2014 has been quite a year for animation, with this year's crop being considered particularly strong. 2015 is looking to be no less impressive, with not one but two Pixar movies (assuming The Good Dinosaur isn't subject to further delays), a new effort from Aardman, and some interesting looking flicks coming out of Europe too. So without further ado, lets look at what animated films you can expect to see coming to a cinema near your soon in the UK, US and beyond.
Big Hero 6
This first Disney animated film to be adapted from a Marvel property has been out in North America for some time. However, thanks to the peculiarities of International release schedules, it's not released in the UK until January. Reviews have been largely positive, and we can expect a film that brings not only action and laughs, but real heart too.
ETA: UK Release January 31st
The announcement of this musical fantasy based on an idea from George Lucas caught us all by surprise. Set in a world of fairies and magic, set to a soundtrack of several decades worth of hit songs, this promise at least to be a bit different. The trailer doesn't exactly fill us with excitement but we're keeping an open mind none-the-less.
ETA: January 23rd (US) February 11th (UK)
Shaun The Sheep
Stop-motion geniuses Aardman Animation's first big screen outing since 2012's Pirates, sees one-time Wallace and Gromit co-star Shaun go it alone. Skewed a bit younger than most earlier Aardman efforts, but a new film from the UK's top studio is always reason to be excited.
ETA: February 7th (UK) Date TBC (US)
Song Of The Sea
Technically, Tomm Moore's beautiful traditionally animated tale is a 2014 film, but we're still including it because it will be 2015 before most of us get to see it. Spinning a tale steeped in traditional Irish folklore it features "technically breathtaking art and animation" according to our very own Dann Hamman (check out his review here).
ETA: Now (US) Spring 2015, Date TBC (UK)
With Kung Fu Panda 3 unceremoniously shunted into 2016, this will now be the sole film flying the Dreamworks flag this year. It sees Earth taken over by alien race called the Boov. Our only hope is a little girl who managed to avoid capture, and an outcast Boov voiced by The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons. Is this Dreamworks Animation's answer to Lilo and Stitch?
ETA: March 27th (US) March 20th (UK)
Moomins On the Riviera
Tove Jannson's much-loved characters are returning to the screen in a 2D animated feature from their native Finland. With a lovely style that captures the author's original illustrations, the plot sees the Moomin clan leave Moomin Valley for the sunny shores of Riviera.
ETA: May 1st (UK)
Asterix: Domain Of The Gods
The first 3D computer-animated feature outing for the classic French comics, sees the plucky Gaul take on the might of the Roman Empire once more. We delighted that this is getting a UK release, but hope it'll be getting a decent English dub so it can find it's audience and introduce a whole new generation to the delights of Goscinny and Uderzo's creation.
ETA : June 21st (UK)
There's no doubt that the Minions were the best thing about the Despicable Me movies. But does that mean the canary-coloured critters are capable of sustaining a full feature on their own? While the Jury is still out on that one, the first trailer was so cute and funny we're willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
ETA: July 10th (US) June 26th (UK)
Pete Docter's high concept movie takes us inside the brain of an 11 year old girl named Riley. Everything we've seen so far, from trailers to posters and concept has us excited. Frankly, this is probably our most anticipated film of the year.
ETA: June 19th (US) July 24th (UK)
Hotel Translyvania 2
This sequel to Sony Pictures Animation's underwhelming 2012 film seems like a sequel nobody really asked for. Still, it has a pretty fun concept that sees Adam Sandler's Dracula visited by his old-school vampire father Vlad- voiced by the legendary Mel Brooks. The fact that Sandler is responsible for the screenplay this time around is less encouraging, but we should at least get some inventive visuals from director Genndy Tartakovsky.
ETA: September 28th (US) October 12th (UK)
Can Blue Sky Studios hope to capture the charm of the original animated versions of the classic Charles Shulz strips? The trailers suggest that they certainly look to be getting pretty damn close. What seemed to be a very bad idea on paper looks like it could be tickling that nostalgia itch for viewers all over come next Christmas.
ETA: November 6th (US) December 7th (UK)
The Good Dinosaur
2015's other Pixar movie had had something of a troubled production- it was originally supposed to come out in 2014. But this is far from the first Pixar flick to have hit such issues, so we're not too worried. Set in a world where Dinosaurs never died out, and remained the dominant species, it sees a friendly dino form an unlikely friendship with his pet human, Spot.
ETA: November 25th (US) November 27th (UK)
The Little Prince
This modern take on the classic French children's book, brings the story to the big screen for the first time. Despite being a French production, it's helmed by US based director Mark Osborne, best known for Kung Fu Panda.
ETA: 2015 TBC (US) Date TBC (UK)
All dates correct to the best of our knowledge and are subject to change and the approval of North Korea.