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Feature Film

2014 Animated Feature Preview

From mainstream releases to independent foreign productions, we’ve got a guide to the animated feature releases that you can look forward to in 2014.

Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (1/10/14)
Released in 2012 in Japan, in this third chapter in the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy, the adventure continues for pilots Asuka and Mari after they are ambushed while recovering Evangelion Unit-01 from outer space.

Director: Hideaki Anno
Production Company: Studio Khara
Distributor: Funimation
Technique: Hand-drawn
Voice Cast: Spike Spencer, Jerry Jewell, Tiffany Grant
Japanese Website

The Nut Job (1/17/14)
A mischievous squirrel named Surly plans a nut-store heist with his rat friend, Buddy.

Director: Peter Lepeniotis
Production Company: Toonbox Entertainment
Distributor: Open Road Films
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Gabriel Iglesias, Liam Neeson
Official Facebook Page

The Lego Movie (2/7/14)
Ordinary LEGO figure is mistaken as “The Special” and goes on an adventure to save his LEGO mini-world.

Director: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Production Company: Animal Logic
Distributor: Warner Brothers
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman,
Official Website

The Wind Rises (2/21/14)
A fictionalized biography of fighter jet designer, Jiro Horikoshi, Hayao Miyazaki’s final film was a big hit in Japan last year and aims to repeat that success in the United States.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Production Company: Studio Ghibli
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures
Technique: Hand-drawn
Voice Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, John Krasinki
Japanese Website

Mr. Peabody & Sherman (3/7/14)
Mr. Peabody & Sherman use their time traveling WABAC machine to keep the space-time continuum from being irreparably destroyed.

Director: Rob Minkoff
Production Company: Dreamworks
Distributor: Fox
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter, Stephen Colbert
Offical Website

Rio 2 (4/11/14)
Blu and his family leave Rio de Janeiro for a journey to the Amazon rainforest where they encounter a menagerie of wild characters.

Director: Carlos Saldanha
Production Company: Blue Sky
Distributor: Fox
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway,, Jamie Foxx
Official Website

Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (5/9/14)
Dorothy returns to the Emerald City when The Jester threatens the world of Oz.

Director: Daniel St. Pierre, Will Finn
Production Company: Summertime Entertainment
Distributor: Clarius Entertainment
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Lea Michele, Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd
Official Website

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (6/13/14)
Taking place five years after the first film, Hiccup and his friends find themselves in the center of a larger conflict between humans and dragons.

Director: Dean DeBlois
Production Company: Dreamworks
Distributor: Fox
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson
Official Website

Planes: Fire and Rescue (7/18/14)
Air racer Dusty must shift gears and join a quirky crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting a historic national park.

Director: Roberts Gannaway
Production Company: DisneyToon Studios
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Dane Cook, Julie Bowen
Official Website

The Boxtrolls (9/26/14)
An orphaned boy has to save his adopted family, a group of underground cave-dwelling trash collectors, from an exterminator.

Director: Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi
Production Company: Laika
Distributor: Focus
Technique: Stop Motion
Voice Cast: Ben Kingsley, Simon Pegg, Elle Fanning, Toni Collette
Official Website

Book of Life (10/17/14)
A young man named Manolo embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds, where he must face his greatest fears.

Director: Jorge Gutierrez
Production Company: Reel FX
Distributor: Fox
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Christina Applegate

Big Hero 6 (11/7/14)
A brilliant robotics prodigy joins forces with a reluctant team of first time crime fighters in the fictional city of San Fransokyo.

Director: Don Hall
Production Company: Walt Disney Animation Studios
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures
Technique: CG
Official film website

Home (11/26/14)
An overly enthusiastic alien race are determined to take over Earth and relocate the human race to their planet – convinced they’re helping them.

Director: Tim Johnson
Production Company: Dreamworks Animation
Distributor: 20 Century Fox
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Rhianna, Jim Parsons

The Canterville Ghost (12/25/14)
Set in rural England at the end of the nineteenth century, Sir Simon de Canterville has been haunting the Canterville Chase for hundreds of years but everything changes when an American family – the Otises from Boston – buys Canterville Chase and moves in. Canterville nemesis is a lowly gardener who is revealed to be Death himself.

