2019 Animated Movies Preview: Sequels, Remakes, and ‘Lion King’ in CGI

Animated Movies Toy Story 4
Woody, Buzz, and Jessie from ‘Toy Story 4’ (Photo © 2018 Disney•Pixar)

2019’s crop of animated movies include a batch of sequels, a CGI remake of a classic Disney tale, and films inspired by popular video games. There’s even an animated movie headed our way that’s based on crazy-looking yet adorable dolls.

Among the sequels set to invade theaters in 2019 is the much-anticipated follow-up to the 2013 blockbuster, Frozen. The birds with attitudes will be back in Angry Birds Movie 2, and dragons will soar once again in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Audiences are invited to visit the world of cats and dogs at play when their owners are away with the sequel to The Secret Life of Pets. And the eternally optimistic Emmet is up to new adventures in The LEGO Movie 2.

The busy schedule of animated releases has a lot to offer, however two animated films entering theaters in 2019 are likely to emerge as standouts in terms of both box office numbers and critical acclaim. Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story film franchise adds a fourth chapter with Toy Story 4 arriving in June. Toy Story 4 introduces a new major character who’ll send Woody and his friends off on a new adventure. Disney’s also responsible for one of the most buzzed about releases of 2019 – animated or live-action. The Mouse House is revisiting the world of Simba and his animal friends with a CGI version of The Lion King directed by Jon Favreau. The teaser trailer, which was viewed by more than 55 million people in its first two weeks, is absolutely gorgeous and immediately catapulted the remake to the top of the list of 2019 must-see films.

The Addams Family – October 11
Voiced by Chloe Grace Moretz, Charlize Theron, Oscar Isaac, Allison Janney, Bette Midler, and Nick Kroll
The Plot: The lives of the Addams family begin to unravel when they face-off against a crafty reality-TV host while also preparing for their extended family to arrive for a major celebration, Addams-style.

Angry Birds Movie 2 – August 16
Voiced by Josh Gad, Jason Sudeikis, Leslie Jones, Danny McBride, Awkwafina, Dove Cameron, Peter Dinklage, Bill Hader, and Sterling K Brown
The Plot: Bird Island heroes Red, Bomb, and Chuck will all be returning, but what have they been up to since the infamous battle of Pig City? Of course, you can also expect the adorable little Hatchlings to make a comeback in a big way.

Call of the Wild – December 25
Voiced by Karen Gillan, Wes Brown, Dan Stevens, and Harrison Ford
The Book’s Synopsis: Kidnapped form his safe California home. Thrown into a life-and-death struggle on the frozen Artic wilderness. Half St. Bernard, half shepard, Buck learns many hard lessons as a sled dog: the lesson of the leash, of the cold, of near-starvation and cruelty. And the greatest lesson he learns from his last owner, John Thornton: the power of love and loyalty. Yet always, even at the side of the human he loves, Buck feels the pull in his bones, an urge to answer his wolf ancestors as they howl to him.

Frozen 2 – November 22
Voiced by Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Evan Rachel Wood, Jonathan Groff, and Sterling K Brown
The Plot: Disney hasn’t released the official synopsis.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – February 22
Voiced by Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Kit Harrington, Craig Ferguson, and F. Murray Abraham
The Plot: From DreamWorks Animation comes a surprising tale about growing up, finding the courage to face the unknown…and how nothing can ever train you to let go. What began as an unlikely friendship between an adolescent Viking and a fearsome Night Fury dragon has become an epic adventure spanning their lives. Welcome to the most astonishing chapter of one of the most beloved animated franchises in film history: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

Now chief and ruler of Berk alongside Astrid, Hiccup has created a gloriously chaotic dragon utopia. When the sudden appearance of female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup and Toothless must leave the only home they’ve known and journey to a hidden world thought only to exist in myth. As their true destines are revealed, dragon and rider will fight together—to the very ends of the Earth—to protect everything they’ve grown to treasure.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part – February 8
Voiced by Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Charlie Day, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Arturo Castro, and Maya Rudolph
The Plot: The much-anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed, global box office phenomenon that started it all, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part reunites the heroes of Bricksburg in an all new action-packed adventure to save their beloved city. It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are now facing a huge new threat: LEGO DUPLO® invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than it can be rebuilt.

The battle to defeat the invaders and restore harmony to the LEGO universe will take Emmet, Lucy, Batman and their friends to faraway, unexplored worlds, including a strange galaxy where everything is a musical. It will test their courage, creativity and Master Building skills, and reveal just how special they really are.

