Movies are one of the simplest ways to de-stress and stay entertained. And with the unprecedented rise in technology, movies have achieved limitless possibilities. This is most apparent in the form of animation.
Animated movies offer not only kids but even adults the opportunity to perceive stories in a unique medium. Not only are such movies easy to discern, but they are often filled with wholesome themes and values.
Animated movies are hugely popular among the masses. It is perhaps because they have a way of communicating emotions and stories that live-action movies cannot.
The rise of animation has gone hand-in-hand with technology. The greater the advancement, the more sophisticated animated movies have become. Over time they’ve employed more serious themes, attracting more mature audiences in the process.
In fact, animated movies sometimes have a bigger following than normal ones. Cult movies released under big banners such as Pixar, Laika, or Ghibli have carved a niche of their own.
That said, if you’re a fan of animated movies and excited at the plethora of upcoming releases, you’re in the right spot. Here’s a list of top upcoming animated movies that you should definitely keep track of.
Upcoming Animated Movies 2022
1. Sing 2
As the name suggests, the movie is a sequel to the 2016 animated musical comedy about a struggling theater owner trying to save his business.
Produced by studio Illumination, the movie has a release date of 22nd December 2021.
The sequence is set in the aftermath of the events in the first movie. Buster Moon and his set of anthropomorphic animals are trying to win over an entertainment mogul. However, they’d need the help of a reclusive musician to organize the performance.
As a musical, this animated movie employs music as an underlying theme to suggest how it can heal even the most heartbroken.
While the first film featured about 60 famous songs, Sing 2 has 21 songs.
And reprising the lead role, Matthew McConaughey will feature again as Buster Moon, an optimistic koala. The ensemble cast also includes Hollywood stars like Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Nick Offerman, etc.
2. Back to the Outback
This is an Australian animated movie that had a limited theatrical release in December 2021. Back to the Outback was then picked up by Netflix and has been available on the streaming platform since.
The plot of Back to the Outback is fairly simple, based around a group of animals’ desires and subsequent attempts to break free from a zoo. Though a seemingly plain plot, the movie has underlying themes which are more profound than they appear.
The cardinal message of the movie is that ugly-looking animals are not necessarily bad. And that good-looking animals can also be dangerous.
The movie is not meant to pander to a particular gender and therefore makes for an ideal viewing for all animation enthusiasts. It features an ensemble cast of some big names, including Isla Fisher, Eric Bana, Guy Pearce, Keith Urban, and Jacki Weaver.
The movie is a result of collaboration between four different studios. Netflix Animation and Reel FX Animation Studios were two of them.
Rumble is another sports-based animated movie that is partially based on a graphic novel named Monster on the Hill.
Produced in collaboration by Paramount and WWE Studio, the movie was about to have a theatrical release before COVID restrictions came in. Eventually, it had a release on the streaming platform Paramount+ as an exclusive.
This is another story wherein the main characters are anthropomorphic animals. Based on the sports of wrestling, the story revolves around the main character Winnie’s stint as a wrestling manager.
The cast includes a list of noted actors and wrestling stars. Some among them are Terry Crews, Roman Reigns, Jimmy Tatro, Charles Barkley, and Stephen A. Smith.
The animation for the movie received wide plaudits. But critics were unequivocal in their criticism of some aspects of the movie. These include the characterization and pacing of the movie.
Luck is an upcoming fantasy animated movie produced under the banner of Paramount Pictures. The animation work is allegedly produced by Skydance Animation in collaboration with Spanish animation studio Ilion.
Originally slated for release in the year 2021, the movie remained shelved indefinitely due to COVID restrictions. As things stand, the movie has finally got a worldwide release date of 18th February 2022.
The movie heavily deals with themes of magic and fantasy. It revolves around the protagonist’s journey of uncovering the world of good and bad luck. It features anthropomorphic animals as well.
