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The 10 Most Exciting Animated Movies In Production Now

2014 was a pretty incredible year for animation. 2015 is looking set to yield a pretty impressive crop of its own. But what about even further ahead? Animation is a lengthy process so we know about films that we won't see for years yet. AFA dusts off our crystal ball as we look into the future and look at the films we're most looking forward to getting to see.. (in no particular order).

Kubo and The Two Strings

Why we're excited: Kubo and the Two Strings is the next film from stop-motion supremos LAIKA. Set to be the directorial debut of the studio's president Travis Knight, the film is taking a step away from the gothic/dark fairytales of their previous films, and will instead tell a "sweeping, swashbuckling adventure set in ancient Japan". If that wasn't enough, it also promises something called "mystical Origami." Count us in.

ETA:  2016

Jorge Guiterrez's "Untiled Kung Fu Space Western"


Why we're excited: Guiterrez well and truly arrived on the scene last year with The Book Of Life, a film that marked him out as a real talent to watch. In the wake of that film's success, Guiterrez has signed on to make multiple features with the animation studio responsible, Reel FX.  The new film will follow a charming space-faring outlaw who must save the Universe from a terrifying threat. But really, you had us at "Kung Fu Space Western".


The Breadwinner


Why we're excited: We've been major supporters of Ireland's Cartoon Saloon ever since we saw the wonderful Secret of Kells. Their second feature Song Of The Sea went on to be even more acclaimed and successful than their first, and saw Kells co-director Tomm Moore graduate to the big league. The Breadwinner, adapted from the acclaimed book is to be helmed by the other half of the Kells directing duo- Nora Twomey. Following a young girl in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan forced to support her family, it promises to be about as far from the delightful Celtic whimsy of the Studio's earlier features as you can get

ETA: 2017



Why we're excited: One of two Disney Feature Animation pictures due to open in 2016, and of the two Moana seems to be the most intriguing. Centring on a spirited teenager (the Moana of the title) living in the South Pacific, the setting promises some beautiful visuals- and a lead from a non-white, non-western background.The film reteams the legendary Ron Clements and John Musker- the directorial duo behind Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and Hercules,

ETA: 2016

The Incredibles 2

Why we're excited: Of all the Pixar sequels currently in development, this is the one everybody actually has been asking for.  The premise lends itself to further outings, and in the decade or so since the first film came out, Superhero films have exploded like never before.  Most of all though, we're excited to see Brad Bird come home to animation, having been sidetracked by live-action direction for the past few years.


The LEGO Batman Movie

Why we're excited: We weren't as madly in love with The LEGO Movie as everybody else on the internet, but it was still pretty great. It was full or inspired characters, best of all was Will Arnett's hilarious take on Batman.  Will the joke still be funny stretched out to feature length? Maybe, maybe not but this easily the most exciting of the 4(!) LEGO based movies Warner Bros rushed into production following the smash hit original.

ETA: 2017

Ari Folman's Anne Frank Project

Why we're excited: The idea of an animation based on the life of the tragic wartime teen might seem strange, or even somewhat perverse- although it's not the first. But in the hand of Israeli Waltz With Bashir director Ari Folman, we expect this will be tastefully done and extremely thought-provoking. Although it'll surely not be an easy watch.


How To Train Your Dragon 3

Why we're excited: 2010's How To Train Your Dragon may have been an instant classic, but it was last summer's sequel that really raised the stakes. The expansive fantasy world blown open in the second film should be explored even further in the trilogy closer. From what Dean DeBlois has been saying so far, expect villainous Drago's role to be much more substantial this time around in what promises to be an epic conclusion- but one with real emotional heft.

ETA: 2018


The Boy And The Beast

Why we're excited: We're slightly breaking our own rules with this one, as this will actually be released this year in Japan. However, we wouldn't expect it to arrive in the US or UK before next year at the earliest. This will be Mamoru Hosoda's first film since 2012's Wolf Children, and the second released by his Studio Chizu. Following his previous films, Wolf Children, Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, anything with Hosoda's name on it has our attention

ETA: Summer 2015 (Japan)

Adventure Time : The Movie

Why we're excited: It's Adventure Time! We can't wait to see what creator Pendelton Ward and team will do when let loose on the big screen. The step up from 11-minute episodes to a full movie is a major one, and will allow them to really explore the world of Ooo.  Best of all though, it'll be a rare chance to see some gorgeous, brand new 2D animation on the big screen... assuming they don't opt for a change of style for the movie outing.