DreamWorks, Studios, The Latest Animation News, Warner Animation

Release Date Changes: ‘The LEGO Movie Sequel’ Moves to 2019, ‘How to Train Your Dragon 3’ Takes May 2018 Spot!

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Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt our scheduled coverage of Annecy 2016 news and other stories besides to bring you BIG updates on two of the most-anticipated animated features to come, both being sequels to major animated franchises.

The LEGO Movie Sequel

As part of a small spate of release date shifts made by Warner Bros., the studio has moved The LEGO Movie Sequel out of 2018 and has set a February 8, 2019 launch date for the film. As of right now, The LEGO Movie Sequel is set to face box-office competition in the form of Paramount Animation’s SpongeBob SquarePants 3. The shift also leaves the newly-dated Smallfoot and S.C.O.O.B. as Warner Animation Group’s 2018 features.

No reason was given for why the film was pushed back almost a year. As always with developments such as these, we can only assume that the shift was made to give the production team more time to fine-tune the story, characters, and animation. When The LEGO Movie Sequel arrives in theaters, it will have been five years to the day when the first film landed in February 7 of 2014. Surely, when you’re crafting a direct sequel to a universally-loved film, you’re going to need as much time as you can get to make as sequel that stacks up.

One last thing before we shift gears: the fans who are bummed out by this news need not worry. The next two films in the LCU (LEGO Cinematic Universe) are well into production for next year (The LEGO Batman Movie on February 10, The LEGO Ninjago Movie on September 22).

Now, let’s switch gears (or rather studios) to talk about another major animated feature being moved elsewhere. Only, where previous shifts have pushed the film back, this latest shift brings the film a smidge closer to us.

How to Train Your Dragon 3

According to a report by Screen Rant, Fox and DreamWorks Animation have seized on an opportunity that The LEGO Movie Sequel‘s release shift has provided by placing How to Train Your Dragon 3 in the vacated spot of May 18, 2018.

This does several things for the movie: by moving it away from a more contentious release date (where it would have released a mere few weeks after Toy Story 4), How to Train Your Dragon 3 stands to reap the benefits of being seated on the starting line of 2018’s summer blockbuster season. Also, asides from being the big conclusion to the epic story that began in 2010 and blossomed through what will eventually be eight years of serialized storytelling, How to Train Your Dragon 3 will also be the final film in Fox’s distribution deal with DreamWorks Animation before Comcast’s historic acquisition deal takes full effect. So it makes since that, from a business perspective, Fox would want their partnership with DWA to go out on a high note.

This news shouldn’t be a shock to anyone at this juncture, since pushing back/delaying animated films is already a common occurrence in this current industry. Heck, just a week ago, Illumination Entertainment had pushed back the release of their adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas from November of 2017 to November of 2018. It’s just something that’s expected, so you can’t always assume that these delays will effect the quality of a film like with The Good Dinosaur. Yes, we all wish our favorite film would come sooner, but waiting to see a great film shouldn’t be a bad thing either.

What do you think? Any thoughts on the news? Are you looking forward to either film?

Edited by: Morgan Stradling

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About Brandon Smith

Brandon is your average nerd with a love for nerdy things (games, comics, anime/manga, etc.). He also loves reading and writing and plans to be an author someday. For now, he writes with passion and curiosity about the world of animation. He lives with his family in North Carolina and is currently attending college.
  • Baymax

    I was so looking forward to Lego Movie 2 🙁

    WAS and DreamWorks are 2 different companies. But then again, DreamWorks likes to tamper with release dates. (Antz and A Bug’s Life *cough* *cough*)

    • brandon

      “DreamWorks likes to tamper with release dates”

      So does every other animation studio in existence. That’s kinda the point I was making in my article.

      • Baymax

        very true. :/

  • It’ll be interesting to see how HTTYD3 performs that summer, I’m looking forward to it. I don’t care for a Lego 2, but it’s probably a strong enough brand that it’ll do well even after the wait. I’m more curious about Smallfoot. Maybe they’re looking to try more originals and if they don’t work, then they can lean on the franchises after.

    • brandon

      Looking at the next three years of WAG’s film slate, it appears that their current strategy is to alternate yearly between franchise films and originals/franchise starters.

      2017 – LEGO movies (Batman and Ninjago).

      2018 – Originals/franchise starters (Smallfoot and S.C.O.O.B)

      2019 – LEGO movies (LEGO Movie 2 and The Billion Brick Race).

      • Baymax

        I also noticed a pattern in Disney’s release dates of adaptations (Frozen) and original ideas (Zootopia), a point I will make in an article that may or may not be published.

        • Manuel Orozco

          I’ll look forward to it. Speaking of Frozen, I was thinking if John Powell plans to write an end credits song for HTTYD 3, he should hire Idina Menzel to sing.

      • Manuel Orozco

        That does seem to be the case

      • Ah I see, I forgot about the Batman Ninjago one. That all makes sense though.

    • Manuel Orozco

      Im looking forward to HTTYD 3 as well.

  • Manuel Orozco

    I’m really excited for both movies! The original installments are not the most awesome things in the world but I’ve been with both franchises for the past few years. It’s going to be bittersweet to say goodbye to Hiccup and Toothless! Whether they separate in the end or not, the ending is sure to make us feel good to have been apart of this high flying adventure. As for Lego, as long as Lego Batman and Ninjamgo are entertaining, the wait for the sequel should be worth it.

  • Just three more years until we see the dragons… one last time. 🙁

    • Manuel Orozco

      Make that two

      • If you count this one too.

        • Manuel Orozco

          What do you mean if you count this one too?

  • Johnny Marrero

    Aw Man I don’t want The Lego Movie 2 to compete aganist Spongebob 3 on the same date, Have Spongebob 3 get Pushed for a Summer premire date for like either 2018 or 2019

    • brandon

      Anything can happen in the five years between now and 2019.

      Relax 😉

  • Callum

    I’m guessing that Paramount will change SpongeBob 3’s release date soon.

    • Baymax

      There’s a SpongeBob 3!?

  • brandon

    I wish I addressed this outright, but I’m aware of how terrible the thumbnail image is. Tried my damnedest to tinker with it in WordPress to get a desired result, but alas…..

    • Baymax

      you did the best you could and that’s what counts 🙂

  • Sebastian

    I’m a little confused here about DWA whole new Comcast acquisition so do you mean that Comcast’s involvement with DWA will start in 2018 and that it hasn’t started yet. Does this mean that Comcast will not be involved in HTTYD3’s development and that Illumination Entertainment’s Chris Meledandri won’t be involved in HTTYD3, if that’s the case then HTTYD3 is saved from being dumbed down. I’m just really worried about how they are gonna treat my favourite franchise from DWA while Dean Deblois wants to end the franchise with a respectful ending to the books. What Dean wants to do with the last movie is very risky he is not afraid of making it darker and I really trust he can end it into a great trilogy. I just really hope that before we reach 2018 that they won’t dumb it down and make it lighthearted just so kids can enjoy it. Whatever Dean has planned I hope he can execute it into a great ending for the HTTYD franchise. Also heard that Shrek will be back in the future, not really sure how I feel about that.

    • Manuel Orozco

      Actually Universal will distribute HTTYD 3. There must be some sort of mistake

  • Ryan Prieto

    Man:( Ultimately I would prefer they get all the time they need to make the best product possible. But that is so far away:(

  • I for one have no problems on having HTTYD sooner! Hope the Lego movie sequel is still doing well though 🙂

    • Leah

      Mean either. Its Neflix show, race to the edge, has been quite enough to hold me so far. The newest season brought the feels in one episode. I was literally crying. I hope someone here does a review on the season.