Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013's Animated Film Line-Up: What We Know So Far

Now that 2012 is almost over, let's take a look at next year's offerings. What do we know so far about the animated films opening in twenty thirteen? What do you think of the results so far?


Escape from Planet Earth
Distributed by The Weinstein Company
Studio: Rainmaker Entertainment
Opening February 24, 2013

I’ll be completely honest here, the trailer didn’t make my eyes burn. That says a lot coming from an animated film from a distributor who is notoriously bad when it comes to animation. That doesn’t mean, however, that I liked it. Escape from Planet Earth looks so generic in every way, and the animation is nothing special. Also, is it just me, or does this film look like a giant commercial for 7-Eleven?

The Croods
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Studio: DreamWorks Animation SKG
Opening March 22, 2013

With the two trailers we have gotten alongside numerous images, The Croods looks like it’ll be another beautifully-made animated film that goes the safe route. It’s got that written all over it from the seemingly phoned-in story to the hit-or-miss gags. That being said, the trailers for this might be totally misleading and the film will turn out to be a smart, heartfelt animated adventure for the whole family. It’s what I’m personally hoping for, especially since this was directed by Chris Sanders and the fact that DreamWorks’ recent films are impressive. Please prove me wrong again!

Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Studio: Blue Sky Studios
Opening May 24, 2013

So both trailers have a generally moody tone, grand-scale visuals, lots of action and pretty animation. But... There’s still an annoying, wisecracking slug that’ll induce more frustration than laughs. Also, our lead seems rather cardboard and the motives of the villains are unclear. However, this film is not out until May, so maybe another trailer will clear things up. Or, the film itself will be better than what the trailers suggest. For now, it just seems like Fox is trying to tell audiences, “This is no Ice Age” though the irritating slug contradicts that.

Monsters University
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Studio: Pixar Animation Studios
Opening June 21, 2013

Only a teaser and a promo of sorts (haven't seen what they attached to the Monsters, Inc. 3D yet), but the viral marketing is good and the stills we have gotten shows that this will probably be a more comedic film from Pixar, but with the same doses of heart and sincerity that define their films. When will we get a good, full trailer? I'm guessing somewhere around the release of Oz: The Great and Powerful. Disney better start marketing this one if they want another Toy Story 3-sized success.

Despicable Me 2
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Studio: Illumination Entertainment
Opening July 3, 2013

The recent trailer shows that it’ll be about aliens. You can either say it’s cheap and desperate, or an attempt to do what the first film didn’t. Either way, it looks like cute fun much like its predecessor. I’m not expecting anything more out of it, I’m just hoping it isn’t as shallow as The Lorax. Fun brainless animated comedies aren't always a bad thing, but a lot of animation fans probably dislike them because there's too many of them and a lot of them are forgettable. Despicable Me wasn't to these eyes, so hopefully this one will deliver.

Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Studio: DreamWorks Animation SKG
Opening July 19, 2013

The teaser was cute, I'll admit that. How the story will play out is beyond me. Again, this could take its crazy premise and do good with it. I trust DreamWorks with it, so I'm hoping the next trailer delivers. Not much we can say about this at the moment, but a new trailer will probably be out in February or March. I'm thinking March more than anything, since DreamWorks' The Croods opens the 22nd.

The Smurfs 2
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Studio: Sony Pictures Animation / The Kerner Entertainment Company
Opening July 31, 2013

What do we know? It'll be just like the first one. Egh.

Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Studio: DisneyToon Studios
Opening August 9, 2013

All we know is what the story will be, and that John Lasseter is involved with the project. (Lasseter, I admire you, but this is your weakness!) There's a teaser as well, that does have competent animation, but that's about it. That being said, I don't expect anything good out of this. Yes, I do have a thing against the direct-to-video Disney sequels. Planes can be okay fun for all I care, but like I said, is a theatrical release really necessary?

