Upcoming Animated Films in 2021

Well, 2020 was some year, huh? Not only did it affect our lives, health, politics, society, etc.; it also affected our film industry. Cinemas were closed for most of the year resulting in many theatrical films being relegated to streaming services or postponed until 2021.

We can all hope 2021 will be a better year, in every respect. To keep our spirits up, let’s take a look at the upcoming animated films set to be released in 2021. Keep in mind that I’ll only be talking about films with set release dates and that I won’t be talking about any live-action/animated hybrid films (like Tom and Jerry, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, Space Jam: A New Legacy, and Clifford the Big Red Dog).

So sit back, relax, and enjoy this list with me!

1) RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON [March 5, 2021]

Originally scheduled for a 2020 release, this will be Walt Disney Animation Studios’ first of two films set to hit theaters in 2021. This 59th entry in the animated Disney Canon tells the story of a world where humans and dragons once lived side by side. Now, a warrior princess must find the last dragon in the world to fight against sinister monsters.
W/the voices of Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, etc.
Directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada

[March 26, 2021]

DreamWorks Animation brings us three films in 2021! The first is a sequel to the 2017 film, The Boss Baby, in which the brothers from the first film are now adults and have grown apart. They’re soon brought together again by one of their infant daughters who turns out to be a secret again for BabyCorp. They all must discover the secrets of a mysterious school founder.
W/the voices of Alec Baldwin, James Marsden, Amy Sedaris, Ariana Greenblatt, Eva Longoria, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Jeff Goldblum, etc.
Directed by Tom McGrath

[April 9, 2021]

Originally scheduled for a 2020 release, this will be a feature film adaptation of the animated TV series of the same name. Not much is known of the plot yet.
W/the voices of H. John Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Larry Murphy, John Roberts, Kristen Schaal, etc.
Directed by Loren Bouchard

[April 23, 2021]

In a world where children and robots are best buddies, a young boy discovers that his robot friend doesn’t quite work.
W/the voices of Ava Morse, Iara Nemirovsky, etc.
Directed by Jean-Philippe Vine and Octavio E. Rodriguez

[May 14, 2021]

Originally scheduled for a 2020 release, this Paramount Animation film features a world wherein humans and monsters engage in competitive wrestling together.
W/the voices of Geraldine Viswanathan, Will Arnett, Terry Crews, Fred Melamed, Roman Reigns, Tony Danza, Charles Barkley, Stephen A. Smith, etc.
Directed by Hamish Grieve

[June 4, 2021]

DreamWorks Animation’s second film of the year serves as a sequel to their 2002 film, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and as a continuation of the animated TV series, Spirit Riding Free. It will apparently tell the story of a girl who moves from a city to a small town and befriends the mustang, Spirit.
No voice cast announced yet.
Directed by Elaine Bogan and Ennio Torresan

[June 4, 2021]

Originally scheduled for a 2020 release, this will be the first of two Sony Animation films set to be released in 2021. This film features a kinkajou (have we ever seen an animated kinkajou before?) on a journey from Havana, Cuba to Miami, Florida to follow his dreams. This will be a musical with Lin-Manuel Miranda writing the songs.
No voice cast announced yet.
Directed by Kirk DeMicco

[June 18, 2021]

This Pixar Animation film takes place along the Italian Riviera where two best friends enjoy spending a summer together, but one of them is a sea monster from the waters below.
W/the voices of John Ratzenberger, etc.
Directed by Enrico Casarosa

[July 2, 2021]

Originally scheduled for a 2020 release, this will be the first of two Illumination Entertainment films set to be released in 2021. This film serves as a sequel to the 2015 Minions film and as a prequel to the Despicable Me franchise (sheesh, and I thought keeping track of the Marvel Universe timelines was hard!). In this film, young Gru utilizes the help of the Minions to steal from a supervillain group that didn’t accept him as a member.
W/the voices of Pierre Coffin, Steve Carell, Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh, Alan Arkin, Julie Andrews, Russell Brand, Dolph Lundgren, Lucy Lawless, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Danny Trejo, etc.
Directed by Kyle Balda

[August 6, 2021]

The second Sony Animation film of the year will be the fourth installment of the Hotel Transylvania franchise (because why not?). A plot hasn’t been announced yet.
W/the voices of Selena Gomez, etc.
Directed by Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon

[August 20, 2021]

Based on the animated TV series of the same name, Ryder and his puppy patrol must prevent the Mayor Humdinger from allowing the metropolis to fall into a state of chaos.
W/the voices of Iain Armitage, Kim Kardashian West (why?), Jimmy Kimmel, Yara Shahidi, Dax Shepard, Marsai Martin, Tyler Perry, Randall Park, Will Brisbin, etc.
Directed by Cal Brunker

[September 17, 2021]

Based on a children’s book series of the same name, this will be DreamWorks Animation’s third film of the year. In it, five misunderstood villains give up crime to live a life of good or work together to pull off a heist (depending on which Internet source you read). Or maybe both, I dunno.
No voice cast announced yet.
Directed by Pierre Perifel

[September 24, 2021]

Whether this film will be related to the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series or the film, My Little Pony: The Movie, we have no idea. We honestly know nothing about this film except for its confirmed release date.
No voice cast announced yet.
No director has been announced yet.

