming a musician, which causes a series of unfortunate events.
540. THE BOSS BABY (3/31/17) Dreamworks-20th Century Fox. D: Tom McGrath. A suit- wearing baby who carries a briefcase teams up with his 7 year old brother to thwart the plot of the dastardly CEO of Puppy Co. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $175,003,033
541. SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (4/7/17) Sony. D: Kelly Asbury. A mysterious map sends Smurfette and her friends on a thrilling race the discover the biggest secret in all of Smurf history. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $45,020,282
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. A teenage monkey named Spark embarks on a mission with his friends to regain Planet Bana.
544. ANIMAL CRACKERS (4/21/17) D: Tony Bancroft, Scott Christian Sava. A family must use a magical box of Animal Crackers to stop their evil uncle Horatio P. Huntington from taking over a run down circus.
545. CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS (6/2/17) Dreamworks. D: David Soren. Imaginative pranksters George and Harold hypnotize their principal into believing he is the overly enthusiastic, dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $73,921,000
546. CARS 3 (6/16/17) Disney-Pixar. D: Brian Fee. Finding himself pushed out of the sport he loves, Lightning McQueen sets out to show the new generation of blazing-fast cars that he’s still the best. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $152,901,115
547. DESPICABLE ME 3 (6/30/17) Universal (Illumination). D: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin, Eric Guillon. Gru’s long-lost, charming, cheerful, and more successful twin brother, Dru, wants to team up for one final criminal heist. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $264,624,300
548. THE GIRL WITHOUT HANDS (7/21/17) GKids. D: Sébastien Laudenbach. A miller sells his daughter to the devil during hard times. Because of her purity, she escapes- however, she is deprived of her hands. She meets the goddess of water, a gardener, and the prince in his castle before embarking on a long journey.
549. THE EMOJI MOVIE (7/28/17) 86 mins. Sony. D: Tony Leondis. Gene, a multi- expressional emoji, sets out on a journey to become a normal emoji. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $86,089,513
550. BLAZING SAMURAI (8/4/17) Open Road. D: Chris Bailey, Mark Koetsier. *On August 7, 2020, Align has taken control of the film.*
551. IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD (8/11/17) Shout! Factory/Funimation. D: Sunao Katabuch. Set in Hiroshima in the age of World War II, an eighteen-year-old girl gets married and now has to prepare food for her family despite rationing and a lack of supplies. As she struggles with the daily loss of life’s amenities she still has to maintain the will to live.
552. THE NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE (8/11/17) D: Cal Brunker. In a follow up from the first film, Surly and his friends must stop the Oakton City mayor from destroying their home to make room for a dysfunctional amusement park.
553. LEAP! (8/25/17) The Weinstein Company. D: Eric Summer, Éric Warin. An orphan girl wishes to become a ballerina, and flees her home in rural Brittany for Paris. Passing for someone else, she rises to the position of pupil in the Grand Opera house. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $24,702,560
554. NAPPING PRINCESS (9/8/17) GKids. D: Kenji Kamiyama. In the near future, a high school senior realizes that events in her every day life begin to parallel events in her dreams.
555. THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE (9/22/17) Warner Bros. D: Charlie Bean. After being shunned by all for being the son of an evil warlord, a teenager sets out to defeat him with the help of his fellow ninjas. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $59,281,555
556. LOVING VINCENT (09/22/17) Good Deed Entertainment. D: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman. In this story told through oil painted animation, a young man comes to the last hometown of painter Vincent van Gogh to deliver the troubled artist’s final letter and ends up investigating his final days there.
557. WINDOW HORSES (09/29/17) National Film Board of Canada. D: Ann Marie Fleming. A young Canadian poet with Chinese and Persian parents travels to Iran to perform at a poetry festival.
558. MY LITTLE PONY THE MOVIE (10/6/17) The Weinstein Company. D: Jayson Thiessen. The Mane 6 embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria after a dark force conquers Canterlot. Here they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship to save their homeland. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $21,885,107
559. THE STAR (11/10/17) Columbia Pictures. D: Timothy Reckart. A small but brave donkey and his animal friends become the unsung heroes of the first Christmas. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $40,896,334
560. THE BREADWINNER Gkids. (11/17/17). D: Nora Twomey. In 2001, Afghanistan is under the control of the Taliban. When her father is captured, a determined young girl disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for her family.