Director: Kim Burdon
Production Company: D’Arblay Films and Arc Productions
Distributor: unknown
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie

The Congress (release date unannounced)
An aging, out-of-work actress accepts one last job, though the consequences of her decision affect her in ways she didn’t consider.

Director: Ari Folman
Distributor: Drafthouse Films
Technique: Live Action/Hand-drawn
Voice Cast: Robin Wright, Paul Giamatti, Jon Hamm
Official Website

Foreign Films

Tarzan 3D (1/24/14) (UK)
Tarzan and Jane Porter must face an army sent by the CEO of Greystoke Energies, the very man who took over the company after Tarzan’s parents death.

Director: Reinhard Klooss
Production Company: Constantin Films
Distributor: Filmförderunganstalt
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Kellan Lutz, Spencer Locke, Anton Zetterhorn, Jaime Ray Newman
German Website

Minuscule – La vallée des fourmis perdues (1/29/14) (France)
(Minuscule – Valley of the Lost Ants)
Two rival gangs of ants fight over a box of sugar leftover from a picnic.

Director: Thomas Szabo, Hélène Giraud
Production Company: Futurikon Films
Distributor: Le Pacte
Technique: CG
Official Facebook Page

Der 7bte Zwerg (1/30/14) (Germany)
(The 7th Dwarf)
The 7th dwarf Bubi travels into the future with his dwarf companions to stop a curse caused by an evil ice queen.

Director: Boris Aljinovic, Harald Siepermann
Production Company: Zipfelmützen Films, Erfttal Films
Distributor: Universal Pictures Germany
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Norbert Heisterkamp, Otto Waalkes, Nina Hagen
German Website

Jack et la Mécanique du cœur (2/5/14) (France)
(Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart)
Born on the coldest day in history, Jack lives with a clockwork heart that he must never touch, or use for anger or love.

Director: Mathias Malzieu, Stéphane Berla
Production Company: Duran Duboi
Distributor: EuropaCorp
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Mathias Malzieu, Olivia Ruiz, Jean Rochefort
Official Facebook Page

Tanta Hilda! (2/12/2014) (France)
(Aunt Hilda!)
Disaster looms for Aunt Hilda’s plant museum when industrialists develop a new chemical called “Attilem”.

Director: Jacques-Rémy Girerd and Benoît Chieux
Production Company: Folimage
Distributor: SND
Technique: Hand-drawn
Voice Cast: Sabine Azéma, Josiane Balasko, François Morel
Film Website

Giovanni’s Island (2/22/2014) (Japan)
In the aftermath of the most devastating conflict mankind had ever experienced, the tiny island of Shikotan became part of the Sakhalin Oblast… and on the unhealed border in this remote corner of the world, friendship among children from two different countries timidly blossomed, striving to overcome language barriers and the waves of history.

Director: Mizuho Nishikubo
Production Company: Production I.G.
Distributor: Warner Entertainment Japan
Technique: Hand-drawn
Film Website (Japanese)

Asterix: le Domaine des Dieux (11/26/14) (France)
(Asterix: The Mansion of the Gods)
Asterix and Obelix take on Julius Caesar after he attempts to seduce a village of Gauls off of their land by building a luxurious suburb nearby.

Director: Alexandre Astier, Louis Clichy
Production Company: MacGuff Ligne
Distributor: SND Sant-Ouen Films
Technique: CG
Voice Cast: Roger Carel, Guillaume Briat, Alexandre Astier

Song of the Sea (Ireland)
The story of the last Seal Child’s journey home.

Director: Tomm Moore
Production Company: Cartoon Saloon
Technique: Hand-drawn
Voice Cast: David Rawle, Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan
Official Facebook Page

Malá z Rybárny (Czech Republic)
(Little from the Fish Shop)
The daughter of a fish shop owner meets a handsome, confident young man.

Director: Jan Balej
Distributor: Miracle Film
Technique: Puppet/Digital
Official Website

  • Debergerack

    I’m glad to see more traditional/ stop-motion films compared to last year…

  • GW

    I’m most interested in Miniscule. Little from the Fish Shop and Jack with the Cuckoo Clock Heart also look good.

  • At least there’s some more diversity this time around. All we need is some more traditional animation in the states and we’d be solid.

