Here are some of the animal movies we’re looking forward to in 2018! Including “Paddington 2,” “Isle of Dogs,” “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero” and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”
“Paddington 2” (January 12)
The marmalade-loving bear returns for this sequel, in which he’s accused of theft and sent to jail! Brendan Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi and Hugh Grant join the returning cast. (Read the review.)
“Mary and The Witch’s Flower” (January 19)
In the debut film from Studio Ponoc. Mary is stuck in a boring rural British village with her Great-Aunt Charlotte. But when she sees a black turn into a gray one, she knows something magical is afoot. She soon discovers a mysterious school for witches above the clouds. (Read The Surprising Similarities Between ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Mary and the Witch’s Flower’)
“Peter Rabbit” (February 9)
In this animated film, James Corden voices a teenage Peter Rabbit, who seeks to get revenge on Mr. McGregor (Sam Neill). Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki and Daisy Ridley voice his sisters. With singer Sia as Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. Based on the books by Beatrix Potter.
“Early Man” (February 16)
Early Man tells the story of prehistoric Dug (Eddie Redmayne) and his sidekick Hognob (who appears to be a warthog) as they unite his tribe y to save their home. From Nick Park, the creator of “Wallace and Gromit” and “Shaun the Sheep.”
“Annihilation” (February 23)
From “Ex Machina” director Alex Garland: A group of soldiers enters an environmental disaster zone where stranger creatures abound. Only one man comes back out alive, though he is grievously injured. In an attempt to save his life, his biologist wife Lena (Natalie Portman), volunteers for a second expedition into the zone to figure out what happened to him.
“Benji” (March 16)
A modern day retelling of the ’70s classic follows one orphaned puppy and two New Orleans school kids who strike up a friendship with the street dog. When they end up kidnapped by robbers who are in over their heads, Benji and his scruffy sidekick come to the rescue. (On Netflix) Read the review.
“Isle of Dogs” (March 23)
Wes Anderson’s homage to all things Japanese (and dogs) finds a young boy looking for his dog on the “trash island” where all the strays of a fictional Japanese city have been consigned. Featuring the voices of Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, and Bob Balaban. (Read the review.)
“Lean on Pete” (April 6)
A homeless teen in Oregon (Charlie Plummer), whose best friend is a failing racehorse named Lean on Pete, sets off on a 1000-mile journey to find his only known relative. Based on the novel by Willy Vlautin. Plummer (“All the Money in the World”) won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor at the Cannes Film Fest.
“Big Fish and Begonia” (April 6)
In this animated film, a mystical being named Chun transforms into a dolphin
to learn more about the human world. When her life is saved by a young boy, she must make a pivotal decision. Opens in limited release on April 6 and expands on April 11.
“Pandas” (April 8)
Baby pandas in IMAX? Yes! Noted sloth-lover Kristen Bell narrates this Warner Bros. this “breathtaking documentary adventure and amazing experience for the whole family.”
“Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero” (April 13)
The true story of a legendary stray dog who served alongside the doughboys of the 26th “Yankee” Division in World War I. Featuring the voice talents of Logan Lerman, Helena Bonham Carter, and Gérard Depardieu.
“Rampage” (April 13)
A silverback gorilla named George accidentally grows to King Kong size in this action-adventure movie based on the video game. Now he and other oversized critters are wreaking havoc on Chicago. Favorite line in the trailer: “Oh, you didn’t know about the 30-foot wolf?” Dwayne Johnson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Naomie Harris and Joe Manganiello star.
“Love & Bananas: An Elephant Story” (April 20, limited release)
A documentary about the rescue of a 70-year old blind Asian Elephant in Thailand and her 480 mile transport to freedom.
“Duck, Duck Goose” (April 20)
From the director of “How to Train Your Dragon:” a bachelor goose named Peng (voiced by Jim Gaffigan) is injured in flight and finds himself saddled with two hilarious and demanding ducklings.
“DisneyNature Dolphins” (April 22)
The latest documentary from DisneyNature follows a young dolphin named Echo. It opens on Earth Day, April 22. The look at underwater life includes whales, turtles and fish galore.
“Animal Crackers” (May 4)
A family inherits a rundown circus from a distant relative and a box of Animal Crackers, which turns whoever eats one into the animal depicted by the cracker! Featuring the voices of John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Ian McKellen, Danny DeVito, Sylvester Stallone, Raven-Symoné, Wallace Shawn and Patrick Warburton.
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (June 22)
Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) return, this time to save the dinosaurs when the “dormant” volcano on their island sanctuary erupts.
“The Meg” (August 10)
A Carcharodon Megalodon, the 70-foot, 40-ton prehistoric kin to the great white shark, is alive and preparing to feast on scientists trapped in a submarine. It’s up to expert deep-sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) to save the day.
“General” (September 15)
A military service dog wounded in combat and misplaced by the U.S. Army ends up in a small town junkyard where he is befriended by a 12 year old boy.
“Alpha” (September 18)
In this story set in the Ice Age, an injured boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) bonds with a wolf as they struggle to survive.
“Smallfoot” (September 28)
A Yeti named Migo (Channing Tatum) is convinced that creatures called “Smallfoot” (humans) actually exist. Voice talents include James Corden, Zendaya, Common, Gina Rodriguez, and Danny DeVito.
“Mowgli” (October 19)
Andy Serkis’s version of the famous Rudyard Kipling story (previously titled “The Jungle Book”). The story follows orphan Mowgli (Rohan Chand), who was raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of India. Serkis voices Baloo the bear, Cate Blanchett is Kaa the snake, Christian Bale is Bagheera the protective panther, and Benedict Cumberbatch man-hating tiger Shere Khan.
“The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales” (TBA)
This French animated film is a compilation of three tales set on a farm with a fox that thinks it’s a chicken, a rabbit that acts like a stork, and a duck who wants to replace Father Christmas. From the creators of “Ernest and Celestine.”
“The Prophecy of Time” (TBA)
When a mysterious stray cat finds her way into a household of pets, their family begins an unforgettable journey to protect and save a sacred clock.