561. COCO (11/22/17) Disney-Pixar. D: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina. Young musician Miguel, confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music, journeys to the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $210,460,015
562. BIRDBOY: THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN (12/15/17). Gkids. D: Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero. Three children leave their homes in search of a better life.
563. FERDINAND (12/15/17) 20th Century-Fox (Blue Sky). D: Carlos Saldanha. After Ferdinand, a friendly bull with a kind heart, is mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and taken from his home. Set on returning home to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $84,410,380
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).
564. MARY AND THE WITCHES FLOWER (1/18/18) GKIDS. D: Hiromasa Yonebayashi. Based on “The Little Broomstick” by Mary Stewart, a peculiar flower gifts a girl with magic powers.565. HAVE A NICE DAY (1/27/18) Strand Releasing. D: Liu Jian. A city in southern China and a bag holding a million yuan draw several people from diverse backgrounds with different personal motives into a bloody fight.
566. BILAL: A NEW BREED OF HERO (2/2/18) Vertical Entertainment. D: Khurram H. Alavi, Ayman Jamal. A thousand years ago, one boy who dreams of becoming a great warrior is abducted with his sister and taken to a land far away from home. Cast into a world where greed and injustice rule over all, Bilal finds the courage to raise his voice and make a change. Inspired by true events, this is a story of a true hero who earned his remembrance in time and history.
567. PETER RABBIT (2/9/18) Warner Bros. D: Will Gluck. In this feature adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s classic story, a rebellious rabbit tries to sneak into a farmer’s vegetable garden. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $115,253,424
568. TEHRAN TABOO (2/14/18) Kino-Lorber. D: Ali Soozandeh. (NY release date) In a desperate pursuit of freedom and happiness, four young people from Tehran, Iran are forced to break the taboos of a restrictive, Islamic society.
569. EARLY MAN (2/16/18) Lionsgate. D: Nick Park. Set during prehistoric times, Early Man follows the story of Dug, along with sidekick Hognob as they unite his tribe against a mighty enemy Lord Nooth and his Bronze Age City to save their home. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $8,267,544
570. THE BIG BAD FOX AND OTHER TALES (2/23/18) GKids. D: Patrick Imbert, Benjamin Renner. Whoever said that the countryside is calm and peaceful is mistaken. In it we find especially disturbed animals- a Fox that thinks it’s a chicken, a Rabbit that acts like a stork, and a Duck who wants to replace Father Christmas. If you want to take a vacation, skip this place.
571. SHERLOCK GNOMES (3/23/18) Paramount. D: John Stevenson. Gnomeo and Juliet, two garden gnomes, recruit renowned detective Sherlock Gnomes to investigate the mysterious disappearances of other garden gnomes. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $43,242,871
572. ISLE OF DOGS (3/23/16) Fox Searchlight. D: Wes Anderson. Set in Japan, Isle of Dogs follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his lost dog. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $32,015,231
573. BIG FISH & BEGONIA (4/6/18) Shout Factory. D: Xuan Liang and Chun Zhang. A 16- year-old girl travels to the human world in the form of a dolphin and forms a connection with a human boy.
574. DUCK DUCK GOOSE (4/20/18) Open Road Films. D: Christopher Jenkins. A bachelor goose must form a bond with two lost ducklings as they journey south.
575. THE INCREDIBLES 2 (6/15/18) Disney-Pixar. D: Brad Bird. The Parr family faces a new mission which involves a change in the family dynamic: Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) must manage the house while his wife Helen (Elastigirl) goes out to save the world. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $608,581,744
576. HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION (7/13/18) Columbia. D: Genndy Tarakovsky. Count Dracula and his friends take part in a cruise for sea-loving monsters, unaware that their boat is being commandeered by the monster-hating Van Helsing family. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $167,510,016
577. TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES (7/27/18) Warner Bros. D: Aaron Horvath, Peter Rida Michail. A villain’s diabolical plan to take over the world sidetracks five teenage superheroes who dream of Hollywood stardom. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $29,790,236578. THE NIGHT IS SHORT, WALK ON GIRL (8/22/18) GKIds. D: Masaaki Yuasa. In this comedy about one epic night in Kyoto, a college sophomore goes on a series of surreal encounters with the local nightlife, all the while unaware of the romantic longings of her classmate Senpai.
