With animation houses already rolling out major 3D eye-poppers for the year, now’s a good time to survey upcoming animated features. The grim box-office for Mars Needs Moms ($7 mil opening weekend) marks the year’s first toon casuality but I’m especially anxious to get a look at The Dreaming Machine, the last film by the late Satoshi Kon. Pixar vrooms onto the track with Cars 2 in June. But since Cars 2006 model year usually ranks among the least favorite films in Pixar’s ordinarily unassailable fortress, could this be the year for Disney, Fox, Warners, Dreamworks or someone else to take the Best Animated Feature prize? Sequels to Kung Fu Panda and Happy Feet have got your cuddly slapstick covered, and if you’re a fan of Pooh, Disney’s got that too.
Sad to say we might not see The Borrower Arrietty until 2012. But hey kids! 2011 promises pussy galore! Shrek spin-off Puss in Boots isn’t due until November, but that puts it in prime position for the Academy’s short term memory. Most promising import? Thanks to recommendation from our buddy Jeremie, I recently read The Rabbi’s Cat, Joann Sfar’s thoroughly charming French graphic novel that serves as the source for an animated feature premiering in Cannes in May. Set in 1930’s Algeria and brimming with witty and wise observations about culture clash and religious philosophy, it’s already being compared to Persepolis. There’s no trailer yet for The Rabbi”s Cat, but I found a music video animated by Sfar that’s delightfully NSFW. Just for gut instinct fun, pick 3 toon titles you think have the best nominee potential and view a few previews, after the cut.
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.