Monday, January 6, 2020

Reel Families Watch: Must See Animated Movies Releasing in 2020

*This list has been updated with release date changes in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic as of May 2020. 

Are you looking forward to the new slate of family-friendly, animated movies coming to theaters and a couch near you in 2020? 2019 truly outdid itself, in good ways and bad and after watching underdog stop-motion/CGI movie Missing Link win the Golden Globe last night for Best Animated Film, we can't wait to see what's coming this year. 

There's a bunch of flicks giving new, shiny CGI life to favorite throwback characters that are over two decades old, plenty of origin stories, sequels, and some really exciting fantasy-based originals! Plus they are jam-packed with tons of your fave mega-talented (voice) actors. Surely there will be a movie out there to appeal to everyone's sense of humor (we should plan to laugh hard) or to tug at your heartstrings (we may cry even harder) or will have you raise an eyebrow in confusion. 

Movie watching has always been the ultimate way for us to spend time together as a family, with a teen, tween and threenager we have some really hysterical conversations and heated debates surrounding films we've seen. Get ready to mark your calendars, here's our list of upcoming highly-anticipated animated movies releasing in 2020. Stay tuned as we update the lineup with new choices and our latest trailer reaction videos

Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount Pictures)
Release date: February 14th, 2020

If you've watched our trailer reaction above you know that much like all of the hyped fans of Sega's iconic game character, our boys were less than impressed with the initial trailer drop for Sonic the Hedgehog. Our tween literally called it "Disgusting"!  With the latest revamp in design they are much happier with the more authentic look and we're beyond excited to check it out. Valentine's day may turn out to be family date night because hubby and I don't believe in the holiday anyway. 

Based on the global blockbuster videogame franchise from Sega (how has it been 23 years?) SONIC THE HEDGEHOG tells the story of the world’s speediest hedgehog as he embraces his new home on Earth. In this live-action adventure comedy, Sonic and his new best friend Tom (James Marsden) team up to defend the planet from the evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) and his plans for world domination. The family-friendly film also stars Tika Sumpter and Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic. I'm really looking forward to watching Jim Carrey show off his dance moves!

image credit: Disney Pixar

Onward (Disney Pixar)
Release Date: March 6th, 2020

Of course I'm excited that my two boys can watch this animated film about brothers. There are a good 5 years between our Lil' monsters and despite their age difference they're really close, so I know they'll enjoy this adventure film. 

Set in a suburban fantasy world, Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” introduces two teenage elf brothers who embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic left out there. Pixar Animation Studios’ all-new original feature film is directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae—the team behind “Monsters University.”

image credit: Netflix

The Willoughbys ( Bron Animation/Netflix)
Release Date: April 22nd, 2020

Grab the popcorn and your tribe for some movie viewing fun from the comfort of your own home with Netflix's second original full-length animation (Klaus was the first) The Willoughby's. When the four Willoughby children are abandoned by their selfish parents, they must learn how to adapt their old-fashioned values to the contemporary world to create something new: The Modern Family. 

The cast of this book-to-movie adaptation is a stellar group of hilarious actors that are going to make this a good one to stream over and over again: Jane Krakowski, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short, Terry Crews, Ricky Gervais and more! Good stuff right? Can't wait!

image credit: Columbia Pictures

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (Columbia Pictures/Sony)
Release Date: April 3rd, 2020
Updated Release: August 7th 2020

I'm a big James Corden fan and there were lots of laughs in the original flick, so I'm sure we'll check this one out for all of those over the top antics. In PETER RABBIT™ 2: THE RUNAWAY, the lovable rogue is back. Bea, Thomas, and the rabbits have created a makeshift family, but despite his best efforts, Peter can’t seem to shake his mischievous reputation.

Adventuring out of the garden, Peter finds himself in a world where his mischief is appreciated, but when his family risks everything to come looking for him, Peter must figure out what kind of bunny he wants to be.

image credit: Dreamworks  

Trolls World Tour (Dreamworks / Universal Pictures)
Release Date: April 17th, 2020
Updated Release: Video on Demand April 10th 

Yay! Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick are biz-aack in an all-star sequel to DreamWorks Animation’s 2016 musical hit: Trolls World Tour. Listen you guys, I've only seen glimmers of the trailers and caught mention of some big names in the music industry, and holy schmoly: Mary J Blige, Ozzy Osbourne (I can hear him calling Sharon's name as I type this), George Clinton, Kelly Clarkson and more. Guaranteed we'll all be dancing in our seats!

