Check out this list of animated flicks hitting theaters throughout 2010, listed in order of release, and you're sure to find at least one or two titles that strike your fancy.
The Scoop: The latest effort from DreamWorks Animation, How to Train Your Dragon follows scrawny Viking teenager Hiccup (Baruchel) as he befriends a fearsome dragon and eventually passes on important lessons of tolerance to his fellow warriors. The movie, directed by Lilo & Stitch filmmakers Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, features a hilarious assortment of supporting characters and several absolutely breathtaking flying sequences, and there’s little doubt that this is as close to Pixar’s level of quality that DreamWorks has ever gotten.
Release Date: March 26, 2010
The Scoop: In this final outing for everyone’s favorite ogre, Shrek inadvertently creates an alternate version of Far Far Away in which he was never born after Rumpelstiltskin tricks him into signing away his very existence. Given that the first three Shrek movies have earned over two billion dollars worldwide, Shrek Forever After certainly looks to be the animated movie to beat this summer – with the film’s mix of new characters and returning favorites sure to entice fans back into theaters one last time.
Release Date: May 21, 2010
The Scoop: The toys are back in this third and possibly final installment of Pixar’s incredibly popular and massively successful series, with the storyline following Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang as they’re forced to fend for themselves after they’re dumped at a local daycare center. Pixar’s flawless track record all but assures that this will be a fitting conclusion to the Toy Story saga, yet it’s impossible not to wonder if the movie will be able to live up to the almost impossibly high bar set by its 1999 predecessor.
Release Date: June 18, 2010
The Scoop: In Steve Carell’s last foray into animation, he played the kindly mayor of Whoville in the well-received adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! This time around, the Office star is voicing an evil supervillain who plans to steal no less than the moon – with his sinister plot thwarted after he finds himself unwittingly growing closer to a trio of adorable orphans. It’s an off-the-wall premise that’s sure to be utilized to consistently irreverent effect, as the film boasts an impressive roster of comedians within its cast (in addition to the above funnymen, Despicable Me also features the voices of Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, and Danny McBride).
Release Date: July 9, 2010
The Scoop: A screwball romance, Alpha and Omega follows a pair of squabbling wolves as they’re forced to put aside their differences and work together after park rangers kidnap them from their home. Between them, directors Ben Gluck and Anthony Bell have worked on such well-regarded animated television shows and movies as The Boondocks, Rugrats, and The Emperor’s New Groove – which certainly bodes well for Alpha and Omega’s chances of success.
Release Date: September 17, 2010
The Scoop: Based on Kathryn Lasky’s acclaimed series of fantasy novels, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole follows a heroic young owl as he is unwittingly caught up in an ongoing battle between two warring factions. The movie marks 300 and Watchmen filmmaker Zack Snyder’s first stab at animation, and if the eye-opening trailer is any indication, the director’s notoriously stylish sensibilities have survived the transition from live action to computer-generated animation.
Release Date: September 24, 2010
The Scoop: From the co-director of Madagascar and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa comes this zany story of a supervillain (Ferrell’s Megamind) who decides to invent a new opponent for himself after the downfall of his long-time nemesis (Pitt’s Metro Man), with problems emerging after Megamind’s creation (Hill’s Titan) decides that being evil is a whole lot more fun than being a good guy. Despite its vague similarities to Despicable Me, MegaMind looks to be another smash from the folks at DreamWorks Animation.
Release Date: November 5, 2010
The Scoop: Based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Tangled follows imprisoned princess Rapunzel as she discovers the outside world for the first time after encountering a handsome rebel named Flynn Rider. There’s been some controversy as a result of Disney’s decision to change its title from Rapunzel to Tangled, with the alteration triggered by the fear that young boys wouldn’t be interested in seeing another female-centric story so soon after The Princess and the Frog. At any rate, it should be interesting to see what the folks at the Mouse House are able to do with this classic tale (which, surprisingly enough, has never been adapted into a full-length feature before).
Release Date: November 12, 2010