Disney, Pixar & Other Animations:
Onward (6th March)
From Pixar and directed by Dan Scanlon, Onward follows two teenage elf brothers who embark on a quest to discover if there is still magic out there and stars the voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt in the leads. Although I like the voice cast attached to this film, I’m not sure it looks up to Pixar’s usual quality.
Soul (19th June)
Another Pixar release for 2020 and directed by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers, Soul follows a musician who has lost his passion for music, who is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself. Starring the voices of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Questlove, Phylicia Rashad and Daveed Diggs, the film has a similar vibe to Inside Out so there’s sure to be a lot of soul-searching going on in this one.
Mulan (27th March)
The latest Disney live-action adaptation, this time of the 1998 animated film of the same name, Mulan stars Liu Yifei as the eponymous Chinese character who disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father. Directed by Niki Caro and based on the Chinese folklore The Ballad of Mulan, the film also stars Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Gong Li, and Jet Li. 2019’s live-action remakes didn’t fare so well, but Mulan definitely deserves the benefit of the doubt and is one of the few adaptations that a live-action setting could better suit.
Raya and the Last Dragon (27th Nov)
Directed by Paul Briggs and Dean Wellins, Raya and the Last Dragon is a Disney animation set in a realm known as in a re-imagined Earth called Lumandra which is inhabited by an ancient civilization. Here, a warrior named Raya is determined to find the last dragon. There aren’t many details for this film yet and no trailer, but it is set to star the voices of Cassie Steele and Awkwafina.
The One and Only Ivan (14th Aug)
Although there’s not a lot of information about this upcoming Disney animation yet, it does have a release date scheduled for this year. Directed by Thea Sharrock and based on the children’s novel of the same name, the story follows a gorilla named Ivan (voiced by Sam Rockwell) who tries to piece together his past with the help of an elephant named Stella (Angelina Jolie), as they hatch a plan to escape from captivity. The film is also set to star the voices of Bryan Cranston, Ramón Rodríguez, Brooklynn Prince, Ariana Greenblatt, Danny DeVito, and Helen Mirren.
Scoob! (15th May)
Scooby-Doo and the gang are back in this rebooted animation directed by Tony Cervone, which stars the voices of Frank Welker as Scooby (the only member of the original cast to reprise his role), as well as Will Forte, Zac Efron, Gina Rodriguez, and Amanda Seyfried. The story is set in the early days when Scooby-Doo first met Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma and formed the Mystery Inc.
The trailer looks quite funny so this could be one of the better family films of 2020. And if it is, the film is intended to be the first film of a proposed set up for a Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe, which could be quite exciting.
Sonic the Hedgehog (14th Feb)
The upcoming Sega video game adaptation will follow a cop (James Marsden) in the rural town of Green Hills who helps Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) escape from the government trying to capture him. With Jim Carrey also set to star as Dr Ivo Robotnik and directed by Jeff Fowler, the film was originally supposed to be released last year but the date was pushed back after some initial criticisms about Sonic’s appearance, who has since been re-animated. It definitely looks a lot better, although I’m not sure that makes me any more excited for it.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (22nd May)
I honestly don’t know how SpongeBob is still popular but apparently someone wanted another film based on the television series, so here we have it. With the regular voice cast reprising their roles from the series and the previous films, this film will follow SpongeBob and Patrick as they go on a rescue mission to save Gary, who has been “snailnapped” by Poseidon. As they travel to the Lost City of Atlantic City, the film will also reveal the origin of SpongeBob meeting Gary for the first time.
The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle (7th Feb)
A very different version of the character based on Hugh Lofting‘s creation from what we’ve seen before and directed by Stephen Gaghan, the film will follow a physician (Robert Downey Jr.) who discovers that he can talk to animals. Having isolated himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor, the reluctant doctor is forced to set sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure, when Queen Victoria (Jessie Buckley) falls gravely ill.
This film will undoubtedly split audiences, but I think it’s nice to see RDJ is something so lighthearted after saying goodbye to the Marvel Universe, and I think that his wit and charm will shine through this character wonderfully, so I’m looking forward to this.
Jungle Cruise (24th July)
Based on the Disney theme park attraction of the same name and directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, the film will star Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Édgar Ramírez, Jack Whitehall, Jesse Plemons and Paul Giamatti. It is set during the early 20th century when a riverboat captain named Frank takes a scientist and her brother on a mission into a jungle to find the Tree of Life, which is believed to possess healing powers. All the while, the trio must fight against dangerous wild animals and a competing German expedition. Is it just another Dwayne Johnson average family action? I think Blunt certainly makes it sound more appealing, at least.
The Croods 2 (TBC)
From DreamWorks Animation, we are set to see the return of The Croods this year with this animated sequel as the prehistoric family are challenged by a rival family, the Bettermans, who claim to be better and more evolved. The film will again star the voice cast of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, and Clark Duke, with Peter Dinklage, Kat Dennings, and Leslie Mann set to join them. I really enjoyed the first film so I’m quite interested in this one.
Trolls 2: World Tour (20th March)
Again from DreamWorks Animation, 2020 is set to see the sequel to the 2016 film with Trolls 2: World Tour, as Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) discover that they are but one of six different Troll tribes scattered over six different lands, each devoted to a different form of music: Pop, Funk, Classical, Techno, Country and Rock. When a member of hard-rock royalty, Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom), aided by her father King Thrash (Ozzy Osbourne), wants to destroy all other kinds of music to let rock reign supreme, Poppy and Branch, along with their friends — Biggie (James Corden), Chenille, Satin (Icona Pop), Cooper (Ron Funches), DJ Suki (Gwen Stefani), and Guy Diamond (Kunal Nayyar) — set out to visit all the other lands to unify the Trolls in harmony against Barb, who’s looking to upstage them all. Any excuse to get all of these actors singing again, it seems.
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (27th March)
A follow-up to the 2018 film and based on the character created by Beatrix Potter, this sequel sees Peter Rabbit runs away from home while Thomas McGregor and Bea are on their honeymoon. While on the road, he befriends a rabbit that is an old friend of Peter’s father. The film will again star the voice of James Corden as the title character, alongside Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson and David Oyelowo in live-action roles, and the voices of Daisy Ridley, Elizabeth Debicki and Margot Robbie.
Minions 2: The Rise of Gru (10th July)
A sequel to the 2015 film produced by Illumination and a spin-off/prequel to the main Despicable Me film series, Minions 2: The Rise of Gru will be directed again by Kyle Balda, this time focusing on the Minions during their first encounter with a young Felonious Gru (voiced by Steve Carell).