Song Of The Sea, so Tomm Moore's follow up was always going to go straight to the top of our most wanted list. Completing a trilogy of sorts of Irish mythology-based films, it will be set in mid 1600's Ireland where wolves still roam- and are the centre of all sorts of superstitions. It follows a young apprentice hunter named Robyn, who comes to Ireland with her father to hunt wolves, but finds herself befriending a local girl named Mebh. We'd be on-board for anything new from Moore- who this time is co-directing with Ross Stewart, with Song of The Sea screenwriter Will Collins returning. But the opportunity to discover a side of Irish folklore that we've never seen on screen before makes it yet more exciting still.
ETA: 2018/19 tbc
What makes this so exciting is not it's subject matter- which is based on the life of artist Vincent Van Gogh- but the manner in which it's being made. Claiming to be the "first fully painted animated feature", it's made in a style that recreates Van Gogh's own. Featuring contributions from over 100 artists, featuring 12 paintings per minute, this promises to be a unique and extremely beautiful experience, for animation fans and art-lovers alike.
ETA: Late 2016.
We're hoping for success for the crowdfunding campaign for this, the debut feature from Aaron Augenblick. The creator of the excellent, if under-seen Ugly Americans is bringing his underground-comics influenced sensibilities to movies, promising some pretty exciting results. Features a fantastic voice cast including Sam Rockwell, Jeffrey Tambor Steve Coogan and Nina Arianda and a storyline that involves the devil, God and a barfly named Drunky. We really want this one to happen.
Revealed at last year's D23, Disney's next fairy-tale inspired feature is a riff on Jack And The Beanstalk. This looks set to take a really interesting take on the material, with the setting Spain "during the Age of Exploration". Here though, Jack will form an unlikely bond with one of the giants.. who happens to be a 60 foot tall 10 year old girl named Inma. Gigantic will feature songs from Frozen's Oscar-winning Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, and will be directed by Tangled's Nathan Greno.
ETA: March 2018
Early Man is the next collaboration between Aardman Animation and StudioCanal, following the success of Shaun The Sheep The Movie. This is extra exciting though, as Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park will be helming again, with his first feature since Curse Of The Were-rabbit. Set in prehistoric times, it follows cave-man Dug (voiced by Eddie Redmayne) as he unites his tribe to take on an enemy called The Bronze Age. Originally titled 'Early Man United' this is an anachronistic football movie, as it seems the conflict will be in the form of stone-age soccer. It's no mistake that this will be coming out in a World Cup year. Whether you give a stuff about footie or not though, a new Nick Park movie is a cause for celebration.
Untitled DreamWorks/Edgar Wright Shadow Movie
The original DreamWorks Animation project 'Me and My Shadow' was shelved some time ago. However another film about shadows is being developed from an idea dreamt up by the awesome British director Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz) and co-scripted by David Walliams, both making their debut in animated film. Wright is a dynamic and extremely visual director in live-action, so the idea of him turning to animation is a thrilling one indeed. The only concern is the recent acquisition of DWA by Comcast/Universal. Of all the projects in development at the studio, we really hope that the change of ownership does not derail this one most of all.
Nina Paley brought us the wonderful indie feature Sita Sings The Blues, a riff on Indian culture and mythology, mixed with unexpected US-made musical elements (ie the blues of the title). For her second feature, despite being "an irreverent atheist" Nina is this time calling on her own Jewish heritage to base the story on the Book of Exodus. As with Sita this will be an animated musical, and the imagery released so far shows a similar style to her earlier feature. The subject matter is sure to raise a few eyebrows in some quarters, but we're excited to see anything Paley puts out. Thanks to its director's outspoken views on the outdated nature of copyright laws, expect this to be available as a free download after release- although it will be surely worth paying for.
Untitled Wes Anderson Stop-motion Animated Film
Details are still pretty thin on the ground about Anderson's return to animation for the first time since Fantastic Mr Fox. It's to be another stop-motion effort, but this time the focus is thought to be dogs. Early buzz also described the film as "a Japanese story" although that doesn't really tell us much. We do know however, that the film already has assembled quite a cast, with frequent Anderson collaborators Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum and Edward Norton joined by newcomer Bryan Cranston. Mr Fox was indeed Fantastic, and one of the most unique animated films to see wide release over the past few years, so we eagerly await Anderson's return to the animated medium.
An unauthorised biopic of Michael Jackson wouldn't normally be on our radar, to be honest. But this is A) told from the perspective of his pet chimp, Bubbles and B) coming from Starburns Industries, the studio behind Anomalisa and Rick and Morty. The original script was written for live-action and was on the Blacklist- an annual selection of the best unmade screenplays. It was picked up by Starburns and is now being retooled as their second R-rated stop-motion feature, which is an exiting prospect for anyone who enjoyed Anomalisa.
Although we have faith in Pixar's sequels to deliver (Cars 3 aside), there's nothing quite like an original film from the Studio to get us excited. Toy Story 3's Lee Unkrich brings us a story inspired by the Mexican tradition of Day Of The Dead. According to the official synopsis "Coco is the celebration of a lifetime, where the discovery of a generations-old mystery leads to a most extraordinary and surprising family reunion". Although similar ground may have been covered in Jorge Guiterrez's Book Of Life, there's still plenty of room to tell an original story. The film-makers will have to tread carefully to be sure to treat cultural elements with the right sensitivity and respect, but if there's anyone we trust to do it right, it's Pixar.