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2012 Animated Movie Preview

This Year's Animated Films Aren't Just for Kids

By

2012's animated film offerings come to us from Disney, Pixar, Sony Pictures Animation, DreamWorks Animation, Universal, Focus, and Blue Sky Studios. Just about every major animated production house is putting out a feature film this year, but the question is will any of them be worth the price of a ticket? 2011's animated movies were disappointing, so here's hoping 2012 is a much better year for fans of animated films.

'Brave'

© Disney/Pixar
Voices By: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Kevin McKidd, and Craig Ferguson

The Plot: Brave is Pixar's first period piece, its first true fairy tale, and the first of their animated films with a female main character: Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald). In this animated adventure, Merida is a smart, independent young woman who doesn't want to marry and instead wants to chart her own path. But in striking out on her own, she upsets the lords of the land. Turning to an eccentric Wise Woman for help, she's granted an ill-fated wish. "The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late."

Release Date: June 22, 2012

'Dr Seuss' The Lorax'

The Lorax
© Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures
Voices By: Zac Efron, Danny DeVito, Ed Helms and Taylor Swift

The Plot: Based on the classic story by Dr. Seuss, The Lorax is the tale of a 12 year old boy who is trying to win over the girl of his dreams. To do so, he has to discover the story of the Lorax, a grumpy creature who is fighting to protect his world.

Release Date: March 2, 2012

'Frankenweenie'

Frankenweenie Preview
© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Voices By: Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Catherine O'Hara, and Martin Landau

The Plot: Tim Burton expands on a short film he did years ago with this animated stop-motion 3D black and white film. The story revolves around a boy who brings his beloved dog Sparky back to life much to the horror of the citizens of his town.

Release Date: October 5, 2012

'Hotel Transylvania'

Hotel Transylvania
© Sony Pictures Animation
Voices By: Miley Cyrus, Adam Sandler, Steve Buscemi, Kevin James, and Andy Samberg

The Plot: Everyone else seems to be doing it, so why not Adam Sandler? "It" is playing a vampire. In Sandler's case, it's the best known of all the fanged bloodsuckers: Dracula.

This animated comedy finds Dracula running the Hotel Transylvania where his guests are free to be their monstrous selves. Helping him out is his teenage daughter, Mavis, the reason behind Dracula deciding to open the hotel in the first place.

Release Date: September 28, 2012

'Ice Age: Continental Drift'

Ice Age: Continental Drift
© Blue Sky Studios
Voices By: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, and Alan Tudyk

The Plot: Due to Scrat's never-ending pursuit of his beloved acorn, he's triggered a continental cataclysm that sends Manny, Diego and Sid off on their greatest adventure yet. As they try to get back home, the BFFs run into a "ragtag menagerie of colorful new characters determined to stop them."

Release Date: July 13, 2012

'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted'

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
© DreamWorks Animation
Voices By: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Sacha Baron Cohen

The Plot: In their quest to get back to New York City, Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe wind up as part of a traveling circus - with King Julien, Maurice, and the penguins also along for the adventure.

Release Date: June 8, 2012

'ParaNorman'

ParaNorman
© Focus Features
Voices By: Casey Affleck, Jodelle Ferland, John Goodman, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Kodi Smit-McPhee

The Plot: The second stop-motion 3D film from the company that brought us Coraline, ParaNorman follows a young boy named Norman who can speak to the dead, a talent which comes in handy when his town is attacked by zombies. Norman also has to square off against ghosts, witches, and moronic grown-ups in order to save his town.

Release Date: August 17, 2012

'The Pirates! Band of Misfits'

The Pirates! Band of Misfits
© Sony Pictures Animation
Voices By: Hugh Grant, Jeremy Piven, Martin Freeman, Salma Hayek, and Ashley Jensen

The Plot: Hugh Jackman provides the voice of a pirate captain who, along with his rag-tag crew, wants to win the Pirate of the Year Award. But in order to fulfill his dream, he'll have to defeat his ruthless rivals and battle a diabolical queen.

Release Date: March 30, 2012

'Rise of the Guardians'

Rise of the Guardians
© DreamWorks Animation
Voices By: Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, and Jude Law

The Plot: Not to be confused with Warner Bros Pictures' Legends of the Guardians, DreamWorks Animation's Rise of the Guardians finds Santa, Jack Frost, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny joining forces as the Guardians to do battle against Pitch (aka The Boogeyman) who wants to take over the world.

Release Date: November 21, 2012

'The Secret World of Arrietty'

The Secret World of Arrietty
© Disney/Studio Ghibli
Voices By: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, and David Henrie

The Plot: This English language version of the Studio Ghibli release (based on The Borrowers book series by Mary Norton) focuses on 14 year old Arrietty, a little person living in the "recesses of a suburban garden home." She and the other little people stay hidden from the real world, however when a 12 year old human discovers Arrietty living in the house, complications arise as an unlikely friendship forms.

Release Date: February 17, 2012

'Wreck-It Ralph'

Wreck It Ralph
© Walt Disney Pictures
Voices By: Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, and John C Reilly

The Plot: Here's the official synopsis from Disney: "Wreck-It Ralph (John C Reilly) longs to be as beloved as his game's perfect Good Guy, Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer). Problem is, nobody loves a Bad Guy. But they do love heroes...so when a modern, first-person shooter game arrives featuring tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch), Ralph sees it as his ticket to heroism and happiness. He sneaks into the game with a simple plan--win a medal--but soon wrecks everything, and accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade. Ralph's only hope? Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), a young troublemaking 'glitch' from a candy-coated cart racing game who might just be the one to teach Ralph what it means to be a Good Guy. But will he realize he is good enough to become a hero before it's 'Game Over' for the entire arcade?

"

Release Date: November 2, 2012

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