Plenty of animated films will be coming in 2018 for the discerning connoisseur to consider. Disney and PIXAR do not dominate the market, and to offer enough international flavour is what makes this list different from others. While a strong anime theme persists, offered here are my picks for the 2018 year. Not every film have a set date; they are confirmed to come out within the year at least.
This list is organized into the most highly anticipated to “least.”
Godzilla: Monster Planet
Anyone living in Japan saw this movie already and the word is that this film is very good. The expectations from fans living elsewhere are high since this work is coming from the studio who birthed Gojira, and the look is epic.
Humanity had to flee the planet in order to survive this beast’s wrath, and now they want it back. Hopefully the advancements in technology can placate the behemoth! No date is given for the global Netflix release. Perhaps this movie will get a limited cinema screening first, where this film deserves to be seen, before heading to the streaming service.
Godzilla: Battle Mobile Breeding City
Part two of this trilogy is well into production and Toho Studios is not resting in bringing back their vision to the global masses. Although the title makes no sense, the alternative “The City Mechanized for the Final Battle” fares no better and the excitement is on Mechagodzilla making its animated appearance.
This film is scheduled to be released in Japan May 2018.
No trailer is released (yet)
Cartoon Saloon (Book of Kells and Song of the Sea) crafted many exceptional movies set in amazing cultural backdrops. With this film, the veil in what Afghanistan looks like may well get lifted and what audiences will see is a story of hope. A young girl has to deal with prejudices and a world dominated by men to help her family survive.
This film made its film festival premiere in September and November at both Toronto International Film Festival and saw limited screenings across the States respectively. A wider distribution is expected in 2018 as GKIDS is handling distribution.
Mary and the Witch’s Flower
This film will get more screenings beginning late January and the hope is more movie theatre chains will be on board. GKIDs is handling distribution for this title created by the former staff of Studio Ghibli. They formed a new animation house, Pronoc, and developed the tale The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart into an animated piece that may well rival Studio Ghibli’s Kiki’s Delivery Service.
This tale is about a young girl who finds a flower which will give her the ability of a witch for one night only.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Not every release of Spider-Man has to be about Peter Parker. This title does not have a lot of information associated with its production, but to learn Miles Morales is going to be the man behind the mask will be interesting. Peter Parker was the first to hold the title. His death will now doubt cast a shadow over New York and to see another character take on the mantle may well suggest anyone can wear the mask, but who can be the Spider?
Readers of the comic book will have a leg up on what’s going on. But for viewers, this entry will no doubt shake up the animated Marvel Comics universe and perhaps be an influence for how Sony is to handle their future live action sequels. This title is most likely getting a direct-to-video release on December 13th, 2018.
Brad Bird can take all the time he needs to pen a sequel that is worthy of the Incredibles name. The first film was hilarious and stayed true to PIXAR’s mantra of providing tales that emphasize the importance of togetherness and family. This film will see the Parr family deal with their youngest child, Jack Jack, developing his powers and perhaps finally getting a superhero name. No time will have passed since the first film from more than ten years ago. Everything folks loved from the first film riffing on superheroes will no doubt be in this. It is a safe bet the production team decided to look at everything the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and Warner Brothers / DC Comics) has done so new jokes can be made.
This film will premiere June 15th, 2018.
Batman Ninja (ニンジャバットマン)
When Takashi Okazaki, the creator of Afro Samurai, is involved as the character designer for this work, fans of the Bats will no doubt argue which animated Batman will be better, either this one or Gotham by Gaslight. Both are set in alternate timelines. One in a pseudo neo-feudal Japan and the other Victorian age steampunk. Who’s to say which is best? With talents like Kazuki Nakashima (Gurren Lagann) crafting the screenplay and Yugo Kanno (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure) for the soundtrack, this work is number one in this list of must-see. Breaking the fourth wall: I have never been more excited to see the Joker return in any form until now!
No set date is offered for this possibly direct to video release. Confirmed is a 2018 release.
Batman: Gotham By Gaslight
Anyone who has read the comic book will know what this animated tale will be about. The Batman is looking for Jack the Ripper! Just how well the flavour will work will depend on Sam Liu. Reactions to his work with Justice League: Gods and Monsters and its companion series Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles has been mixed. Not everyone took to this other Elseworlds take of DC’s heroes. Fortunately, his work with films released in 2017, namely Batman: The Killing Joke fared better. While reactions are equally divided between Batman and Harley Quinn, the hope here is that the setting is given the love it deserves.
Isle of Dogs
This stop motion animated work by Wes Anderson may well not be for everyone, but until Studio Laika announces their untitled work (slated for May 18, 2018) release, this film definitely promises to be unique. Five canines — Chief, Rex, Boss, Duke and King do not like being stuck on an island and they feel the virus the humans fear is unjustified. As they try to befriend Atari Kobayashi, a human who ventures onto their island, everyone else is aghast, and the adventure begins!
This film is slated for a March 23, 2018 release.
Dajjal (The Slayer and His Followers)
Not every title will be perfect for younger audiences to follow. While the producers promise this piece will appeal to all communities and cultures world-wide, the appeal comes from the image of Satan being presented as pages of the Hebrew Bible are being flipped. Just what this image of the adversary means will require this movie to be carefully examined for the messages writer/director Abrar Rana wishes to impart.
The world is at war, the Middle East is a complete militarized zone. Just what that means is unclear but the inter-titles suggest the coming of a new Messiah. There are moments where the politics of Resident Evil (namely the Umbrella Corporation ) are referenced. This film rounds out the list as the parable is meant to show how all of humanity can finally come together to get along. No confirmed release date is offered.