Header Ads

2023: The Year Ahead In Animated Film

2022 was another bumper year for animated film, with a wide variety of features from around the world seeing release. But now it's time to look ahead to see what we can expect in the coming 12 months. It's an impressive line-up, with films coming from some of animation's biggest names and some of the most eagerly anticipated sequels. Without any further ado, let's get going! As always, please bear in mind that dates are subject to change.

New Gods: Yang Jian

Light Chaser Animation (White Snake) present the second instalment in their New Gods franchise. The series takes legendary figures from Chinese mythology and brings them up-to date with a steampunk-ish makeover.  This film follows Yang Jian, once a powerful god and now a penniless bounty hunter. The first New Gods film Nezha Reborn is available to watch on Netflix.

ETA: January 20

Sword Art Online The Movie - Progressive - Scherzo of Deep Night

The latest theatrical outing in the massively popular anime franchise is a follow up to the prior movie  SAO Progressive Aria of a Starless Night.  The Progressive movies are a reboot of the series, adapted from the Light Novel series of the same name.

ETA: February 

Unicorn Wars

This technicolour horror comedy comes from Alberto Vásquez, director of Birdboy: The Forgotten Children.  Described as "Bambi meets Apocalypse Now, it depicts teddy bears locked in a generations-long war with their sworn enemy- unicorns. How can we resist such a nutty premise?

ETA March 10


New from Makoto Shinkai, this follows the titular teen on an adventure across Japan, investigating why mysterious doors have begun appearing across the country. This is Shinkai so expect extremely pretty animation and teenage angst... and a boy turned into a chair (yes really).

ETA  April 14 (US/UK)

The Super Mario Bros Movie

Many sceptics of this Illumination adaptation of the iconic video game franchise have been pleasantly surprised by the trailers for the film. This is largely down to the fact that Nintendo themselves are heavily involved, having been burnt once by the legendarily bad Super Mario Bros live-action movie back in the 90s. There's a lot we still don't know about this movie (like the full details of the plot), but based on what we've seen so far there's reason to be hopeful that this will capture the charm of the original games.

ETA: April 7

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse: Part One

As the sequel to one of the most acclaimed animated features of the past decade, it's fair to say that this is eagerly anticipated (to put it mildly). But can it live up to the game-changing original? Although there is a trio of new directors at the helm. Phil Lord and Chris Miller are back on script duty (alongside newcomer Dave Callahan). This time rather than being visited by other spider-people, Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy will be taking a trip across the multiverse. meeting a metric ton of spider-men/women/pigs/etc along the way.

ETA: June 2


Pixar's latest original film comes from The Good Dinosaur's Peter Sohn. It boasts a typically high concept of a world populated by elements, where an unlikely relationship develops between Ember (a fire elemental) and Wade (a water elemental). Everyone involved will be hoping that this is more successful than Sohn's previous film, one of the studio's few flops.

ETA: June 16

How Do You Live?

Details are decidedly thin on ground for this, the new movie from one Hayao Miyazaki. But surely it had to be something pretty special to tempt the master to come back from retirement (again). What we do know is it is said to be an action-adventure that is somehow inspired by the book of the title. Hopefully, the wait for this to come westward won't be too long.

ETA: July (Japan) TBC

Trolls: Band Together

The pint-sized critters are back for a second encore in this DreamWorks threequel. Expect colourful animation and catchy music because after all it it ain't broke, why fix it? DreamWorks are on a bit of a run lately with The Bad Guys and Puss In Boots: The Last Wish getting animation fans excited. Will this follow suit?

ETA November 17


The latest from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Wish takes place in a kingdom named Rosas, where dreams can literally come true, and focuses on 17-year-old Asha and her pet goat Valentino. The film is co-written by the Frozen duo of Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee and directed by Buck alongside Fawn Veerasunthorn. We don't know much more beyond the basic set-up and the fact that Ariana DeBose and Alan Tudyk will voice the leads, but hopes are high it could recapture that Frozen magic.

ETA: November 23


The much anticipated fantasy feature was resurrected by Netflix after being cancelled by Disney when they shuttered Blue Sky Studios. Adapted from the graphic novel by ND Stevenson, the film follows a shapeshifting teen who is the only one who can prove the innocence of a Knight framed for a crime he did not commit.

ETA: 2023 TBC (Netflix)

Chicken Run: Dawn Of The Nugget

23 years after the original, Aardman Animation's most successful film finally gets a sequel.
We rejoin Ginger, Rocky, Babs and the rest... only this time they want to break in to somewhere.

ETA 2023 TBC (Netflix)

And The Rest

The Amazing Maurice Terry Pratchett adaptation ETA Feb 03 (US) • Puss In Boots: The Last Wish DreamWorks sequel ETA: Feb 03 (UK) • Harold And The Purple Crayon Adaptation of the beloved children's book. ETA June 23 •  Leo Adam Sandler voices and co-writes a new movie from Netflix about a 74-year old lizard ETA: November 22 (Netflix)