579. FIREWORKS (9/23/18) GKIds. D: Nobuyuki Takeuchi. Schoolchildren Norimichi, Yûsuke and Jun’ichi want to know if fireworks look round or flat from the side. They make a plan to find the answer at a fireworks display, while Nazuna schemes to run away with Norimichi or Yûsuke, whoever wins at the pool.
580. SMALLFOOT (9/28/18) Warner Bros. D: Karey Kirkpatrick, Jason Reisig. A Yeti is convinced that the elusive creatures referred to as “humans” really do exist. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $83,240,103
581. MFKZ (10/11/18) GKids. D: Guillaume “Run” Renard, Shoujirou Nishimi. In Dark Meat City, a young man develops supernatural powers after an otherwise uneventful scooter accident.
582. THE GRINCH (11/9/18) Universal. D: Peter Candeland, Yarrow Cheney, Matthew O’Callaghan. The grumpy Grinch (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $271,227,781
583. RUBEN BRANT, COLLECTOR (11/16/18) Sony Pictures Classics. D: Milorad Krstić. Four expert thieves attempt to steal every famous artwork that is haunting their mutual psychotherapist. A detective attempts to find out who the “Collector” is.
584. MIRAI (11/16/18) GKids. D: Mamoru Hosoda. A young boy encounters a magical garden which enables him to travel through time and meet his relatives from different eras, with guidance by his younger sister from the future.
585. RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2 (11/21/18) Disney. D: Phil Johnston, Rich Moore. In a follow up to the events of “Wreck-It Ralph,” friends Ralph and Vanellope discover a wi-fi router in their arcade, which leads them into a new adventure. Total U.S. Box office Gross: $201,091,711
586. TITO AND THE BIRDS (12/7/18) Shout! Factory D: Gustavo Steinberg, Gabriel Bitar, and André Catoto. The film tells the story of a boy who is responsible, along with his father, for finding the cure for an illness that is contracted after the person takes a fright.
587. SPIDERMAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE (12/14/18) Columbia. D: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman. Miles Morales, a teenager from Brooklyn, becomes the Spider- Man of his universe, and must join with five additional spider-powered individuals from other dimensions to stop a threat for all realities. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $190,241,310
NOTES: 2018 Limited-release theatricals (movies going Direct-to-Video (DVD, VOD but getting a theatrical billboard) began this year with a pair of anime via Fathom Events – DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI: LOSS, directed by Keitarou Motonaga on February 1st; then MAZINGER Z: INFINITY, directed by Junji Shimizu, on February 10th. Direct TV released MONSTER FAMILY (directed by Holger Tappe) to theaters on February 9th. Viva Pictures put nWave’s SON OF BIGFOOT (directed by Jeremy Degruson and Ben Stassen) in theaters date and date with digital streaming May 4th. Shout Factory screened THE BOXCAR CHILDREN-SURPRISE ISLAND (directed by Dan Chuba) in theaters on May 8th. Viva Pictures put LUIS AND THE ALIENS (directed by Christoph and Wolfgang Lauenstein and Sean McCormack) in theaters on August 17th. Blue Fox Entertainment released A WIZARD’S TALE (Directed by Andrés Couturier, based on the DePatie-Freleng TV series “Here Comes The Grump”) on September 14th. Eleven Arts released the anime feature THE LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE PART 1 (directed by Isamu Imakake) on October 12th. Viva Pictures will release THE LEGEND OF HALLOWAIIAN, directed by Sean Patrick O’Reilly on October 18th. LIYANA, a live action/animation documentary via Abramorama, directed by Amanda Koppa and Aaron Kopp, opened in LA on October 19th. Naoko Yamada’s anime feature LIZ AND THE BLUEBIRD opened November 9th in LA for an Oscar qualifying run. Screen Media opened Canada’s ELLIOT THE LITTLEST REINDEER (directed by Jennifer Westcott) on November 30th.
