Throwback Thursday: A peek at the upcoming anime films this year

Firstly we at Animation Digital Digest wish our readers a very happy new year.

At the end of last year, we had put across some names of animated films that were the best of the year.

Today, let us take you around to have a peek at some of the animated titles that are to release this year.

Mary and the Witch’s Flower


Japanese helmer Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who directed Studio Ghibli‘s Arrietty and When Marnie Was There is the mastermind behind this acclaimed Studio Ponoc production.

Many of the artists who worked on the film are former Ghibli employees. The movie opened in July in Japan and has earned over 3 billion yet ($28.8 million).

Based on Mary Stewart‘s book The Little Broomstick, the plot centers on the adventures of a young girl who discovers a magical flower with special powers.

Kate Winslet, Ruby Barnhill and Jim Broadbent lead the distinguished English-language voice cast.

Release on January 19
Early Man

Early Man

This is the latest epic movie by the team at Aardman Animations directed by Nick Park, known for Wallace & Gromit and penned by Mark Burton and John O’Farrell. 

The pre-historic stop-motion project tells the story of Dug (Eddie Redmayne) and his sidekick Hognob who rise up against their powerful enemy Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston) and his Bronze Age City.

The voice cast also includes Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones).

Releasing February 16
The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales

Big Bad Fox

This lovely 2D animated feature is directed by Oscar-nominated Benjamin Renner (Ernest and Celestine) and Patrick Imbert, and produced by Didier Brunner’s Paris-based studio Folivari. Set on a seemingly normal farm, the movie centers on the delightful adventures of an oddball fox, a duck who wants to be Santa Claus, a clumsy rabbit who acts like a stork, and a sensitive pig.
Releasing in February
Isle of Dogs


Fans of Wes Anderson are in for a treat as the director returns to the world of stop-motion animation. Inspired by the classic films of Akira Kurosawa, the plot centers on a young boy Atari who searches for his exiled dog Spots in massive garbage dump known as Trash Island with the help of a pack of pooches he meets along the way.

Seconding the gorgeous animation are the voices stars such as Bill Murray, Bryan Cranston, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Akira Ito, Akira Takayama, Yoko Ono, and Edward Norton. Two paws way up!
Releasing March 23
Gnomeo & Juliet: Sherlock Gnomes

Seven years after the release of the first film, the sequel about the star-crossed garden gnomes surfaces. Directed by John Stevenson of Kung Fu Panda fame, the CG-animated comedy adventure finds Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt) hiring the famous detective Sherlock Gnomes (voiced by Johnny Depp) to help solve the mystery of the missing garden gnomes. As he did for the first outing, Sir Elton John will provide the music for the feature also.
Releasing on March 23
The Incredibles 2

Dynamo writer/director Brad Bird has finally come up with the sequel his fans have been awaiting for years. The toon about the delightful family of Supers will reunite with the original cast members Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell and Samuel L. Jackson.

The plot would start immediately after the first movie where Mr. Incredible left.

Elastigirl, Jack-Jack and Dash are about to face the super villain Underminer (John Ratzenberger).  Pixar fave Michael Giacchino provides the film’s music. The 3D CG film will also be available in IMAX.
Releasing June 15


Hotel Transylvania 3


Director Genndy Tartakovsky is back as are original voice actors Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg and Selena Gomez in the third installment of the franchise.

Co-written by Tartakovsky and Mike McCullers, the third chapter in the vampire family’s saga finds them on a luxury Monster Cruise Ship where Dracula falls for the ship’s captain Ericka, a descendent of monster slayer Van Helsing.
Releasing July 13



Small Foot

This new Sasquatch movie has a refreshing new spin! Directed by Karey Kirkpatrick and co-directed by Jason Reisig the film is based on a script by Kirkpatrick and Sergio Pablos, this charming new movie that centers on a Sasquatch who believes that humans exist will hit the silver screen on September 28.

The CG-animated pic features the voices of Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya, Common, LeBron James, Gina Rodriguez, Danny DeVito, Yara Shahidi, Ely Henry and Jimmy Tatro.
Releasing September 28
The Grinch

This new animated Grinch sounds awfully like Sherlock Holmes. Yes, it’s Benedict Cumberbatch who is voicing Dr. Seuss’ famous holiday-hating curmudgeon in this Illumination CG-animated adaptation of the 1957 children’s classic.

The shiny new CG adaptation version is directed by Yarrow Cheney and Peter Candeland, who has the best last name in Toon Town! Kaitlyn Maher provides the voice of the adorable Cindy Lou Who.
Releasing November 9


Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It-Ralph 2

This sequel to Disney’s Oscar-winning 2012 hit about gaming characters promises to be just as fun and packed with cameos as the original movie.

Immensely talented Rich Moore is back at the helm of this adventure. This time, Ralph gets plugged into the arcade to fix Sugar Rush, and he and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) meet new characters, trendy algorithms, Disney princesses, Iron Man, Gamora, C-3PO, R2-D3, Yoda and Princess Leia.

Voice cast includes Taraji P. Henson and many of the original voices of the Disney princesses, as well as Alan Tudyk, James Corden, Jane Lynch and Jack McBarayer.
Releasing November 21


Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Spider man
This intriguing new incarnation of Stan Lee’s web-slinging hero has been directed by Bob Persichetti and Peter Ramsey with a script by Phil Lord and Chris Miller and story by Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch.

It features the voices of Shameik Moore as Miles Morales/Spider-Man and Liev Schreiber as the main villain of the story.
Releasing December 14