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2024: The Year Ahead In Animated Film

2023 proved a very mixed year for animated film. From the billion-dollar box office of the Super Mario Bros Movie to the critical and audience disappointment of Disney's Wish, it ran the full gauntlet. 2024 has some very promising looking features but only time will tell how they will ultimately be received. Join us for our regular look ahead to the animated films that will hit cinema screens or streaming services near you over the next 12 months.

The Peasants

From the writer/directors of Loving Vincent comes this adaptation of the Nobel-prize-winning Polish novel of the same name. As in their previous movie, the Peasants is entirely oil-painted to make for a very beautiful and unique experience.

ETA: January 26

Soul/Turning Red/Luca

Pixar's trilogy of films that got their original cinema releases cancelled in favour of a debut on Disney Plus are finally getting released in cinemas this year. Better late than never, we guess.

ETA: January/February/March

Orion And The Dark

Dreamworks Animation's feature for Netflix centers on scardey-cat kid Orion who is paid a visit by the living embodiment of his biggest fear- The Dark. Together they embark on an adventure as The Dark tries to prove there's nothing to be afraid of in the night. This is the first family animated film to be written by acclaimed screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Anomalisa, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind).

ETA: February 2 (Netflix)

The Tiger's Apprentice

Chinese-American teen Tom Lee discovers that his late grandmother was a guardian of a mystical Phoenix egg. He finds himself apprentice to the mysterious Mr Hu- who can magically transform into a tiger. This is one of the first animated movies to debut on Paramount Plus.

ETA: February 2

The Jungle Bunch: Operation Meltdown

When a mysterious toxic foam starts spreading in the jungle, only the Jungle Bunch are brave enough to stop it. This  French CGI family feature from directors Laurent Bru,Yannick Moulin and Benoît Somville is the third movie spin-off of the kids' TV series of the same name.

ETA: February 2 

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba - To the Hashira Training

The popular supernatural anime releases its latest theatrical event screening with a world tour. Tanjiro undertakes a rigorous training regime with the Stone Hashira, Himejima, in his quest to become a Hashira. Meanwhile, Muzan continues to search for Nezuko and Ubuyashiki. The screening comprises of episode 11 of the Swordsmith Village Arc and the first episode of the Hashira Training Arc.

ETA: February 23

Kung Fu Panda 4

One of Dreamworks Animation's biggest franchises returns for a fourth time. In the latest outing Po (voiced once again by Jack Black) has to locate and train his successor as Dragon Warrior. All while a formidable new villain rises who takes on the powers of all the foes that Po has beaten before. The action comedy is directed by Mike Mitchell and Stephanie Stine.

ETA: March 8

The Garfield Movie

The iconic orange feline stars in his debut fully animated feature. Voiced this time by Chris Pratt, the housecat is forced to abandon the comforts of home and join his wayward father (voiced by Samuel L Jackson) on a heist.

ETA: May 24

Inside Out 2

The long-awaited sequel to Pete Docter's 2015 classic finally arrives. Catching up with a now teenaged Riley, the sequel deals with the arrival of new emotions led by Anxiety, voiced by Maya Hawke. Kelsey Mann steps into the director's chair this time around, but writer Meg LeFauve returns.

ETA June 14

Robot Dreams

Based on the popular graphic novel by North American writer Sara Varon, this French-Spanish 2D animation follows the adventures of a robot and his dog (or a dog and his robot) in 1980's New York. Director Pablo Berger's film has already won numerous awards including the Special Jury Award at Animation Is Film and Best European Animated Feature Film at the European Film Awards, and has received five Annie Award nominations.

ETA: 2024 (TBC)

Despicable Me 4

Another animated franchise reaches its fourth entry (seventh if you include the Minions spin-offs). The plot details are being kept under wraps for now, but the screenplay is written by School Of Rock and Migration scribe Mike White.

ETA: July 3 

Harold And The Purple Crayon

This film has been on the calendar for several years only to receive another delay. So it's anybody's guess if we'll actually see it this year. Sony Pictures Animation's adaptation of the beloved children's book stars Zachary Levi and Zooey Deschanel.

ETA: August 2

Transformers ONE

The Robots In Disguise return to their animated roots in an origin story set on Cybertron, home of the Autobots and Decepticons. Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley takes the helm for a feature with an all-star voice cast including Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Brian Tyree Henry, Jon Hamm and Laurence Fishburn.

ETA:  September 13


From animation legend Genndy Tartakovsky and Sony Pictures Animation comes this R-Rated story of a dog who embarks on one last wild night with his friends the night before he is due to get "the snip". The film was finished last September but it is still awaiting a release date.

ETA: 2024 TBC

The Wild Robot 

Following a shipwreck, intelligent robot Roz is stranded on an uninhabited island. To survive, Roz bonds with the local wildlife and cares for an orphaned baby goose. Dreamworks animation from How To Train Your Dragon co-director Chris Sanders.

ETA: September 20

The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim

What do you get when you combine some of the most respected names in anime with the most beloved franchise in fantasy? We don't know just yet, but we'd wager it's going to be something pretty special. Kenji Kamiyama directs with Sola Entertainment responsible for the animation, in this untold story of Helm's Deep.

ETA : December 13

Mufasa: The Lion King

2019's The Lion King is the most successful animated film of all time, but Disney want you to think that it isn't. Whatever the film is, it was incredibly successful so a sequel was an inevitability. In fact, this seems to be part sequel part prequel, diving into the younger years of Simba's dad Mufasa and Uncle Scar. Directed by Oscar-winning Moonlight director Barry Jenkins

ETA: December 20

Ultraman Rising

American-made adaptation of the iconic Japanese superhero Ultraman, swapping men-in-suits for slick CGI animation. Written and directed by Shannon Tindle who is best known for the original story of Kubo and The Two Strings and character designer of Coraline.

ETA: 2024 (Netflix)

The Day The Earth Blew Up: A Looney Tunes Movie

Warner Bros Animation has produced a feature-length spin-off of their recent Looney Tunes Cartoons.  Unlike the old Looney Tunes 'movies' which were actually compilations of their shorts with a little bit of new animation, this appears to be a brand new story which sees Daffy Duck and Porky Pig face an alien invasion.

ETA: 2024 TBC

Also Released

• Spellbound Skydance Animation follow Luck with this musical adventure. ETA 2024 (Netflix) 
• Saving Bikini Bottom: The Sandy Cheeks Movie Spongebob spin-off.  ETA 2024 (Netflix)
• That Christmas Festive feature from Locksmith Animation ETA Christmas 2024 (Netflix)