Must-See Animal Movies of 2023

What’s coming to theaters and streaming in 2023? A coked-up killer bear, Winnie-the-Pooh as a slasher(!), teenage mutant ninja turtles the return of the Gremlins, as well as various movie cats, dogs and horses. Here are some movies you might not want to miss.

The Amazing Maurice (February 3)

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Based on the novel by Terry Pratchett, Maurice is a streetwise ginger cat who teams up with rats for a money-making scam inspired by the legend of the Pied Piper. The voice cast includes Hugh Laurie, Emilia Clarke, David Thewlis, Himesh Patel, and Gemma Arterton.

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey (February 15, 2023, Limited)

A Winnie-the-Pooh slasher movie? Yep. The bear and and pal Piglet terrorize Christopher Robin and a group of young women at a remote house in this horror twist on the beloved character.

Heart of a Champion (February 17)

This family film will open in select theaters on Friday, February 17 and be released on digital and on demand on February 21. It stars Casper Van Dien, Edward Furlong, and YaYa Gosselin and Brad Keller directs. Tag line: When a girl finds a lost horse she enters a barrel racing competition and becomes champion.

Cocaine Bear (February 24)

A coked-up bear goes on a bloody rampage in “Cocaine Bear,” which is, very loosely based on a true story. The film stars Ray Liotta and Keri Russell.

John Wick: Chapter 4 (March 24)

John Wick (Keanu Reeves) returns in the fourth installment of the action film franchise. One of the new characters is The Tracker, played by Shamier Anderson of “Wynonna Earp,” who appears to be aided by a tracking dog.

Wildfire: The Legend of the Cherokee Ghost Horse (May 5)

The late Anne Heche stars in this family film about a horse named Wildfire, based on the tearjerking 1975 song by Michael Martin Murphy.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 26)

Rocket and the rest of the Guardians return for the third installment, which also introduces Rocket’s one true love, an otter named Lylla, who we see him embracing in the trailer. Fans fervently hope she will be voiced by Lady Gaga, who, of course, starred with Rocket voicer Bradley Cooper in “A Star is Born.” Read more about Llylla at Distractify.

The Little Mermaid (June 2)

Disney’s latest live-action remake stars Halle Bailey as Ariel. The animal characters will, of course, still be animated: Daveed Diggs will voice Sebastian the crab, Jacob Tremblay is Flounder, and Awkwafina is Scuttle the seagull. That image of Flounder that horrified Disney fans back in October 2022 is not from the movie, happily.


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