  • Kris Åsard

    Well, at least the creators of Minuscule seem to understand that you don’t change a winning concept just because you transfer to the big screen. Unlike the producers of Failing with Dinosaurs did.

  • Toonio

    Keep placing Planes 2: The job hopping adventure continues, on any list of decent to awesome animated films and they will keep making it. (Just saying).

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  • There seems to be a lot of diversity in this mix!

  • Tres Swygert

    It looks a whole lot better than 2013’s lineup. Hopefully these films can deliver.

  • Jeff

    Maybe it’s just me, but did the “Nut Job” purposefully copy the same title cards as “despicable Me”?

    Also, was that an angry bird that flew in the window of the car?

    • IJK

      Big 3D bold orange letters isn’t exactly a trademark of Despicable Me’s.

    • Steve

      They purposefully copied everything. The rat looks ilke Remy, the squirrel looks like Hammy (Over the Hedge) mixed with Scrat (because, nuts). And the box office looks like Walking With Dinosaurs.

  • Jake

    So did The Tale of Princess Kaguya, When Marnie Was Here, Me and my Shadow, and Ratchet and Clank get pushed back? Also, I bet there are a ton of Japanese animated movies being released, some I never hear about until Netflix.

  • George Comerci

    Big Hero 6 still sounds the best out of the lineup.

  • Nadia Barbu

    I’m cautiously optimistic about Boxtrolls. It will look amazing, like everything Laika, but script-wise, their previous films, while doing many things right (Coraline: a girl protagonist who does more for girls in films simply by not making a big deal out of her being a girl, unlike Pixar’s “Brave”! Paranorman: a a touching and mature approach to death!) also seemed to not take it as far as they should have. The “funny” stuff fell flat for me, and it made me think that they hadn’t decided yet what they wanted to be, or that they were trying too hard, at the last minute, to emulate the standard “family movie”, instead of imbracing the strangeness of the stories they had chosen. It’s however the only mainstream American studio that is trying to do something different at the moment. Apart from them we seem to have the usual roster of CGI sequels, remakes and sassy talking animals.

    Jan Balej’s first feature “One Night in One City” was entertainingly bizzare so the new one may be good as well. I’ve rarely been disappointed by a Czech puppet film. And I’m crazy excited about finally seeing “Song of the Sea” (which looks beautiful) and “The Wind Rises”. What about the other Ghibli feature, though, Takahata’s “Princess Kaguya”?

  • Platynews

    They are making a Minuscule movie ????


    And it does not feature a talking bug ?????


  • Crispy Walker

    The Wind Rises, The Boxtrolls, The Congress, Big Hero 6, and Aunt Hilda are all films I’ve been looking forward to since they were announced. Aunt Hilda in particular — what those people did in Mia and the Migoo was beautiful, despite the plot being a bit stale and all over the place. The Congress looks like the most intellectually adventurous of all these offerings. I’m excited about most of them though. There’s a good variety, from silly sequels aimed at kids all the way up to full on dramatic films. Hopefully some of the more sophisticated offerings next year manage to attract an audience and a profit so that we can have more of those types of films in the future.

  • Funkybat

    It’s a shame that almost nothing from the bottom half of that list is likely to receive even an “art house” U.S. release. There needs to be more diversity of animation in this country. For all the talk of an “animation glut” these days, to me it feels just as limited a range of choices as the early 2000s.

    • Fred Daniels

      oh well you can always wait for dvd

    • Ronnie

      Song of the Sea has a good chance, I think, being a movie from the makers of Secret of Kells with a similar art style.

  • BurntToShreds

    I really feel like the only people who could make the absurdity of Big Hero 6 work are the folks at Gainax. Either them or Studio Trigger, which is made up of former Gainax animators that worked on big hits like Gurren Lagann and have a show airing right now called Kill la Kill that is amazing.

  • DangerMaus

    There are a few on here that look interesting. Unfortunately, I doubt many of them will see any release over here. The Congress looks especially interesting. I expect that one might see a release here, since it is directed by the same fellow that did “Waltz with Bashir”. Sad that almost all of the hand drawn stuff is European. Watching those trailers made me think how much I miss seeing traditional hand drawn animation.

  • Any way to update this article with Princess Kaguya and Penguins, new trailers that have been released, and removing Home since that got pushed back? Thanks!