Must-See Animal Movies of 2020

Note: Updated for the latest rescheduled releases and cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last updated January 13, 2021

Underwater (January 10)

A crew of aquatic researchers struggle to survive after a earthquake devastates their subterranean lab. But as they attempt to get to safety, they realize they’re not alone in this creature feature starring Kristen Stewart.

The Woman Who Loves Giraffes (January 10 in limited release)

In this documentary, biologist Anne Innis Dagg (now 86) retraces her 1956 journey to South Africa to study giraffes. This documentary profiles the world’s first ‘giraffologist,’ and the animals she loves. Now playing in limited release in select cities. It’s now streaming on iTunes Canada. (Read the Moviepaws review.)

Dolittle (January 17)

Robert Downey Jr. stars as the doctor who can talk to animals. Featuring the voices of Rami Malek, Emma Thompson and Michael Sheen. Read: The Reviews Are in for ‘Dolittle,’ and They’re Brutal

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made (February 7)

The exploits of Timmy Failure and his 1,500-pound polar bear partner, Total, as they operate Total Failure, Inc., a Portland detective agency. Based on the book by Stephan Pastis. On Disney+

Horse Girl (February 7)

A socially awkward woman (Alison Brie) with a fondness for arts and crafts, horses, and supernatural crime shows, finds her increasingly lucid dreams trickling into her waking life. On Netflix. Read: Why Alison Brie’s Character Is Into Horses in ‘Horse Girl’

Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (February 14)

Shaun the Sheep, Bitzer the dog, and the rest of the flock tangle with an adorable alien in this sequel to “Shaun the Sheep.” Now on Netflix. (Read the Moviepaws review.)

Sonic the Hedgehog (February 14)

“Sonic” was delayed after fans objected to the original look of the beloved video game character and designers went back to the drawing board.

The Call of the Wild (February 21)

Harrison Ford stars in this new version of the classic Jack London tale. The lead dog, Buck, will be a mix of CGI and live-action. Read: Harrison Ford Bonds With Buck the Dog in First ‘Call of the Wild’ Trailer

The Invisible Man (February 28)

Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) thinks she’s finally free from her sociopathic boyfriend Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) when he commits suicide. But she can’t shake the feeling he’s still alive — and still stalking her. In this scene from the trailer, she visits his house (where she sees his pet dog) and is convinced he’s very much alive.

The Dog Doc (March 2020)

In this documentary, a maverick veterinarian and his dedicated team of doctors create a mecca for pets and their owners looking for hope and a last chance for animal healing. Read the Moviepaws review.

Scoob! (May 15)

Scooby and the gang face their most challenging mystery ever: A plot to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus upon the world. Featuring the voices of Amanda Seyfried, Zac Efron and Will Forte. The animated film will debut on VOD instead of in theaters.

Marona’s Fantastic Tale (June 12)

In this poetic animated French film, director Anca Damian follows a stray dog named Marona as she looks back on the human companions she has loved throughout her life. Read the Moviepaws review.

First Cow (July 10 on VOD)

In 1820s in the Northwest, two travelers dream of striking it rich, but their plan depends on the use of a landowner’s prized dairy cow. Kelly Reichardt directs. John Magaro, Orion Lee, Rene Auberjonois, and Toby Jones star. Read: All About Eve, the Star of ‘First Cow’

Seniors: A Dogumentary (September 29)

This documentary about senior dogs, and the people who cherish and protect them, features the beloved Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary of Mount Juliet, Tennessee and Chaser the Border Collie, known as “The Smartest Dog In the World.” Debuts on DVD and VOD on September 29. Read the Moviepaws review.

“Love and Monsters” (October 16)

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A young man (Dylan O’Brien) must brave monsters of all kinds to be reunited with his school sweetheart. Available on VOD. Read: ‘Love and Monsters’: All About the Dog Who Plays ‘Boy’

The Witches (October 22)

Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci star in this remake of the 1990 film (which is based on the Roald Dahl story). A boy is turned into a mouse after interrupting a witch’s convention. It will debut on HBO Max on October 22. Watch the trailer.

“Over the Moon” (October 23)

A young girl is inspired to build her own spacecraft to meet a mythical Moon Goddess, accompanied by her pet bunny. Inspired by the Chinese tale of the goddess Chang’e and her husband, Houyi. Featuring the voices of Sandra Oh, Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Robert G. Chiu, Ken Jeong, John Cho, and Margaret Cho. On Netflix.

Wolfwalkers (Nov. 13 Theaters/Dec. 13 AppleTV)

This gorgeous animated film from the director of “Song of the Sea” is now playing in select theaters. It debuts on AppleTV on December 13. Read the Moviepaws review.

“Black Beauty” (November 27)

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This new version of this classic story is a contemporary tale of an orphaned teenager and the wild horse she bonds with. It stars Mackenzie Foy and features Kate Winslet as the voice of Black Beauty. It debuts on Disney+ on November 27.

“Soul” (December 25)

A jazz pianist (Jamie Foxx) has an out-of-body experience after an accident. Now he’s stuck between Earth and the Great Beyond in the Great Before, a world where souls develop personalities, quirks, and traits before being sent to live their earthly lives. Can he get back to his body before he’s too late? Premieres on December 25 on Disney+. Read: All About the Cat in the Pixar Movie ‘Soul’

Monster Hunter (December 25)  

“Resident Evil” director Paul W.S. Anderson and star Milla Jovovich reunite for this adaptation of the popular video game. It was scheduled for a September 4, 2020 release, then bumped to April 2021. It was bumped back up, opening in select theaters on December 18 and will be available to rent or buy online on December 25.

2020 movies now coming out in 2021:

Raya and the Last Dragon (March 5, 2021) 

Walt Disney

In this animated Disney film, a young warrior (Cassie Steele) embarks on a quest to find the last dragon (voiced by Awkwafina).

The Truffle Hunters (March 21, 2021)

In the forests of Northern Italy, a dwindling group of old men and their faithful dogs search for the world’s most expensive ingredient, the white Alba truffle. Sony Classics will distribute the movie, which premiered to rave reviews at Sundance in 2020.

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (April 2, 2021)

James Corden returns as the voice of Peter Rabbit in this sequel to the 2018 film.

BIOS (April 16, 2021)  

In this sci-fi tale, Tom Hanks stars as the last human left on a post-apocalyptic earth. He creates a robot to be a protective companion to his dog when he dies. We expect to cry copiously.

Godzilla vs. Kong (May 21, 2021) 

The two titans go up against each other in this sequel to “Godzilla, King of the Monsters” and “Kong: Skull Island.” The film was originally going to be released in November 2020.

Jungle Cruise (July 30, 2021)

Director Jaume Collet-Serra (“The Shallows”) brings the famed Disney ride to the big screen. Emily Blunt stars as a wealthy adventuress who hires steamboat captain Dwayne Johnson to help her find a legendary treasure. We expect to see big cats, hippos, elephants, piranhas and, of course, the back side of water. It was originally set to be released July 24, 2020.

Clifford the Big Red Dog (November 5, 2021)

This live-action family comedy film (in which Clifford will be CGI) is based on Norman Bridwell’s book series of same name. It stars Darby Camp, Jack Whitehall, John Cleese, Sienna Guillory, Kenan Thompson, and Rosie Perez.


Dream Horse

Jan (Toni Collette), a cleaner and bartender, decides to breed a race horse in her Welsh village, pitting her small town against the racing elite in a nail-biting race for the national championship. The film debuted at Sundance 2020 and currently has no release date scheduled.

Must-See Animal Movies of 2021

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