[October 8, 2021]

A sequel to the 2019 film, this film will continue the adventures of that creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky family we all know and love.
W/the voices of Charlize Theron, Oscar Isaac, Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Kroll, Bette Midler, Snoop Dogg, Bill Hader, Javon Walton, etc.
Directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan

[November 24, 2021]

Walt Disney Animation’s second film of the year will bring the animated Disney Canon to a wondrous 60 entries! This film will be about a Columbian girl who grows up as the only non-magical member of her family. Lin-Manuel Miranda will be writing the songs.
No voice cast yet.
Directed by Byron Howard and Jared Bush

16) SING 2
[December 22, 2021]

Originally scheduled for a 2020 release, Illumination Entertainment’s second film of the year will be a sequel to their 2016 film, Sing. In this film, the characters from the original film have ambitions to perform a new show at the Crystal Tower Theater. But, they must overcome obstacles to do so.
W/the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Letitia Wright, Bono, Halsey, Pharrell Williams, etc.
Directed by Garth Jennings

Is it just me or do there seem to be many one-word title animated films next year (Rumble, Vivo, Luca, Encanto)? Anyway, the top three animated films of 2021 that I am anticipating the most are Raya and the Last Dragon, The Bad Guys, and Luca.

What are your top 3 most anticipated animated films of 2021? Let me know in the comments!

16 thoughts on “Upcoming Animated Films in 2021”

  1. Hm, I guess I’ll stick to the Disney-Pixar trio to anticipate to. I can’t be bothered with all the sequels and prequels.

  2. I didn’t know about Encanto! Exciting! I am really looking forward to Luca. I hope they cook up something good. I would love to see an animation set on the Italian Riviera.

  3. 1. Justice Society World War II (I cannot wait for the trailer which most likely comes in January
    2. Batman: The Long Halloween Part 2
    3. Batman: Soul of the Dragon.

    For the theatrical movies I think Raya looks like a generic fantasy. I will borrow it from a library eventually, unless I hear it positively compared to a movie I love (like how Wreck It Ralph was compared to Emepror’s New Groove)

    Boss Baby 2- I hate the first one so not interested.

    Ron- Has potential

    Rumble- This actually sounds like a great popcorn movie. I want to see it the most of the theatrical films.

    Spirit 2- I am interested, prepared to dislike it but I want to see it. It is similar to how I feel about the new Superman series premiering in 2 months.

    Luca- The name is bland, but I love the concept.

    Minions 2- I want to see it

    Hotel Transylvania 4- 2 was surprisingly good after a trailer I hated. 3’s trailer had me pumped, but I found the film very disappointing. Not interested.

    The Bad Guys- I normally dislike these types of movies unless it is about actual villain protagonists.

    Encanto- Sounds pretty good.

    Sing 2- Probably a good background noise and party movie.

      1. I think it is amazing that none of DCAOM’s 3 movies last year year were about Batman despite him being the best part of Superman: Red Son.

        I am worried it will be a poor man’s Coco, but I see Richard Moore is producing it. The plot does seem generic, but his movies are not. I am curious about whether the treacherous journey from Cuba to Miami is commentary about fleeing the Castros.

  4. Dude yes!! next year is gonna b a good year, i can feel it!!

    i’m probably in the unpopular opinion boat with this one, but i’m actually REALLY excited for Boss Baby 2?! I really really enjoyed the first movie, and from what i’ve seen 2 is gonna be just as insane and weird!

    i’m also hyped for both sony releases–they always do crazy fun stuff with their animation! i can’t remember a single memorable thing from hotel t 2 or 3 but they were super fun to watch, and i’ve heard interesting things about Vivo!!

  5. Seems like a big year for Lin Manuel Miranda! I personally am just looking forward to the Disney/Pixar ones, plus I am intrigued by Vivo which I had not heard about before. The kids at my library are super into the Bad Guys books right now so I’m sure that will go over well with the kids.

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