The movie has two of the biggest names in Hollywood as cast members. Celebrated actress Jane Fonda was cast to voice the role of The Dragon. And Academy Award winner Whoopi Goldberg will voice The Captain.
The movie had Peggy Holmes as the director, who made her directorial debut in 2008 with The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning.
5. Turning Red
This is an upcoming animated coming-of-age movie having a big banner released under Walt Disney. Produced by Pixar Animation studio, the movie has a lot of firsts to its credit.
This is the directorial debut of Domee Shi, who will be the first woman to solely have a Pixar movie under her credit.
Turning Red has a Disney+ release date of 11th March 2022. It will also have a theatrical release where the streaming service isn’t available.
The movie revolves around a young adolescent named “Mei” Lee who lives in Toronto, Canada. Mei remains caught up between the responsibilities of being a dutiful daughter and wanting her own independence as a youth. She turns into a red panda when she’s either stressed or thrilled.
The movie has an ensemble cast and mainly features a crop of new actors doing the voice-over work. Even so, some famous names are part of the project, including Sandra Oh and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan.
6. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
This is an upcoming animated adventure movie acting as a sequel to the first movie Sonic the Hedgehog (2020). Based on the SEGA video game franchise of the same name, the movie had Jeff Fowler working as the director.
Following the first film and its success, Paramount Pictures were quick to announce a sequel. It went under production beginning around 2021. The Hedgehog 2 is finally slated for a theatrical release on 8th April 2022.
The sequel takes place after the events of Sonic the Hedgehog. Doctor Robotnik is on the trail for Master Emerald. Sonic and his friend Miles Prower must do their best to find the emerald before it’s found out by the evil forces.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will feature an ensemble cast that includes Ben Schwartz, Idris Elba, James Marsden, Adam Pally, Shemar Moore, Jim Carrey, etc.
As part of the promotional plans, a teaser poster was released in 2021. This was soon followed by the release of the first trailer, which was well received. Fans were particularly left impressed with the casting of Elba as Knuckles.
7. D.C. League of Super-Pets
As the name implies, this is an upcoming 3D animated movie under the production house of Warner Animation Group.
Based on the comics Legion of Super-Pets, the movie will have Jared Stern working as the director. Stern has previously worked in some big 3D animated projects in the form of Lego movies.
It has a theatrical release date of 20th May 2022 in the United States.
This movie also has anthropomorphic animals endowed with superpowers as the main protagonists. The team of Justice League is unfortunately captured by their main adversary, Lex Luthor. In order to save them, a team of shelter pets must step up and take action before it’s too late.
The animation for the movie features work by Animal Logic, a studio that has also provided work for the Lego Movie series before.
It features an ensemble cast of prominent actors. The list includes Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, John Krasinski, Natasha Lyonne, etc.
Lightyear is an upcoming animated science-fiction movie about the life of Buzz Lightyear.
It’s a spin-off of the Toy Story franchise, as a sort of prelude depicting the origin of one of its main characters, Buzz Lightyear.
Produced by Pixar Animation, it will get a worldwide release under the banner of Walt Disney Studios on 17th June 2022. This is the directorial debut of Angus MacLane, who has previous experience in making short animated movies, including Small Fry (2011).
The premise of Lightyear is fairly simple, exploring the life’s trajectory of test pilot Buzz Lightyear who grows to become a Space Ranger.
Chris Evan is reportedly going to voice the titular character. Academy Winner Taika Waititi is also part of the voice ensemble, though it’s unknown who’s voice role he is going to do.
A teaser trailer as part of the promotional strategy was also released online, amassing 83 million views in a day.
9. Minions: The Rise of Gru
The Rise of Gru is a sequel to the 2015 animated movie Minions and is also known as Minions 2. The animated comedy movie will get a release under Universal Pictures, produced by Illumination Studio. It is overall the 5th film in the Despicable Me series of animated movies.
