Last year was a truly great one for animated movies. I mean, just look at the Oscar race for Best Animated Feature. The nominees haven't been announced yet, but some of the films expecting to hear their names called are two instant classics from Disney, Zootopia and Moana, Laika's stunning Kubo and the Two Strings, Pixar's blockbuster Finding Dory, and Netflix's gorgeous and heartfelt The Little Prince. So how could the animated movies in 2017 possibly compare to this level of talent? Are there really that many animated movies coming out this year that you've just gotta see?
There's no way of knowing yet if 2017's animated crop will contain as many critical darlings as 2016's did, but there are certainly a great number of films that have potential. Although Disney Animation has no movies coming out in 2017, Pixar has two, including their first non-sequel film since The Good Dinosaur (and their last until at least 2020). There are also new installments in the super fun Lego and Despicable Me series, as well as a ton of original offerings from a bunch of different studios. So take a look below at the 19 most exciting animated films heading your way in 2017.
This original Pixar film takes place over the Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, and it features an all-Latino cast.
2'Despicable Me 3'
Tired of Minion over-saturation? Well, Gru is back to restore the franchise's greatness.
3'The Lego Batman Movie'
I'm confident this will go down as the greatest Batman movie ever made.
4'The Lego Ninjago Movie'
Lego isn't content to make just one great movie this year.
5'The Emoji Movie'
The idea of an Emoji movie sounds like out of touch film executives trying to do something "cool" and "hip," but with voice talent like T.J. Miller, Ilana Glazer, and Steven Wright, this could actually be pretty good. Also, Sir Patrick Stewart plays the poop emoji, so that's something.
6'Smurfs: The Lost Village'
A lot of people hated the first two Smurfs movies, so this one is actually a reboot. It's fully-animated, Neil Patrick Harris-free, and is done more in the spirit of the beloved '80s cartoon.
7'The Red Turtle'
This dialogue-free effort from Studio Ghibli already drew critical acclaim on the festival circuit last year, and now it's heading for a U.S. release.
8'My Little Pony: The Movie'
Get ready for theaters full of Bronies.
9'Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie'
Here's one '90s property I never expected to see become a big budget movie franchise.
10'The Boss Baby'
It's Alec Baldwin as a baby. That's all you need to know.
11'The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature'
It can't be a sequel to a mildly successful animated film without an adequately punny title.
This may be the most intriguing film on the list: A dog trains to become a samurai in a film somehow inspired by Blazing Saddles. Also, Mel Brooks is in it.
This film might inspire you to follow your dreams.
14'Spark: A Space Tail'
It's monkeys vs. aliens. That sounds fun, right?
The unexpected darkness of the movie's first teaser makes me think this will be a lot more interesting than Cars 2.
16'Justice League Dark'
This is a direct-to-video release from Warner Animation, but it still looks like it will be the best Justice League movie of 2017.
A Christmas movie about the birth of Jesus, starring Steven Yeun as a heroic donkey named Bo, with additional voice work by Keegan-Michael Key, Kristin Chenowith, and Oprah Winfrey. This could be the weirdest movie of the year.
This Demi Lovato movie, which promises to upend fairy tale gender norms, has been in the works seemingly forever, and will finally (hopefully) see release in 2017.
19'Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie'
OK, this is a TV movie, but come on. It's the return of Hey Arnold!
These animated movies are not to be missed.