The Lion King Teaser Poster

The Lion King – July 19
Voiced by Donald Glover, Beyoncé, James Earl Jones, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, JD McCrary, Shahadi Wright Joseph, John Kani, John Olive, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, Florence Kasumba, Eric André, and Keegan-Michael Key
The Plot: From Disney Live Action, director Jon Favreau’s all-new The Lion King journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother-and former heir to the throne-has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

Missing Link – April 12
Voiced by Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Thompson, Timothy Olyphant, Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Amrita Acharia, and Ching Valdes-Aran
The Plot: The charismatic Sir Lionel Frost (Jackman) considers himself to be the world’s foremost investigator of myths and monsters. The trouble is none of his small-minded high-society peers seems to recognize this. Sir Lionel’s last chance for acceptance by the adventuring elite rests on traveling to America’s Pacific Northwest to prove the existence of a legendary creature. A living remnant of Man’s primitive ancestry. The Missing Link.

Galifianakis is Mr. Link: the slightly silly, surprisingly smart and soulful beast upon whom Sir Lionel’s dreams depend. As species go, he’s as endangered as they get; he’s the last of his kind, and he’s lonely. Proposing a daring quest to seek out his rumored distant relatives, he enlists Sir Lionel’s help in an odyssey around the world to find the fabled valley of Shangri-La.

Together with Adelina Fortnight (Saldana), an independent and resourceful adventurer who possesses the only known map to the group’s secret destination, the unlikely trio embarks on a riotous rollercoaster of a ride. Along the way, our fearless explorers encounter more than their fair share of peril, stalked at every turn by dastardly villains seeking to thwart their mission. Through it all, Mr. Link’s disarming charm and good-humored conviction provide the emotional and comedic foundation of this fun-filled family film.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu – May 10
Voiced by Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, and Ken Watanabe
The Plot: The story begins when ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery.

Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City—a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world—they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.

The Secret Life of Pets 2
A scene from ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2.’

The Secret Life of Pets 2 – June 7
Voiced by Lake Bell, Hannibal Buress, Dana Carvey, Harrison Ford, Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart, Pete Holmes, Garth Jennings, Ellie Kemper, Nick Kroll, Bobby Moynihan, Patton Oswald, Jenny Slate, and Eric Stonestreet
The Plot: The Secret Life of Pets 2 will follow summer 2016’s blockbuster about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day.

Sonic the Hedgehog – November 15
Voiced by James Marsden, Ben Schwartz, Natasha Rothwell, Tika Sumpter, Neal McDonough, Adam Pally, and Jim Carrey
The Plot: Paramount Pictures hasn’t released the official synopsis.

Spies in Disguise – September 13
Voiced by Tom Holland and Will Smith
The Plot: Spies in Disguise is a buddy comedy set in the high octane globe-trotting world of international espionage. Will Smith voices Lance Sterling, the world’s most awesome spy. Cool, charming and super-skilled, saving the world is his occupation. And nobody does it better. Almost the exact opposite of Lance is Walter, voiced by Tom Holland. Walter is a great mind but perhaps not a great socializer. What he lacks in social skills though, he makes up for in smarts and invention: Walter is the scientific genius who invents the gadgets Lance uses on his missions.

But when events take an unexpected turn, Walter and Lance suddenly have to rely on each other in a whole new way. And if this odd couple can’t learn to work as a team, the whole world is in peril.

Toy Story 4 – June 21
Voiced by Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Tony Hale, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Jeff Pidgeon, and Blake Clark
The Plot: Woody has always been confident about his place in the world and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. But when Bonnie adds a reluctant new toy called “Forky” to her room, a road trip adventure alongside old and new friends will show Woody how big the world can be for a toy.

UglyDolls Poster

UglyDolls – May 10
Voiced by Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Pitbull, Leehom Wang, Emma Roberts, Nick Jonas, Wanda Sykes, Gabriel Iglesias, and Janelle Monae
The Plot: In the adorably different town of Uglyville, weird is celebrated, strange is special and beauty is embraced as more than simply meets the eye. Here, the free-spirited Moxy and her UglyDoll friends live every day in a whirlwind of bliss, letting their freak flags fly in a celebration of life and its endless possibilities. The endearingly unique residents of Uglyville occasionally look to the sky above the town, where a new UglyDoll will appear and be embraced by the community.

Moxy (Kelly Clarkson) loves her square-peg life in this round-hole town, but her curiosity about all things leads her to wonder if there’s something – anything – on the other side of the mountain which nestles Uglyville. Moxy gathers a group of her closest friends and sets off to find what’s on the other side. They discover another world – Perfection – a town where more conventional dolls are trained in protocols before they graduate and are sent to the “real” world to find the love of a child.

In Perfection, Moxy and her crew are subject to the manipulations of Lou (Nick Jonas), the perfect doll in charge of training recruits. Here, the UglyDolls will confront what it means to be different, struggle with their desire to be loved, and ultimately discover that you don’t have to be perfect to be amazing because who you truly are is what matters most.

Wonder Park – March 15
Voiced by Jennifer Garner, Matthew Broderick, John Oliver, Mila Kunis, Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, Norbert Leo Butz, Brianna Denski, and Ken Hudson Campbell
The Plot: Wonder Park tells the story of a magnificent amusement park where the imagination of a wildly creative girl named June comes alive.