Zootopia has already made a staggering amount of coin, with a domestic total at $297,849,421, and international box office at $2,147,483,647. The Disney zoo animation pic was released March 4, a few months before Inside Out was (June, 2015) but it nonetheless has the same kind of buzz swirling around it. Last year at the Cannes Film Fest Zootopia was featured on a Disney/Pixar sizzle reel that also contained some footage – albeit minimal – for Finding Dory. Now, more footage of Finding Dory was shown at cinema-con to much excitement. Is this year going to be between Finding Dory and Zootopia?
Well maybe. Or maybe not. It will depend on two things. First, what’s coming next and whether it can beat Zootopia’s massive box office take – probably Finding Dory can do that. Second, whether Finding Dory will be dismissed as a sequel by the Academy. Finding Nemo easily won the Best Animated Feature Oscar for director Andrew Stanton. Dory will be co-directed by Stanton and Angus MacLane. The Reason Toy Story 3 won was because the first Toy Story was released before they had the animated feature category. But that doesn’t mean Finding Dory can’t win, or won’t win, it just means it’s not as much of a slam dunk as it might have been.
What’s coming next? Disney also has Moana, which was shown on the sizzle reel last year. This one is supposed to have breakthrough animation, so it Finding Dory, come to that. Both will feature a female lead. And both are probably going to be quite moving, if the tweets coming out of Cinema-con are any indication.
Dreamworks will have Kung Fu Panda 3 and Trolls, with the latter having the better shot being that it isn’t a sequel. Universal will be releasing The Secret Life of Pets, voiced by Louis C.K., Ellie Kemper and Albert Brooks. They’ll also be releasing Sing, voiced by Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson.
Studio Ghibli will be back with The Red Turtle, which will have dialogue. Read more about this and many more animated features coming out in 2016 over at Cartoon Brew.
The Academy will likely go off script for a few of their choices, looking to the more expertly crafted films as opposed to the massive blockbusters. There are certainly plenty of those to choose from, as well as a few animated films aimed at adults, like Sausage Party, Another Day of Life, Loving Vincent. All in all, it looks like an exciting, competitive race for animated feature.