By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
We’re a little more than past the halfway point in 2021 and its amazing how time flies. There’s a lot more animation feature films being released than I realized, and had to compile a list of what’s still to come this year. We don’t have to be limited to the theatrical releases either. There’s a tiny selection coming to streaming services only. The bigger name films will no doubt have its run on the big screen before arriving on the smaller one a month or two later, if not at the same time.
In the same token, the film festivals that are operating also have a “virtual” component where they’re making their selection available to stream too. If it’s available to play in your part of the world, I advise checking these works out!
This list includes movies with known release dates:
Pompo: The Cinephile
Aug 7, 2021 at Fantasia Film Festival 2021
Based on the manga of the same name, this movie is not only a crash course for beginners on how movies get made but also a love letter to the art. We all see it through the eyes of a young girl, Pompo, and this work is sure to please and enlighten.
The Little Vampire
Aug 8 & 10th at Fantasia Film Festival 2021
This French film is sure to please, as it takes the idea we already know from Hotel Transylvania and does something entirely different. We are dealing with a very young kid who doesn’t know what the world is like. He yearns to explore and is unaware his parents, Pandora and the Captain of the Dead (yes, those are their names), forbid him to explore. That’s because they have a rival!
Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild
Netflix, Aug 12th
Anyone who thought the live-action version is a skip will be glad there’s an anime. It shows promise when we’re not dealing with random crossovers to our reality. When beasts threaten a village, only Aiden, a monster hunter can save them. He’ll need to recruit others who are also hunters to help.
This work marks the third collaboration between Netflix and Capcom. Previous efforts include Dragon’s Dogma and Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, and both have been terrific eye-candy so far.
The Loud House Movie
Netflix, Aug 20
Not too much information is known about this television cartoon series getting a film. It’s more than just the Brady Bunch on steroids. This time, they are headed to Scotland and while there, learn that there’s music in everyone’s blood. Maybe it’ll explain why Lynn Loud (the father) is only “good” with the cowbell and Luna is the superstar. Maybe the talent skipped a generation? This work will no doubt be a musical, and let’s hope is leading the charge.
The Deer King
Aug 21 at Fantasia Film Festival 2021
Two kingdoms are at war, and in the midst of the chaos are many survivors. There’s a pair, a man and child, that this movie focuses on. This film debuted at Annecy Film Festival and is making its rounds at others before landing on home video next year. It’s sure to please on the big screen.
Aug 20 at Fantasia Festival 2021
This indie film is sure to please as it deals with mythological creatures and the people wanting to protect them. It’s going to be a strange one, as this work is actually aimed for adult viewers than kids. Its style of animation is reminiscent of Ralph Bakshi’s. Not everyone is fond of this type of look, but he was an innovator for his time. Cryptozoologists don’t need any other reason because there’s a variety of creatures from various cultures to create a drinking game out of.
The Addams Family 2
Universal Pictures, Oct 1
There’s a lot to already know about this film based on the trailer.
The family is off on a road trip across America! As we all know what these types of films are about, it’s to reforge the crack between the kids who are now teenagers, and the parents who hope they won’t fly the cuckoo’s nest! With this clan, they’re always straying off the beaten path. Just where they end up, however … well, we need to see what haunts they’ll stray into since its possible to adopt new ghouls into the fold.
Hotel Transylvania: Transformania
Sony Pictures, Oct 1
After three films, who would’ve thought this franchise can find fresh blood? It’s tough to say if this work will be as good as the previous since Adam Sandler is not voicing Dracula. The concept goes into a new direction where we find the universal monsters turn human, and for the only normal, Johnny, vice-versa.
Ron’s Gone Wrong
20th Century Animation, Oct 22
Sarah Smith who wrote and directed Arthur Christmas continues with a third feature and it’s sure to be a crowd-please. This family friendly work looks at the life between a boy and his robot. The B.bot looks like a Minion, and perhaps the design is inspired by them. However, it should noted that this device is a lot more than a social media tool.
Ron is one of those socially inadequate types who finds making friends tough. But the ‘bot malfunctions, the journey they go on is sure to test what friendship is truly about.
Disney, Nov 24
Disney loves trying to be a diverse company with its slate of films set in other ethnic countries. This time, set in the backdrop of Colombia, South America, Miracle Madrigal is in search for what her special talent is. Everyone else in her family has one, but she hasn’t discovered hers yet. This work is sure to be appealing for its themes, and while we’re sure to expect that atypical product–complete with side-kicks and musical numbers–we also know she’s most likely the next Disney Princess.
While everyone is still anxious for Illumination to bring Despicable Me 4 (due next year) out, this production company has singing animals to keep fans happy in the meantime. We have a new story concerning a lion who is very antisocial. There’s another figure who’ll try to bring this feline out of his shell, and conveniently enough, his name is Buster Moon. We’ll just leave it that for now…