As we promised to you earlier, we are here to give a bit about the story, the talented team behind the scenes of the animated movies will release in 2020.
1 Zonic the hedgehog – February 14th
The movie was famously delayed for several months to redesign the titular hedgehog with an attitude after the initial trailer was met with a nuclear fan reaction over Sonic’s stygian design. And while the hedgehog himself admittedly looks much better, Sonic wasn’t the only problem with that first trailer. The movie around him looks like a derivative children’s adventure comedy from the mid ‘80s, like E.T. if E.T. told jokes and befriended an adult man, and also wasn’t a very good movie. That said, Jim Carrey seems to be having a lot of fun as the preening mad scientist Dr. Robotnick, and I do think there’s fun to be had with the fish-out-of-water premise. Why this wasn’t a fully-animated film set in the world of Sonic the Hedgehog is beyond me, but then I wouldn’t get to see Carrey with a crazy Wario mustache, and I don’t want to live in that world. – Tom Reimann
2 Onward -March 6th
marks a new original story from the fine folks at Pixar animation (specifically director Dan Scanlon), and the trailers thus far have teased an exciting blend of fantasy and deep-rooted emotion. The story takes place in a fantastical world that’s also a little mundane—there are unicorns, but they’re regular ol’ pests who rummage through people’s garbage. The heart of the story is two brothers—Chris Pratt plays the oldest, and Tom Holland plays the younger of the two. Holland’s character never met their father, who died before he was old enough to interact, so the two conjure a spell that will bring their dad back for one day. The only problem is the spell half-works—they brought back his legs, but nothing else.
3 Trolls World Tour -April 17th
is one of those brazen IP plays that worked a lot better than it should have. Though it didn’t accomplish the innovative and heartfelt heights of The LEGO Movie, the 2016 film similarly built a charming feature film on the backbone of… a popular toy. In this case, the ugly-cute Troll Dolls that littered countless childhood bedrooms and (again, like LEGOs) threatened unsuspecting under soles for decades. Like the namesake toys, Trolls was soft and silly but still, an energetic and vibrant burst of positive energy.
Picking up where the first film left off, Trolls World Tour finds Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake returning as Poppy and Branch, who are exploring new worlds of Trolldom after they discovered they were one of six Troll tribes from different lands, each with their own culture and music. But when they meet a clan of hard rock Trolls who want to destroy all music but Rock ‘n Roll (including standout newcomers Rachel Bloom and Ozzy Osbourne), they have to unify the rest of the Troll lands to save their jaunty tunes.
4 Scoob – May 14th
The film alternates between two moments in time: The present day Mystery Inc. crew (featuring a star-studded cast of Zac Efron as Fred, Will Forte as Shaggy, Gina Rodriguez as Velma, and Amanda Seyfried as Daphne), and the formative years when a younger Shaggy first met Scooby-Doo. Ubiquitous voice actor Frank Welker voices the title role in both timelines, and watching his trademark gruff “r-forward” voice coming out of a little doggo is surprisingly touching — not to mention the fact that, according to the trailer, his and Shaggy’s meeting came from standing up to a bully (a surefire way to warm my heart). It could also be because of the contemporary sense of humor: Kelly Fremon Craig’s screenplay is on full display in the trailer, full of witticisms and character games that really tickle me. Finally, it could be because the central mystery this go-around centers not just around a genuine threat that feels hard to explain with a mask (people are trying to summon the friggin’ mythological dog Cerberus!), but around a series of goofy cameos as Hanna Barbera cartoons.
5 Soul – June 19th
Here’s how to get me excited about a movie: Promise performers accurately playing the instruments they’re supposed to be playing. It is such a pet peeve of mine to see a close-up of an actor’s face playing an instrument, be like “Looks fine!”, wait for the camera to pan down, and instantly realize they are absolutely not playing that instrument — whether they’re not playing any actual guitar chord, are clumsily flopping their hands on a piano, or smacking a crash cymbal behind a drum kit when there is clearly no crash cymbal hit happening. But if even in your trailer I can tell the performers at least convinced us enough to fake playing the instrument accurately, ooh do I get excited. This is a trick that’s worked on me in both live action works like La La Land and animated works like Coco. And wouldn’t ya know it, Pixar hath struck again with Soul.
The moment I saw Jamie Foxx’s music teacher/aspiring jazz musician play piano, and saw how expertly his fingers struck those chords… yes, I know they’re not real fingers, and yes I know it’s the result of computer animators being absolute technical wizards, but dammit, it moves me in my heart, body, and you know I’m about to say soul. But then the film, just like Coco before, hits us with a left turn — Foxx’s music teacher/aspiring jazz musician, moments after securing the gig that could open everything for him, friggin’ falls into a sewer and dies! And his soul is accidentally transported into a training center for other, new souls, voiced by a bunch of ringers like Tina Fey (also a co-writer on the film).