588. DRAGONBALL SUPER: BROLY (1/16/19) Funamation. D: Tatsuya Nagamine. Goku and Vegeta encounter Broly, a Saiyan warrior unlike any fighter they’ve faced before. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $30,712,119
589. THE LEGO MOVIE: THE SECOND PART (2/8/18) Warner Bros. D: Mike Mitchell, Trisha Gum. Five years have passed since everything was awesome, and the citizens are now facing a new threat: Lego Duplo invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $105,806,508
590. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD (2/22/19) Dreamworks (Universal). D: Dean DeBlois. When Hiccup discovers Toothless isn’t the only Night Fury, he must find “The Hidden World”, a secret Dragon Utopia, before a hired tyrant named Grimmel does. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $160,799,505
591. WONDER PARK (3/15/19) Paramount. D: David Feiss, Clare Kilner and Robert Iscove. June, an imaginative and creative girl, discovers that the amusement park of her dreams has come to life. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $45,216,793
592. MISSING LINK (4/12/19) Laika. D: Chris Butler. Mr. Link recruits explorer Sir Lionel Frost to help find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight, this trio of explorers travel the world to help their new friend. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $16,649,539
593. PENGUIN HIGHWAY (4/12/19) Eleven Arts. D: Hiroyasu Ishida. A fourth-grader, Aoyama-kun, investigates the mysterious reason behind the sudden appearance of penguins in his village, which is somehow related to a power from a young woman working at a dental clinic.
594. FUNAN (4/26/19) GKids. D: Denis Do. The survival and the struggle of a young mother during the Khmer Rouge revolution, to find her 4-year-old son, torn from his family by the regime.
595. UGLY DOLLS (5/3/19) STX Films. D: Kelly Asbury. An animated adventure that takes place in Uglyville, in which the free-spirited UglyDolls learn what it means to be different, struggle with a desire to be loved, and ultimately realize that who you truly are is what matters most. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $20,150,241
596. THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 (6/7/19) Illumination (Universal). D: Chris Renaud. Max the terrier encounters canine-intolerant cows, hostile foxes and a scary turkey when he visits the countryside. Luckily for Max, he soon catches a break when he meets Rooster, a gruff farm dog who tries to cure the lovable pooch of his neuroses. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $368,384,330
597. TOY STORY 4 (6/21/19) Pixar (Disney). D: Josh Cooley. Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip with a new toy called “Forky”. An unexpected reunion occurs, and friends both old and new learn how big the world can be for a toy. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: 434,038,008
597. THE LION KING (7/19/19) Disney. D: Jon Favreau. NOTE: The studio marketed this film as a ‘live action’ remake. A young lion prince named Simba and his father are targeted by his bitter uncle, causing Simba to flee his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $543,638,043
598. THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE 2 (8/16/19) Sony. D: Thurop Van Orman, John Rice. The flightless birds and scheming green pigs take their feud to the next level. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $41,667,116
599. NE-ZHA (8/29/19) Chengdu Coco Cartoon (Beijing Enlight Pictures). D: Yang Yu (aka Jiao Zi). Born with unique powers, a boy is recruited to fight demons and save the community that fears him.
600. ANOTHER DAY OF LIFE (9/13/19) GKids. D: Raúl De La Fuente, Damian Nenow. A gripping story of a three-month-long journey that renowned Polish reporter Ryszard Kapuscinski took across Angola, ravaged by a war in which the front lines shifted like a kaleidoscope, from one day to the next.
601. PROMARE (9/20/19) GKids. D: Hiroyuki Imaishi. A futuristic firefighting mecha service is created to protect the world.
602. ABOMINABLE (9/27/19) Dreamworks/Pearl. D: Jill Culton, Todd Wilderman. Three teens help a Yeti return to his family while avoiding a wealthy man and a zoologist who want him for their own motives. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $60,716,390
603. ADDAMS FAMILY (10/11/19) MGM. D: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon. The eccentrically macabre family moves to a bland suburb where Wednesday Addams’ friendship with the daughter of a hostile local reality show host starts a conflict between the families. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $100,723,831
604. ARCTIC DOGS (11/8/19) Entertainment Studios. D: Aaron Woodley. An Arctic fox works in the mailroom of a package delivery service, but would rather be doing the deliveries. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $5,801,249
605. KLAUS (11/8/19) Netflix. D: Sergio Pablos. When Smeerensburg’s new postman, Jesper, befriends toymaker Klaus, their gifts and unlikely friendship return laughter to Smeerensburg. *Released on Netflix*
606. I LOST MY BODY (11/15/19) Netflix. D: Jeremy Clapin. A story of Naoufel, a young man who is in love with Gabrielle. In another part of town, a severed hand escapes from a dissection lab, determined to find its body again. *Released Domestically on Netflix*