The movie is co-directed by a slew of experienced directors, which include Kyle Balda, Brad Ableson, and Jonathan del Val. It’s slated for release in the U.S. on 1st July 2022.
Set in the early 70s, the movie depicts the story of a young Gru in the aftermath of the events of Minions. A 12-year old Gru fancies becoming a supervillain, and the hilarious consequences of his action form the premise of this movie.
Steve Carell will reprise the role of Gru along with Pierre Coffin, who is the voice of The Minions. Other prominent names part of the ensemble include Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh, RZA, Lucy Lawless, etc.
10. The Bad Guys
This is an upcoming animated comedy film to be released under Universal Pictures. Loosely based on a children’s book of the same name, The Bad Guys is the directorial debut of Pierre Perifel.
Produced by DreamWorks Animation, the movie is set for worldwide release on 22nd April 2022.
The Bad Guys take place in a setting where humans and anthropomorphic animals live together in mutual harmony. However, a group of animal outlaws is set with the task of becoming good citizens in order to avoid prison. The events that ensue from their efforts of trying to fool the world form the plot.
The movie has a star-studded ensemble that includes the likes of Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Awkwafina, Richard Ayoade, Lilly Singh, etc.
After its theatrical release, the movie will be available in the United States on the Peacock streaming service. Netflix will also make the movie available worldwide shortly thereafter.
11. The Bob’s Burgers Movie
This movie is based on the animated series of the same name created by Loren Bouchard. He has served as a co-director for the film as well, in collaboration with Bernard Derriman.
The Bob’s Burgers Movie is an animated comedy film that’s slated for worldwide release on 27th May 2022. The movie is a collaborative effort between 20th Century Family and Bento Box Entertainment.
The story revolves around Bob and Linda’s effort at keeping their business going after an event leads to a slump in their trade. The kids, aware of the situation, set out to help the parents, and the events as a consequence of their actions form the plot for the most part.
The voice cast features some prominent names from the industry, including Kristen Schaal, Zach Galifianakis, H. Jon Benjamin, Kevin Kline, etc.
12. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
The Last Wish is a sequel to the much-loved Puss in Boots (2011), an animated spin-off of the Shrek franchise.
Produced by DreamWorks Animation, the movie has a theatrical release date of 23rd September 2022.
The sequel takes place in the aftermath of the events of the first film. Puss in Boots embarks upon a journey in his quest to find the elusive Last Wish. He has squandered eight of his nine lives, and through the Last Wish, he seeks to reinstate his previous lives.
The movie is still far away from release, and reports haven’t made things conclusive. Even so, it’s likely that the original star cast of Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek will reprise their roles as Puss in Boots and Kitty Softpaws, respectively.
As the name suggests, this is an upcoming animated fantasy film based on the children’s novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi.
The feature film will be the directorial debut for Guillermo del Toro as far as animated work is concerned. Pinocchio is a result of a collaborative effort between a number of studios, including The Jim Henson Company and ShadowMachine.
Although no specific dates for a theatrical release have come out, it’s likely that the movie will get a release in the final quarter of 2022.
The movie’s premise is the same as the iconic novel, albeit with a darker twist. Pinocchio, the wooden puppet, comes to life and seeks to become a human. He plays tricks and makes mischief, bellying his master’s expectations in the process.
Pinocchio will feature an ensemble cast of names such as Gregory Mann, Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz, Cate Blanchett, etc.
With that, we’re going to conclude our list of some upcoming animated movies for 2022. Mind you! These aren’t the only ones that are in the pipeline. In fact, the year is rife with movies that are currently on the course of a release.
However, the global pandemic COVID has delayed many movies from a theatrical opening. This has entailed a release on streaming platforms instead. In fact, many of the movies mentioned in the list would have had an early release if not for the situation.
Regardless, it’s a great year for animation lovers, treated as they are to a plethora of exciting releases. Some of the new releases are much-awaited sequels to movies fans already have loved. That said, keep an eye on the release dates and enjoy!