The Best New Animated Movies to Watch in Theatres
4/12/2021 • 4 min read
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 movies or expanding their fan-favorite worlds.
Warner Bros. is set to open SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY, which is the studio's second hybrid live-action/animated movie of the year. There's also SPIRIT UNTAMED, which continues the saga begun in SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON, and the US debut of DEMON SLAYER THE MOVIE, which shattered box office records in Japan and around the world.
Here are the best new animated movies that are now playing and coming to theaters soon.
Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train
Koyoharu Gotouge's best-selling manga series became the critically-acclaimed anime series "Demon Slayer," and now the story continues in the movie which became not only the highest-grossing anime movie of all time, but the highest-grossing movie of all time in Japan. As DEMON SLAYER THE MOVIE opens, Tanjiro and the group have completed their rehabilitation training at the Butterfly Mansion and they arrive to their next mission on the Mugen Train, where over 40 people have disappeared in a very short period of time. Tanjiro and Nezuko, along with Zenitsu and Inosuke, join one of the most powerful swordsmen within the Demon Slayer Corps, Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku, to face the demon aboard the Mugen Train on track to despair.
SPIRIT UNTAMED is the next chapter in DreamWorks Animation’s beloved franchise that began with the 2002 film SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON. Lucky Prescott (Isabela Merced, DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD) never really knew her late mother, Milagro Navarro (Eiza González, FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW), a fearless horse-riding stunt performer from Miradero, a small town on the edge of the wide-open frontier. Like her mother, Lucky isn’t exactly a fan of rules and restrictions, which has caused her Aunt Cora (Julianne Moore) no small amount of worry. Lucky has grown up in an East Coast city under Cora’s watchful eye, but when Lucky presses her own luck with one too many risky escapades, Cora picks up stakes and moves them both back with Lucky’s father, Jim (Jake Gyllenhaal), in Miradero. Lucky is decidedly unimpressed with the sleepy little town. She has a change of heart when she meets Spirit, a wild Mustang who shares her independent streak, and befriends two local horseback riders… but her new friendships are soon tested as a heartless horse wrangler (Walton Goggins) plans to capture Spirit and his herd in order to auction them off to a life of captivity and hard labor.
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
Beatrix Potter's lovable rogue rabbit returns in PETER RABBIT 2: THE RUNAWAY. Following the events of the first movie, human farmers Bea and Thomas (Rose Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson) have created their own makeshift family with Peter and the rest of the rabbits, but Peter's reputation makes true reform difficult. Adventuring out of the garden, Peter finds himself in a world where his mischief is appreciated, but when his family risks everything to come looking for him, Peter must figure out what kind of bunny he wants to be.
Space Jam: A New Legacy
It's the second big live-action/animation hybrid of the year! NBA champion and global icon LeBron James goes on an epic adventure alongside Bugs Bunny in the long-awaited sequel SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY. Director Malcolm D. Lee and producers Ryan Coogler and Maverick Carter create a manic mashup of two worlds that reveals just how far some parents will go to connect with their kids.
When LeBron and his young son Dom are trapped in a digital space by a rogue A.I., LeBron must get them home safe by leading Bugs, Lola Bunny and the whole gang of notoriously undisciplined Looney Tunes to victory over the A.I.’s digitized champions on the court: a powered-up roster of professional basketball stars as you’ve never seen them before. It’s Tunes versus Goons in the highest-stakes challenge of his life, that will redefine LeBron’s bond with his son and shine a light on the power of being yourself.
Hotel Transylvania: Transformania
Drac’s Pack is back, like you've never seen them before! HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA: TRANSFORMANIA is the final chapter of the series created by Genndy Tartakovsky, who returns as writer and executive producer while Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon take over as directors. Selena Gomez and Andy Samberg star as Dracula's daughter Mavis and her human husband Jonathan, and the voice cast also features Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Brian Hull, Asher Blinkoff, Brad Abrell, Fran Drescher, Jim Gaffigan, and Molly Shannon.
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All images courtesy of Funimation, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. Pictures.