Upcoming Cartoon Movies of 2017 & Beyond

Sequels, sequels, and more sequels, mostly.

**Update 3/20/17: Trolls 3 has been announced, and thus, we’ve added it to the bottom of this list.upcoming cartoon movies 2017

2016  was a great year for animated movies, and now that the year has come to a close, we thought now would be the perfect time to take a look at the landscape for all upcoming cartoon movies of 2017, as well as the films that we know about that are coming in 2018 and even 2019. Looking at the slate of upcoming animated films, it appears as though we have some truly potentially great movies coming soon to a theater near you.

This movies list strictly contains the animated movies. If you’re looking for all of the kids movies in theaters in 2017, which includes live-action family movies, we have one of those lists as well.

So without further ado, check out all of the upcoming animated movies for kids for 2017 and beyond


1. The LEGO Batman Movie

Release Date: February 10, 2017
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Rosario Dawson, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis

The LEGO Batman Movie is a spin-off to the well-received LEGO Movie from 2014 that’s set to come out before the actual Lego Movie sequel. It will center on Batman, and all you really need to know is that the Joker is being voiced by Zach Galifianakis.


2. Rock Dog

Release Date: February 24, 2017
Starring: Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons, Kenan Thompson, Lewis Black, Mae Whitman

The upcoming Rock Dog movie will follow Bodi, a dog who chases his passion for music to the front door of his rock idol Angus Scattergood.


3. The Boss Baby

Release Date: March 10, 2017
Starring: Steve Buscemi, Alec Baldwin, ViviAnn Yee

Tom McGrath (Megamind) will direct Boss Baby, a film based on the book that revolves around a suit-wearing baby who teams up with this seven-year-old brother to stop a plot of the CEO of Puppy Co. Based on this first teaser, it looks surprisingly hilarious.


4. Smurfs: The Lost Village

Release Date: April 7, 2017
Starring: Ariel Winter, Julia Roberts, Joe Manganiello

We’ve finally got a name for the upcoming Smurfs movie, as we now know it will be officially titled Smurfs: The Lost Village. It will be directed by Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2, Gnomeo & Juliet) and written by Stacey Harman. The story will follow Smurfette and her brothers as they trek through the uncharted Enchanted Forest in hopes of finding a fabled Smurfs village before Gargamel does. It looks like the movie will delve into the Smurfs’ origins, too.


5. The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature

Release Date: May 19, 2017
Starring: Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph

We don’t know much about The Nut Job 2but the original The Nut Job was quite mediocre, currently holding an IMDB rating of 5.8 out of 10. The movie simply wasn’t funny, and the cast just didn’t click well. Honestly, how many talking wild animal movies do we need? Open Road Films, for some reason, thinks a sequel is warranted. It was middling all around, but, hopefully, The Nut Job 2 will fare better with audiences.

The plot will follow the events of the first film, and Surly and friends will attempt to stop Oakton City’s mayor from destroying their home.


6. Captain Underpants

Animated movies

Release Date: June 2, 2017
Starring: Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele, Kristen Schaal

Captain Underpants is a movie that will follow two mischievous kids whom hypnotize their mean high school principal, turning him into their comic book creation, Captain Underpants. Ed Helms will be playing the role of Captain Underpants for this Dreamworks animated movie. The film is being directed by David Soren, director of Turbo. It’s certainly one of the more interesting projects on the list, and DreamWorks says that the upcoming animated movie will look nothing like its other animated films.


7. Cars 3

Cars 3 plot

Release Date: June 16, 2017
Starring: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, Cheech Marin

We’ve finally been given our first Cars 3 plot details, and we now know that it revolves around Lightning McQueen feeling old and enlisting the help of a young, Hispanic female trainer. Mater, Ramone, and Sally will all make their return. Hopefully, Cars 3 turns out to be more enjoyable than Cars 2. The movie is expected to release on June 16, 2017, and we’ll have more information on the movie.

The first Cars 3 trailer made waves for being surprisingly dark, and it definitely feels like a different Cars movie than what we’ve been given before.


8. Despicable Me 3

Release Date: June 30, 2017
Starring: Steve Carell, Miranda Cosgrove, Kristen Wiig, Jenny Slate, Russell Brand, Trey Parker

We don’t know much about the upcoming third installment of the Despicable Me franchise, but it will revolve around Batlhazar Bratt (Trey Parker), a child star from the ’80s who hatches a scheme to take over the world. The first two films in this animated movie franchise were top-notch, and judging by the first trailer above, Despicable Me 3 is going to follow suit, which is why we’re excited for this upcoming cartoon movie.


9. The Story of Ferdinand

Release Date: December 22, 2017
Starring: Paul Feig, Donald Sutherland, Samantha Morton

The Story of Ferdinand is about a little bull named Ferdinand who prefers to stop and smell the flowers as opposed to doing the typical bull thing (being rough, butting heads with other bulls). He’s mistakenly chosen for the bullfights in Madrid.