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Studio: Sony Pictures Animation
Opening September 27, 2013

Very little has been announced about this sequel to Sony Animation's 2009 hit, and now that it's on track for an earlier release (it was originally penciled in for February 7, 2014), we should be getting some details by now. The original directors aren't returning so I'm not getting my hopes up. The same applies to Hotel Transylvania 2.

Ignore the "Spring 2014" at
the bottom. This is an older

Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Studio: DreamWorks Animation SKG
Opening November 1, 2013

Just some story details and an image of the two leads themselves. A teaser should arrive by March, following DreamWorks' 2010 film pattern. Until then, we don't know much.

Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Studio: Walt Disney Animation Studios
Opening November 27, 2013

Aside from some lovely concept art and other cast and crew details, there's no teaser or anything. Here's hoping one comes soon. I don't want to have to wait until June to see a teaser.

Walking with Dinosaurs 3D
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Studio: Animal Logic / BBC Earth / BBC Worldwide
Evergreen Films / Reliance Big Entertainment

No word on this one. Not for a while. Will it still be distributed by Fox? Is it still on track for a December 20th release? We haven't heard anything for a long time. Interestingly enough, this will be co-directed by Barry Cook (who directed Mulan, co-directed Arthur Christmas and worked at Disney as an effects animator).

Unscheduled 2013 Releases

Currently, the three Weinstein Company animated releases scheduled to be released this year are up in the air. Leo the Lion, The Trick or Treaters and Santapprentice originally had release dates set but have disappeared. It's possible that the Weinstein Company may jump ship on these films and give them to another distributor, if not, maybe these said films aren't even in production yet. We saw a teaser poster and got some information on Escape from Planet Earth many months in advance, but nothing for the planned August release of Leo the Lion. No cast details or anything else. Methinks these will go direct-to-video.

Another odd case is Dino Time, a 2010 South Korean animated feature that was supposed to be released here in the states earlier this month. The dreadful, vomit-inducing trailer showed up before every (exaggeration) family-friendly film. It was being distributed by Clarius Entertainment, a company that only has two film listings on IMDb (this one being the first of which). Commercials were released as well, but sites like Box Office Mojo had no mention of the movie. Apparently it's been quietly pushed back to 2013, but this one may end up going straight to video. It was going to be a very limited release anyway.


What do you think of 2013's animated output so far? What films are looking forward to? Which ones will you skip? Sound off!


  1. "Animated Line Up", "animated output". I was expecting this to be a list of animated series coming in 2013, not films. After viewing the article, the wording is so vague that I think a section for 2013's new animated series should be added to the article. It just seems fair. If that's not your thing and you'd rather not and be film-loyal, I completely understand.

  2. I must see Monsters University, Despicable Me 2, and Turbo.

    I hope Frozen will be a good movie, but I still need a trailer.

    I also need a trailer for Cloudy 2 and Mr. Peabody & Sherman. The trailers for The Croods turned me off from the movie, so if it gets good response from critics I might watch it.

  3. My top 3 most anticipated ones are Monsters University (obviously), Frozen, and Despicable Me 2. I don't think Frozen will be quite as good as Wreck-It Ralph was, but, like DreamWorks, Disney has improved incredibly over the last few years so I have high hopes for it. Despicable Me 2 I'll watch just because I really enjoyed the original.

    I also think that The Croods, Epic, and Turbo all have great potential, so we'll see how those turn out.

    As for my least anticipated? I'd say Escape from Planet Earth, but then I remembered that Smurfs 2 is also coming next year.

  4. I will definitely watch all the Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks movies. I think I'll also check Cloudy 2 and Despicable Me 2. And, since I'm a huge fan of Cars, I will watch Planes, though I admit, I don't have any high hopes for it.

  5. I didn't know John Lasseter is working on Planes! But what I really wanna know is, does he even care about Planes? Because it looks like your everyday dtv crap-fest.

  6. I laugh every time at a Monsters Un. trailer. I am already about to give up on Smurfs 2. I think Turbo, Meatballs, and Despicable Me 2 will be fun. I have a bad gut feeling about Frozen, but Disney has been on a roll lately.