Part 1: Animation Films in 2016 have more to offer, a lot more than you think

Animation films have come a long way from being just cartoon movies catering to children for its entertainment and humour to developing a more mature content and that was visible in the films last year. Be it Oscar award winner Inside Out or the stop motion marvel Anomalisa, the movies had a wide variety to offer.  Not only content wise but even monetarily many a films did exceptional business for their studios with Minions raking in more than $1 billion at box office making it the third highest grosser in the animated category. Not only the traditional American studio movies but also Chinese and French animated movies showed calibre with Monkey King: Hero is back and The Little Prince respectively leading the way. Zootopia and KFP3The first quarter for this is year is just nearing the end and animated movies are certainly carrying on from where they had left last year. One of the biggest blockbusters from DreamWorks Animation Kung Fu Panda 3, was largely developed in Oriental DreamWorks Studio, the Chinese arm of DreamWorks. The film threw the box office in tizzy when it released on 22 January. Walt Disney Animation’s Zootopia too had a major opening in the eastern market which has been a trend since Minions crossed $68 million mark in China, a first for western animated films. The two films combined have grossed close to $900 million worldwide, a huge number making the first quarter of this year one of the best in the last five years. Most of the movies that have done well have been released in Q2 or later and more likely so. Some because of the Christmas fervour or some because of the long vacations during the spring summer holidays. Considered as ‘dump months’ in the film community the Q1 has been spectacular but the long line up ahead is more exciting considering the number of films that are in line to be released in the next three quarters. First up is Ratchet and Clank, an animated movie based on the video game series. Created by Rainmaker Entertainment and distributed by Sony, the film will hit theatres on 29 April. A lot of enthusiasm from video game loyalists has built up about the movie revolving these two spy agents since it tells the origin story and the friendship between the two. Month of May will see the furious birds flying all over the theatres with The Angry Birds Movie from Rovio and Sony. A lot is on stake for the Finland based video game turned ‘entertainment’ studio Rovio who is betting big bucks for this movie to work wonders at the box office. After successfully delivering one of the earliest smartphone games in form of bird slinging Angry Birds, Rovio could not find its footing among the free to play market and since has been failed to attract attention for its dozen or so games after the initial spurt. This movie will literally be a make or break for the Finland company who has even slowed down its gaming business worldwide as the movie comes closer to release (20 May). Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory arrives on 17 June and is expected to open to humongous numbers solely based on the fact that it is a sequel to one of the most loved animated movies of all times Finding Nemo. Ellen Degeneres comes back to voice the forgetful Dory and the movie exhibits her quest to find her parents with help from Nemo and father Marlin. July will be a mega movie month for animation film buffs since two big budget movies will see the light of the day. The Secret Life of Pets is a story about pets in the Manhattan and how a pet feels insecure when the owner brings in a new one. Mark your calendars as pets come to theatres on 8 June. Ice Age collision courseAnother big budget animated movie from Blue Sky Studios, Ice Age: Collision Course will hit theatres a week after The Secret Life of Pets on 22 July and will again charter a course for Diego, Manny, Sid and their friends, but this time the danger is from outside the earth. This is the fifth movie in the franchise and most of the movies have gone on to earn big at the box office but have been lashed at for its story each time a new Ice Age hits theatres. Stay tuned for the second half of the movie list.