It's a great time for animation, and not just because Pixar and Disney have been firing on all cylinders lately. Nearly every big studio is trying something new with animated films — new animated movies like ABOMINABLE, from Dreamworks Animation, and SPIES IN DISGUISE, from ICE AGE creators Blue Sky Studios — are just a couple examples. There are also efforts to bring animated classics back to the big screen, thanks to efforts like Studio Ghibli Fest, from GKIDS and Fathom.
Here are the best new animated movies that are now playing and coming to theaters soon.
[Image Credit: Dreamworks Animation / Universal Pictures]
Think of this like a spin on the classic "a boy and his dog" story. There are just a few differences. For one, the main character in ABOMINABLE is Yi (voiced by Chloe Bennet), a violin-playing young woman living in Shanghai. And instead of a dog, she meets Everest, a Yeti who needs help getting back to his homeland, in the Himalayas. With a couple of friends, Yi and the somewhat magical Everest embark upon a journey that will change all their lives. [September 27]
[Image Credit: MGM]
There have been several incarnations of the morbidly hilarious Addams Family on television and in film, but none have been this faithful to the original cartoon designs created by Charles Addams for "The New Yorker" way back in 1938. In this film, the Addams Family moves to New Jersey, where they encounter a greedy and arrogant reality TV show host. Features the voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Snoop Dogg, Bette Midler and Allison Janney. [October 11]
[Image Credit: GKIDS]
SPIRITED AWAY is an amazing journey into the hidden experience of Japanese folklore. While walking with her parents through their new town, young Chihiro is separated from her family, and thrust into a strange world in which spirits, witches and dragons are real. With her parents transformed into animals, Chihiro has to find a way to break the spell that binds them, even as she taps into her own strength of spirit and character. Part of Studio Ghibli Fest. [October 27, 28 and 30, in dubbed and subtitled presentations]
[Image Credit: GKIDS]
Writer/director Hayao Miyazaki, who made SPIRITED AWAY, just above, also created PRINCESS MONONOKE, which returns to theaters in November. A young warrior is cursed while battling a demon, and his search for a cure leads him to the front lines of a conflict between a human mining town and the forest animals and spirits being displaced by its expansion. While many of Miyazaki's films are all-ages affairs, this is a more violent and thematically adult movie. [November 17, 18 and 20, in dubbed and subtitled presentations]
[Image Credit: Walt Disney Animation]
You've only seen the beginning of the FROZEN saga! Elsa and her sister Anna might finally understand one another, but Elsa is just beginning to understand herself — and she's about to discover the story behind her magical powers. Spurred by ominous magical events, the two sisters, together with Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, journey far from their home to encounter challenges that may overpower even Elsa's icy gifts. Directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck return, as do songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and cast members Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad. [November 22]
[Image Credit: 20th Century Fox]
Not even James Bond can compete with the flights of fancy in this animated spy comedy. Lance Sterling (Will Smith) is a super-famous and super-capable super-spy. But even a great espionage agent like Sterling can't do everything alone. Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) is the young man who works behind the scenes to design gadgets and weapons Sterling. One of his new gadgets works a little too well, leaving the spy trapped in a tiny, feathered disguise. Can this spy still save the world while transformed into a pigeon, or will Beckett have to step up to active duty in order to maintain order? [December 25]