In an adventure that will take them well beyond what they’ve known before, Poppy (Kendrick) and Branch (Timberlake) discover that they are but one of six different Troll tribes scattered over six different lands and devoted to six different kinds of music: Funk, Country, Techno, Classical, Pop, and Rock. Their world is about to get a lot bigger and a whole lot louder.

image credit: Warner Bros.

Release Date: May 17th, 2020
Updated Release: Available to own May 15th, 2020

It seems even Scooby-Doo was destined to get a CGI animated makeover and we're here for this origin story because he's just so darn cute! I'm loving the talent involved on this one, with the only member of the original cast to return is actor Frank Welker as the voice of Scoob and then there's Will Forte as Shaggy,  Zac Efron as Fred, Gina Rodrigues voices Velma and Amanda Seyfried plays the role of Daphne. 

“SCOOB!” reveals how lifelong friends Scooby and Shaggy first met and how they joined with the other young detectives to form the famous Mystery Inc. Now, with hundreds of cases solved and adventures shared, Scooby and the gang face their biggest, most challenging mystery ever: a plot to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus upon the world. As they race to stop this global “dogpocalypse,” the gang discovers that Scooby has a secret legacy and an epic destiny greater than anyone imagined. Also note that Tracy Morgan, Ken Jeong, and Mark Walhberg are all in this one! 
image credit: Nickelodeon/Paramount

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run (Paramount Animation & Nickelodeon Movies)
Release date: May 22nd, 2020
Updated Release: August 7th, 2020

The fact that Spongebob celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019 makes me feel kinda old but I already know that this silly animated movie will be something the kids are going to want to see in theaters. Plus I peeped that Awkwafina is doing some voice over in this one, so bring on the laughs! The colorful animation is seriously eye-catching and I'm sure will mesmerize the little ones. 

This Memorial Day weekend, SpongeBob SquarePants, his best friend Patrick Star and the rest of the gang from Bikini Bottom hit the big screen in the first-ever all CGI SpongeBob motion picture event. After SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail Gary is snail-napped, he and Patrick embark on an epic adventure to The Lost City of Atlantic City to bring Gary home. As they navigate the delights and dangers on this perilous and hilarious rescue mission, SpongeBob and his pals prove there’s nothing stronger than the power of friendship.

image credit: Disney Plus

Phineus and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe (Disney Plus)
Release Date: Summer 2020

It's been 5 years since we've tuned in for the innovative adventures of brothers Phineus and Ferb. On the release date, I'm sure they'll be asking "What are we going to do today? This time around they're going to save their sister Candace from being abducted by aliens. 

I'm not going to front, I'm hyped about this one - maybe even more than my kids. It's been a show that would have us all cracking up at their crazy silly antics, while we piled onto the couch during a lot of my sick days at home. Plus how could you not love Perry the Platypus?
image credit: Disney Pixar

Soul (Disney Pixar)
Release Date: June 19th, 2020
Updated Release Date: November 20th 

If you're familiar with Jamie Foxx's singing voice then you know it's going to be heavenly to hear him sang in this new Disney Pixar film where he plays the character Joe Gardener A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself. The talented cast also includes Phylicia Rashad, John Ratzenberger,  Tina Fey, Quest Love, and Daveed Diggs. 

image credit: Illumination

Minions 2. The Rise of Gru (Illumination)
Release Date: July 3rd, 2020
Updated Release: July 2nd, 20201

The Despicable me franchise has grossed over 3 billion dollars worldwide so it's not surprising that they're planning to release a follow up to the 2015 prequel centered around those funny twinkies looking characters and their supervillain leader. There's not a ton of buzz on this just yet but of course, funnyman Steve Carrell stars in the project. 

image credit: Collider / Harper Collins

The One and Only Ivan (Disney)
Release Date: August 14th, 2020

Based on the Newbery Medal-winning children's novel, A gorilla named Ivan tries to piece together his past with the help of an elephant named Stella as they hatch a plan to escape from captivity at the Big Top Mall.  Check out the line up of dynamic actors, Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie, Danny DeVito, and legendary Helen Mirren.

image credit: pearl studio

Over the Moon (Pearl Studio/Netflix)
Release Date: Fall 2020

Over the Moon wasn't on my radar at all until I started researching for this post but it sounds like this animated musical adventure feature film is going to be magical. It's Netflix's 3rd original animated movie about a girl who builds a rocket ship and blasts off to the moon in hopes of meeting a legendary Moon Goddess. When she gets to the “other side” she unexpectedly discovers a whimsical world filled with fantastical creatures - some of whom threaten her and others who ultimately help her find her way home.

