2012 Preview: Animated Movies
Published: Sunday, January 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, January 9, 2012 15:01
There are a quite a few animated films being released in 2012, and most, if not all, look rather promising. The mediocre sequels are to be expected, including "Madagascar 3" and "Ice Age 4", films that honestly don't need multiple sequels (Not being a fan of the original "Ice Age", the one to be released this year is very unnecessary in my mind.) But alas, such is Hollywood. Out of all the films, I've selected five that I'm looking forward to the most.
First on my list is Pixar's "Brave", which hits theaters on June 22nd. Set in Scotland, the film centers on Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald), a redheaded archer, and the studio's first female protagonist. One, this is Pixar's first fairytale, and two, the tone of this film will be dark, unlike their other films. Merida, while not a Disney princess, does share something in common with them, as seen in the trailer; she wants independence. (So the bloggers claiming she's superior to Snow White et al can stop now, thanks.) Spoilers aside, her journey will include defying tradition and her mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) in order to pursue archery. Since first learning about this girl in March of last year, my hopes and anticipation for this film have been high.
Next is "The Secret World of Arrietty", a Studio Ghibli feature produced by Walt Disney Pictures which will grace movie screens on February 17th. Like Pixar, Ghibli needs no introduction. Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashiand written by the acclaimed Hayao Miyazaki, this film is based on the novel The Borrowers by Mary Norton. Arrietty (voiced by Brigit Mendler of Disney channel's "Good Luck Charlie") lives with her family under the floorboards of a house, as they're only four inches tall. As it is Ghibli, lots of high expectations are riding on this one, and I'm sure I'll love it. As will everyone else.
"Frankenweenie", a stop motion film from the mind of Tim Burton, tells the story of a young boy named Vincent who brings his dog Sparky back to life. It's so blatantly Tim Burton I can't even comment on how blatantly Tim Burton it is. But I'm excited. Because it is Tim Burton. "Frankenweenie" was originally Burton's 1984 short which he is now resurrecting as a full length feature. The film, which stars Winona Ryder (totally unexpected), Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, and Martin Landau, will be released on October 5th.
Laika Animation, the studio that gave us the marvelous "Coraline", returns with "ParaNorman", another stop motion picture slated for release on August 17th. Norman's a boy who can speak to the dead, and that comes in handy as he's got to use this unique gift to save his town from a curse. Plenty of macabre charm, I'm sure. Bonus: Casey Affleck's in it.
The last film, from Walt Disney Animation, isn't one I'm excited for per se, but it is Disney so I'm curious. "Wreck- it Ralph", which stars 30 Rock's Jack Mcbrayer, John C. Reilly, Jane Lynch, and Sarah Silverman, will take audiences into the world of video games. From IMDB.com, "The bad-guy character in a classic game who longs to be a hero brings trouble to his entire arcade after sneaking into a new first-person shooter game and unleashing a deadly enemy." Still not completely sold, but that could change before the film opens on November 12th.
And as a bonus, "Tangled Ever After" will premiere on January 18th of this year before "Beauty and the Beast" in 3D. In this short film, my favorite princess Rapunzel is getting married to her reformed thief charming, Eugene Fitzherbert. From what I've seen of the trailer, lots of hilarity will ensue.
Other animated features to look forward to this year are "Dorothy of Oz", "The Croods" , "The Lorax", "The Pirates! Band of Misfits", and "Rise of the Guardians".