10. The Emoji Movie

Release Date: August 4, 2017
Starring: Patrick Stewart, T.J. Miller, Jennifer Coolidge

The plot will follow Gene, a “meh” emoji who sets out on a journey to become a normal emoji. It’s being directed by Anthony Leondis of Igor fame. The tagline for the movie is “not easy being meh”, and that pretty much sums up our thoughts on The Emoji Movie and our excitement for it. Not only is it just a bad idea to base a movie around, but the debut teaser trailer (shown above) didn’t land at all.


11. LEGO Ninjago Movie

Lego Ninjago Movie release date

Release Date: September 22, 2017
Starring: Olivia Munn, Justin Theroux, Dave Franco

Six high school ninjas will defend their island home, Ninjago, by night, while trying to survive their biggest challenge (high school) by day. We’re told the movie’s first trailer is imminent.


12. My Little Pony The Movie

my little pony the movie 2017

Release Date: November 3, 2017
Starring: Tara Strong, Cathy Weseluck, Andrea Libman, etc

Hasbro and Lionsgate will team up for My Little Pony The Movie, which is set for November 3, 2017, meaning it will face off against Thor: Ragnarok. It is being directed by Jayson Theissen.


13. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Grinch reboot

Release Date: November 9, 2018
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kaitlyn Maher

How The Grinch Stole Christmasthe cartoon, is getting a reboot, hitting theaters 17 years after the release of the live-action version that starred Jim Carrey. No word on any actors on board the project just yet, but we know Pete Candeland is slated to direct.


14. Coco

Release Date: November 22, 2017
Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Renee Victor

Disney will tell the story of a discovery of a generations-old mystery that leads to an extraordinary and surprising family reunion, according to IMDB. It will follow a 12-year-old boy named Miguel, who sets the chain of events off.


15. The Croods 2

Release Date: December 22, 2017
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage

The Croods sequel will follow the prehistoric family, The Croods, on a new adventure in a strange new world.

*Update: The Croods 2 has been (rightfully) cancelled by DreamWorks Animation.


16. Sherlock Gnomes

sherlock gnomes movie

Release Date: January 12, 2018
Starring: Johnny Depp, James McAvoy, Emily Blunt

Sherlock Holmes meets Gnomeo and Juliet.


17. Larrikins

Release Date: February 16, 2018
Starring: Margot Robbie, Rose Byrne, Ben Mendelsohn, Naomi Watts, Hugh Jackman
Director: Chris Miller, Tim Minchin

Larrikins will follow an uptight bilby after he escapes his sheltered life from his family burrow, finding himself on a musical adventure set in the Australian outback.


18. Wreck-It Ralph 2

wreck-it ralph 2

Release Date: March 9, 2018
Starring: John C. Reily, Alan Tudyk, Sarah Silverman
Director: Phil Johnson, Rich Moore

There’s not much known about the Wreck-It Ralph sequel other than its release date, director, and cast, but the short synopsis says that “Wreck-It Ralph wrecks the internet”.


19. Anubis

Release Date: March 23, 2018
Starring: Nick Krause, William Salyers
Director: Chris Wedge

Anubis follows Dr. George Henry’s spirit into a creepy underworld inhabited by monsters as his son tries to save him from the mummy’s curse that brought him there. It’s based on the Bruce Zick’s book, “The Anubis Tapestry: Between Twilights”.


20. Peter Rabbit

Release Date: March 23, 2018
Starring: Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley, Rose Byrne
Director: Will Gluck

A feature adaptation of the classic tale by Beatrix Potter, which tells of a rabbit trying to sneak into a farmer’s vegetable garden.


21. Hotel Transylvania 3

hotel transylvania 3 release date set

Release Date: July 13, 2018
Starring: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky

The Hotel Transylvania 3 film will see the main cast return, and it will revolve around them all going on a Monster Cruise Ship. The animated flick was just moved up from its original September release date to Summer 2018.


22. Amusement Park

amusement park movie

Release Date: July 13, 2018
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Garner, Mila Kunis, John Oliver, Ken Jeong

We don’t have any details on Amusement Park just yet, other than the great cast (which you can see above, of course). We’ll update when we have more details.


23. Gigantic

gigantic movie

Release Date: November 21, 2018
Starring: TBA
Directors: Nathan Greno, Meg LeFauve

Gigantic is Disney’s newly announced animated film that brings a new take to the typical Jack and the Beanstalk tale. Instead of a giant, furry lumberjackesque man, Gigantic will feature an 11 year old girl as the giant, who teams up with Jack to take on a group of bad giants. The film will be directed by Nathan Greno (Big Hero 6, Frozen). We don’t know much else about the upcoming movie just yet, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted about Disney’s Gigantic movie.


