ByPeter Flynn, writer at
An advocate for understanding the phenomenological wonder of the moving image. Also Tremors is the best.
Peter Flynn

Believe it or not, it's a real good time to be a fan of animated movies. You wouldn't know it, given the amount of properties (whether those are superheroes or YA novels) being adapted in such numbers. There's the weird idea that being live action gives a movie legitimacy, but while Hollywood starts to consume itself with that kind of determination, let's take a look at what new animated features are sneaking up on the horizon. What movies are you looking forward to most in the coming years?

Inside Out is a hot contender!
Inside Out is a hot contender!

First, some honorable mentions!

Finding Dory Marlon really should keep a better eye on his fellow fish. Or maybe this is a story of Dory's own introspective examination of herself. Who knows?

Kung Fu Panda 3 Because you're not gonna let the accolade of most profitable panda in Hollywood go to waste now are you?

Trolls Another recognizable toy from the past, another movie tie in. This one is up in the air, but there's still the potential for greatness, what with names like Chloe Moretz and Jason Schwartzman attached!

Now for our main contenders!

How to Train Your Dragon 3

What's next for Hiccup and Toothless?
What's next for Hiccup and Toothless?

So here's the outlying Dreamworks picture in this list. For so long, Dreamworks was perceived as second fiddle, constantly chasing the glory that Pixar reveled in. Now they've hit their stride, and produced a truly unique series in the form of How to Train Your Dragon! The last movie moved both the characters, art style and themes of the original along greatly. Could we expect the same from How to Train Your Dragon 3? Perhaps we'll see entirely new dragons or villains, or even see Hiccup and his gang as full grown adults. The possibilities are almost endless when you rock one of the most popular animated franchises out there. Speaking of most popular...

Toy Story 4

What happens when Molly grows up? Huh? HUH?
What happens when Molly grows up? Huh? HUH?

Yes I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a little bit lied to through the heartbreaking finality that was Toy Story 3. I guess that's my fault for perceiving that movie as the very end. Toy Story 4 as a project seems to be saying "come on... we can't be doing commercials and one-offs forever now can we?" While I'm frankly amazed that Pixar have been able to stick with the same art style they've had right from the beginning, if there's anyone who can keep a property as old as Toy Story fresh and propulsive, it's them. It seems Pixar is now very nearly in competition with itself.

Inside Out

So check out this great clip from the upcoming Inside Out, that showcases both the ingenious premise and some of the initial character relationships. Having the conflict between your characters literally be the internal conflict in your protagonist is so clever I'm almost scared it could go wrong, but it won't go wrong. Let's not be silly, this is Pixar we're talking about! With the voice talent of Amy Poeler, Rashida Jones, Bill Hader and Kyle MacLachlan, we should be in for a treat! Side note: I don't even care; that broccoli pizza still looks good!

The Good Dinosaur

I'm under the strange impression that Pixar may be splitting in two. One half of their projects will cater to the ideas driven wonderment that appeals to anyone on an artistic level, and the other could cater purely to the interests of children. That would at least explain why the Cars movies exist. The Good Dinosaur seems like it could go either way. This teaser is soaked in atmosphere, reminding me almost of the dinosaur section in Fantasia. It has that Pixar patented whimsy and brilliant understated sense of humor, though I'm not a fan of how quickly those dinosaurs get incredibly cartoony. Fantasia didn't do that. It was just full of nihilistic dread. More nihilistic dread, Pixar! Don't you listen to your fans?

The Incredibles 2

They've been off duty for a decade!
They've been off duty for a decade!

Hey remember that time Brad Bird accidentally wrote Watchmen, and it turned out better than the Watchmen movie we actually got? Why not have more of that? As a Pixar movie, The Incredibles relies the least on the whimsy factor, and goes for a straight-forward tight script that is somehow still chock-full of creativity! Fans have waited over ten years for a sequel to the Pixar movie most ripe for a sequel, and have gotten nothing. As with How to Train Your Dragon 3, the characters could have aged somewhat, which could be amazing to see! We've sat through Monsters University, and are waiting to sit through Finding Dory, now come on, Pixar! Give us a return to that classic yet so stylish world of the incredibles.

Those are my top picks for now! What are your most anticipated animated movies? There's plenty I will have missed, so why not write a post about it, and get the word out for your favorite?


What are you looking forward to most in the coming years?


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