To Be Seen in ’14: Your New Year Hot List

While everyone is looking back at the animated movies of 2013, we’re keeping our eyes peeled for the goods in store for us this year. Here are some of the big animated treats we’ll all be talking about in 2014.

The Nut Job

The Nut Job

The Nut Job (Open Road). Directed by Peter Lepeniotis, this first animated arrival of the year features the voices of Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Liam Neeson and Brenda Fraser and centers on the misadventures of a streetwise squirrel and his rat buddy who decide to rob a major nut store. A ToonBox/Red Rover production. Jan. 17

The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie (Warner Bros.). The hilarious writer/director duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) are behind this CG/stop-motion pic about a regular guy (Chris Pratt) who is mistaken for Master Builder, the one who can save the Lego universe. With Morgan Freeman as the old mystic Vitruvius, Elizabeth Banks as the tough young lady Lucy, Will Arnett as Batman and Will Ferrel as the evil Lord Business. Feb. 7

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Mr. Peabody & Sherman (Fox/DreamWorks). Rob Minkoff, the man who directed The Lion King and Stuart Little, is looking after the much-loved Jay Ward characters, who manage to travel through time and find themselves in all kinds of fun adventures. We have a feeling this 3-D, CG-animated feature is going to be one of the highlights of our spring. With the voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Stephen Colbert, Ariel Winter, Leslie Mann and (!) Mel Brooks. March 7

Rio 2

Rio 2

Rio 2 (Fox/Blue Sky). Blue, Jewel and their three kids leave Rio for an adventure in the heart of the Amazon rainforest in this colorful sequel, which is again directed and co-written by Carlos Saldanha. Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Leslie Mann, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Andy Garcia and will.i.am are all part of the multicultural voice cast. April 11

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return

Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (Summertime/Prana). We’ve been waiting a few years for this musical adaptation of Roger Stanton Baum’s sequel to the beloved American classic. Directed by Will Finn and Dan St. Pierre, the movie sports a great voice cast, including Patrick Stewart, Hugh Dancy, Megan Hilty, Bernadette Peters, Dan Aykroyd, Tom Kenny, Martin Short and Lea Michele (as Dorothy). May 9

How to Train Your Dragon 2

How to Train Your Dragon 2

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (Fox/DreamWorks). The sequel to DreamWorks’ Oscar-nominated instant classic from 2009 promises to be one of the year’s top cinematic highlights. Based on Cressida Cowell’s books, the second in the trilogy is written and directed by Dean DeBlois and showcases the voices of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. June 13

Planes: Fire & Rescue

Planes: Fire & Rescue

Planes: Fire & Rescue (DisneyToon Studios). This sequel to last year’s summer movie is directed by studio veteran Bobs Gannaway (Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Secret of the Wings). Dane Cook will reprise his role as Dusty Cropphopper, and Julie Bowen (Modern Family) will voice Lil Dipper. In this adventure, Dusty learns about being a true hero when he joins forces with fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his air attack team to battle a massive wildfire. Mark Mancina is delivering the pic’s music. July 18

The Boxtrolls

The Boxtrolls

The Boxtrolls (Focus/LAIKA). The Portland stop-motion studio that gave us Coraline and ParaNorman serves up another highly original, offbeat film—this time about a young boy raised by sewer-dwelling creatures, based on Alan Snow’s book Here Be Monsters! Directed by Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi, the film features a stellar voice cast including Simon Pegg, Elle Fanning, Nick Frost, Ben Kingsley and Toni Colette. Sep. 26

Book of Life

Book of Life

Book of Life (Fox/Reel FX). Talented toon meister Jorge Gutierrez (Nick’s El Tigre) co-wrote and directs this much-anticipated movie, which is described as a Romeo and Juliet type story set against the Dia de los Muertos Mexican holiday. Guillermo del Toro is exec producing this highly original venture, which showcases the voices of Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Kate del Castillo and Ron Perlman. Oct. 17

Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 (Disney/Marvel). Set in the metropolis of San Fransokyo, this first Marvel/Disney animated feature centers on on a young prodigy named Hiro Hamada and his robot Baymax, and their team of inexperienced crime fighters,which includes Wasabi No-Ginger, Honey Lemon, GoGo Tomago and Fred! Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) directs with a script by Jordan Roberts. Voice cast has been under wraps! Nov. 7

Home

Home

Home (Fox/DreamWorks). Formerly known as Happy Smekday, this adaptation of Adam Rex’s book is set on Earth after a takeover by an overly optimistic alien race called the Boov. A resourceful girl named Tip (Rihanna) and a banished alien named Oh (Jim Parsons) find a way to avoid capture by joining forces. With Jennifer Lopez as Tip’s mom and Steve Martin as Boov leader Captain Smek. Tim Johnson directs the highly imaginative 3-D movie. Nov. 26

The Canterville Ghost

The Canterville Ghost

The Canterville Ghost (Arc Productions). Former comedy partners Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie reunited again to voice this new CG-animated adaptation of the Oscar Wilde story. Produced by London’s Melmoth Films and animated at Toronto’s Arc Production, the movie centers on a family that moves into a house haunted by a tormented ghost, and whose daughter forms a friendship with the spirit. Kim Burdon directs the CG-animated pic, which will have a score by Ennio Morricone. Holidays 2014

Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea (Cartoon Saloon/Celluloid Dreams). The brilliant folks at Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon are busy working on their long-anticipated follow-up to their Oscar-nominated, 2009 pic The Secret of Kells. Directed by Tomm Moore, this beautiful, 2D animated tale is also inspired by Irish folklore, centering on the legend of the Selkis, magical creatures that are part seal, part human. The storyline revolves around brother and sister Ben and Saoirse, who are forced to leave their coastal home to live with their grandmother in the city following their mother’s mysterious disappearance. Voice cast includes David Rawle (Moone Boy), Lisa Hannigan, Fionnula Flanagan and Jon Kenny. Fourth Quarter of 2014

  • AnimationFan#1

    THEY ALL LOOK GOOD! I GOT ALL OF THEIR RELEASE DATES SAVED IN MY PHONE CALENDAR! I CAN’T WAIT! 2014 LOOKS LIKE A GOOD YEAR FOR ANIMATION! I LOVE ANIMATION!

    • Jay T. Doggzone

      i agree animation is good

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  • anonymous

    I am so so excited for Legends of Oz, Lea Michele is such a talented singer and will do Dorothy Gale total justice!!

  • anonymous

    LEGENDS OF OZZZZZ!!! Can’t wait to see that movie – looks so good!!

  • TomNewYorker

    also theres the english verison of the wind rises, didn’t watch the japense one not into foreign language film, but defently will be checking out the english verison, cause of the awesome voice cast of Joseph Gordon Levitt, Emily Blunt, Martin Short, Jennifer Grey(where the heck she been hiding lately), William H. Macy and alot more