24. B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations

animation movies

Release Date: TBA
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Seth Rogen, Bill Murray, Rashida Jones, Matt Bomer
Director: Tony Leondis

B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations is a super classified agency that is dedicated to protecting humans from hauntings, with one kicker: the agents are actually ghosts, themselves. Two brand new members of the force (Melissa McCarthy and Seth Rogen) will partner up to take on the agency’s Most Wanted Haunter.


25. Danger Mouse

danger mouse animated movie

Release Date: TBA
Starring: TBA

Sony has announced a Danger Mouse cartoon movie is on the way, based on the wildly successful British cartoon series of the same name. There aren’t any story details just yet, but stay tuned.


26. Ghostbusters Animated Film

ghostbusters cartoon

Release Date: TBA
Starring: TBA

Ghostbusters cartoon movie is on the way, and we now know that it will be directed by newcomer Fletcher Moules, whose only known credits to date are the ongoing series of Clash of Clan commercials. The film is being produced by Ghostbusters co-creator and director Ivan Reitman, according to Slash Film. Hopefully, we’ll learn more about the upcoming Ghostbusters animated movie soon.


27. The LEGO Movie Sequel

Release Date: February 8, 2019
Starring: TBA
Director: Mike Mitchell


28.Spongebob Squarepants 3

spongebob squarepants 3 moviee

Release Date: February 8, 2019
Starring: Tom Kenny, Clancy Brown, Rodger Bumpass
Director: Paul Tibbitt, Des McAnuff

We don’t have any details on Spongebob Squarepants 3 yet.


29. How to Train Your Dragon 3

upcoming cartoon movies 2019

Release Date: March 1, 2019
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, Gerard Butler
Director: Dean DeBlois

There are hardly any details about the highly anticipated threequel to How to Train Your Dragon, but all we know is that it will continue the adventure of Hiccup and Toothless, and it will include Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, and Gerard Butler, as well as Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, and some more recognizable names.


30. The Billion Brick Race

Release Date: May 24, 2019
Starring: TBA


31. Toy Story 4

Toy Story 4 release date

Release Date: June 21, 2019
Starring: Tom Hanks, Joan Cusack, Patricia Arquette, Tim Allen
Director: John Lasseter, Josh Cooley

The synopsis of Toy Story 4 mentions that Woody and Buzz go on an all-new adventure to find Bo Peep, who was apparently given away.


32. The Incredibles 2

The Incredibles 2 release date

Release Date: June 21, 2019
Starring: Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Vowell, Raymond Ochoa
Director: Brad Bird


33. Popeye

Release Date: TBA
Starring: TBA

Sony is preparing a CG Popeye that is to be released in 3D. It was being directed by Genndy Tartakovsky who jumped ship over the direction the movie was being taken. We don’t know what sort of trouble we’ll see Popeye in this time around, since the story is being kept hushed for now, although we know Olive Oyl, Bluto and Swee’Pea will all be involved. Without a director, though, it’s extremely unlikely we’ll see Popeye in its originally planned release year of 2016.


34. The Secret Life of Pets 2

The Secret Life of Pets 2

Release Date: July 3, 2018
Starring: TBA

Universal has announced a The Secret Life of Pets sequel that is slated for 2018. Unfortunately, we don’t have any of the story details for it jsut yet, nor do we know who the cast will include (it’s likely most from the original will make their return). We’ll update as soon as we know more.


35. The Ark and the Aardvark

the ark and the aardvark

Release Date: TBA 2017
Starring: 
Miles Teller
Director: John Stevenson

Kung Fu Panda director John Stevenson will helm The Ark and the Aardvark, which will follow the story of Noah’s Ark from a perspective of the animals. The film will center around Gilbert (voiced by Miles Teller), an outcast aardvark who becomes the leader of a group of misfit animals on their way to the ark. While on his journey to the Ark, Gilbert will discover his own inner strength.


36. Trolls 2

Release Date: April 10, 2020
Starring: 
Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake
Director: Unknown, but NOT Mike Mitchell

Trolls 2 has been announced, and it’s the sequel no one really wanted. Yet, somehow, it’s set for 2020, and even more surprising is that both Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake have agreed to return. At least we’ll get another catchy tune out of it.


37. Minions 2

Release Date: July 3, 2020
Starring: 
Pierre Coffin
Director: Unknown


38. Sing 2

Release Date: December 25, 2020
Starring: 
TBA
Director: Unknown


See Also:
All Upcoming Family Movies 2016 Edition

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is the Owner of Nerd Much, and can be reached on Twitter at @Thirstiestgamer. He has written for Den of Geek, HiConsumption, and Heavy. Darkman NES was the game that got him really into gaming, and he mains Hanzo.