 What's pretty cool is that Glen Keane, whose animation credits include “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” and “Beauty and the Beast,” is taking on the role of Director for this exclusive Netflix project.

image credit: Sony Animations

Connected (Sony Pictures Animation) Formerly the Mitchells vs. The Machines
Release Date: September 18th, 2020

Imagining a world where technology takes over humanity doesn't seem so far fetched as we start to see robots as janitors at grocery stores, as greeters at banks and we've even got one patrolling the neighborhood where Mike and I grew up. 

A dysfunctional family's road trip is interrupted thanks to gizmos and gadgets in this sci-fi comedy that threatens mankind. The Mitchells will have to figure out a way to come together to save the world with a bit of help from two malfunctioning bots. (I think we all need saving from our cellphones and televisions sometimes anyway).

image credit: Disney 

Raya and the Last Dragon (Walt Disney Animation)
Release Date: November 25th, 2020
Updated Release: March 12th, 2021

Staring Awkwafina (so excited for her first Golden Globe win!) and Cassie Steele, in a mysterious realm called Kumandra, a warrior named Raya searches for the last dragon in the world. 

photo credit: Dreamworks

The Croods 2 (Dreamworks Animation)
Release Date: December 23rd, 2020

Family is everything, even when they drive you nuts! The Croods was one of Tristan's very first animated movies as a toddler and he was always mesmerized by the vibrant colors and oddly cool prehistoric creatures. As a daddy's girl and believer in family staying together I definitely had all the feels watching this Oscar-nominated film.

In December 2020, DreamWorks Animation invites us all on an all-new adventure back in time with The Croods 2. Returning stars Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, and Clark Duke welcome Leslie Mann and Peter Dinklage to the film’s cast as The Croods face their biggest threat since leaving the cave: another family. 

image credit: Warner Bros. 

Tom and Jerry (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Release Date: December 23rd. 2020

Originally scheduled to release in Spring 2021, Warner Bros has pushed up the release date for The untitled “Tom and Jerry” movie that's based on the long-running Hanna-Barbera cartoon short films from back in the day about a rival house cat and mouse. I wondered if they'd decide to push back the date again but according to this Deadline article, they got their live-action filming out the way. 

In the new film, both Tom and Jerry are kicked out of their home and move into a fancy New York hotel. But of course, there's a girl named Kayla trying to stage a fancy-schmancy wedding at the hotel who ultimately turns to Tom to get rid of the pesky mouse Jerry. The live-action, animated comedy stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Michael Peña, Ken Jeong, and Rob Delaney.

image credit: Sony Animation

Wish Dragon (Sony Animation)
Release Date: Nov. 6th, 2020

This modern-day story is "a genie-in-a-bottle retelling set in contemporary China" and is based on an original story by Chris Appelhans (who will also direct the film). "This fairy tale picks up the moral challenges that emerge when a boy meets a dragon who can make wishes come true. If you know my hubby he loves all things Dragons and we're all fans of Jackie Chan who stars in the film (actress Constance Wu from sitcom Fresh off the Boat also stars) so we'll be keeping an eye out for the release date. 

Here's a Pin to Save so You Have all the Release Dates!

Can you believe there are so many new animated movies coming with tons of our favorite, talented actors hitting the bog and small screens in 2020? Mark your calendars and grab your popcorn because it's going to be one awesome movie watching year! If there are any we missed that are releasing here in the U.S leave us a note in the comments and we can update the list. 

Make sure to pop by our new Instagram channel TheReelWilsons and over to the kids youtube channel LilMonstersinNYC to get a look at our trailer reaction videos and entertainment-themed adventures! 

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