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