607. WHITE SNAKE (11/15/19) GKids. D: Amp Wong & Zhao Ji. A love story between a snake spirit and a snake hunter.
608. FROZEN 2 (11/22/19) Disney. D: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee. Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven embark on journey to an enchanted forrest. They seek to discover the origin of Elsa’s powers and save their kingdom, which leads to a journey of self discovery. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $477,373,578
609. PLAYMOBIL THE MOVIE (12/6/19) STX Films. D: Lino DiSalvo. Animated feature film inspired by the Playmobil brand toys.
610. SPIES IN DISGUISE (12/27/19) Blue Sky (20th Century-Fox/Disney) D: Nick Bruno, Troy Quane. When the world’s best super spy Lance Sterling is turned into a pigeon, he must work with his nerdy tech officer to save the world. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $66,757,013
NOTES: 2019 Limited-release theatricals (movies going Direct-to-Video (DVD, VOD but getting a theatrical billboard) began with the German TALL TALES (aka “Tall Tales from the Magical Garden of Antoon Krings” or “Drôles de petites bêtes”), directed by Arnaud Bouron and Antoon Krings, opened January 11th in Los Angeles via Direct TV. Fathom Events released Masayuki Kojima’s anime feature MADE IN ABYSS: JOURNEY’S END on March 25th. James Young Entertainment released CHANCE, directed by Kenny Roy, on April 5th. GKids released Studio Madhouse’s OKKO’S INN, directed by Kitaro Kosaka, on April 26th. Funimation screened CODE GEASS: LELOUCH OF THE RE;SURRECTION, directed by Gorou Taniguchi, in theaters May 5th. GKIDS released Salvador Simó’s BUNUEL IN THE LABYRINTH OF THE TURTLES on August 16th in Los Angeles. Shout Factory released an English dub of the Italian CINDERELLA AND THE SECRET PRINCE, directed by Lynne Southerland and Paulette Victor-Lifton, theatrically in Los Angeles on October 11th. Hoorakhsh Studios opened Ashkan Rahgozar’s THE LAST FICTION in Los Angeles on October 18th. Funimation released Takashi Otsuka’s ONE PIECE: STAMPEDE on October 24th. More titles, dates and information to come.
ALSO NOTE: Warner Bros. released the live action/animation hybrid DETECTIVE PIKACHU, directed by Rob Letterman, on May 10th. Paramount Pictures’ moved their live-action/CGI hybrid SONIC THE HEDGEHOG to 2020. Disney will release a live action/CG hybrid of THE CALL OF THE WILD (directed by Chris Sanders) on February 21st 2020. FARMAGEDDON: A SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE will be released in 2020 via Netflix.
611. WEATHERING WITH YOU (1/17/20) GKids. D: Makoto Shinkai. A high-school boy who has run away to Tokyo befriends a girl who appears to be able to manipulate the weather.
612. A SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE: FARMAGEDDON (2/14/20) Netflix. D: Will Becher, Richard Phelan. When an alien with amazing powers crash-lands near Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun the Sheep goes on a mission to shepherd the intergalactic visitor home before a sinister organization can capture her.
613. ONWARD (3/6/20) Pixar (Disney). D: Dan Scanlon. Two teenage elven brothers embark on a magical quest to bring their late father back for one day. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $61,555,145
614. TROLLS: WORLD TOUR (4/10/20) Dreamworks (Universal). D: Walt Dohrn. (direct to VOD) When the Queen of the Hard Rock Trolls tries to take over all the Troll kingdoms, Queen Poppy and her friends try different ways to save all the Trolls.
615. THE WILLOUGHBYS (4/22/20) Netflix. D: Kris Pearn (direct to streaming). Neglected by their parents, four old-fashioned siblings venture out into the modern world with their new nanny.
616. SCOOB! (5/15/20) Warner Bros. D: Tony Cervone (direct to VOD) Scooby and the gang face their most challenging mystery yet: a plot to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus into the world. As they race to stop this dogpocalypse, the gang learns that Scooby has an epic destiny greater than anyone imagined.
617. THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE ON THE RUN (8/14/20) Paramount. D: Tim Hill. After SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail is abducted, he and his best friend Patrick embark on an epic journey to the lost Atlantic City to bring Gary home. Opened wide in Canada, with limited theatrical showings in US. Subsequently released on Paramount+ in March 2021.
618. OVER THE MOON (10/28/20) Pearl (Netflix). D: Glen Keene. An adventurous girl builds a rocket ship to meet a mythical goddess on the moon. *Released on Netflix*
619. WOLFWALKERS (11/13/20) Cartoon Saloon (Apple Original). D: Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart. A young apprentice hunter and her father journey to Ireland to help wipe out the last wolf pack. But everything changes when she befriends a free-spirited girl from a mysterious tribe rumored to transform into wolves by night.
620. THE CROODS: A NEW AGE (11/25/20) Dreamworks (Universal). D: Joel Crawford. The prehistoric Croods family are challenged by a rival family- the Bettermans- who claim to be superior and more evolved. Total U.S. Box Office Gross: $39,937,125
621. SOUL (12/25/20) Pixar (Disney). D: Pete Docter. (released direct to Disney+). After landing the gig of his dreams, a New York jazz pianist named Joe suddenly finds himself trapped in a strange, cosmic land between Earth and the afterlife.
2020 LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICALS (movies going Direct-to-Video – for DVD or Streaming, but getting a limited theatrical billboard): Eleven Arts released Keiichi Hara’s THE WONDERLAND on February 6th (in Los Angeles). Funimation released Kenji Nagasaki’s MY HERO ACADEMIA: HEROES RISING on February 26th. Bron Animation’s HENCHMEN (directed by Adam Wood) comes out October 9th in Virtual Cinemas, Digital and On Demand. Gkids will release the CGI feature LUPIN III: THE FIRST (directed by Takashi Yamazaki) on October 18th. Universal will release BOBBLEHEADS: THE MOVIE (directed by Kirk Wise) December 8th via DVD. ON-GAKU: OUR SOUND (directed by Kenji Iwaisawa) was released by GKids on December 11th.
HYBRID FILMS: Paramount Pictures’ live-action/CGI hybrid SONIC THE HEDGEHOG opened on Feb. 14th, 2020. Disney’s live action/CG hybrid THE CALL OF THE WILD (directed by Chris Sanders) opened on February 21st 2020.
QUALIFIYING FOR ACADEMY AWARDS 2020: Normally an animated feature must play in a theater in Los Angeles to qualify for Oscar consideration. This year, due the pandemic, rules were softened to allow more entries with less restrictive qualifying obligations. The following titles made the cut this year, without a US theatrical release or public showing in Los Angeles county.
ACCIDENTAL LUXURIANCE OF THE TRANSLUCENT WATERY BLUES D: Dalibor Baric (Croatia)
BOMBAY ROSE D: Gitanjali Rao (India)
CALAMITY D: Rémi Chayé (France)
DEMON SLAYER: INFINITY TRAIN D: Haruo Sotozaki (Japanese)
DREAMBUILDERS D: Kim Hagen Jensen, Tonni Zinck (Danish)
EARWIG AND THE WITCH D: Goro Miyazaki (Japan)
KILL IT OR LEAVE THIS TOWN D: Mariusz Wilczynski (Polish)
LUPIN III: THE FIRST D: Takashi Yamazaki (Japan)
MOSLEY D: Kirby Atkins (New Zealand)
MY FAVORITE WAR D: Ilze Burkovska Jacobsen (Latvia/Russia)
THE NOSE OR THE CONSPIRACY OF MAVERICKS D: Andrey Khrzhanovskiy (Russia)
NO. 7 CHERRY LANE D: Yonfan (China)
ON-GAKU: OUR SOUND D: Kenji Iwaisawa (Japan)
RED SHOES AND THE SEVEN DWARFS D: Sung-ho Hong, Moo-Hyun Jang, Young Sik Uhm (China)
RIDE YOUR WAVE D: Masaaki Yuasa (Japan)
TERRA WILLY D: Eric Tosti (France)
A WHISKER AWAY D: Jun’ichi Satô, Tomotaka Shibayama (Japanese/Netflix)
Written, compiled and copyright (c) 2021 Jerry Beck (From a forthcoming book)
Go to Jerry Beck’s CARTOON RESEARCH home page.