The new year is finally here! While 2023 included some fantastic animated movies like TROLLS BAND TOGETHER, SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE, THE BOY AND THE HERON and more, 2024 has plenty of highlights in store that movie fans certainly need to check out.
From KUNG FU PANDA 4 to a long-awaited Pixar sequel, here are the best new animated films releasing in 2024 and when movie lovers can visit their local AMC Theatre to check them out.
Kung Fu Panda 4
The first movie that’s a must mention is KUNG FU PANDA 4. After a trilogy of films regarding Po becoming the next Dragon Warrior, fans of the DreamWorks Animation franchise return to this world where Po is set to become a spiritual leader in the Valley of Peace.
Now, Po gets to train a new Dragon Warrior, but at the same time, a new villain who can shapeshift into former villains threatens everything he loves.
Jack Black returns to voice Po along with several other actors from previous films, such as Dustin Hoffman, Bryan Cranston and more. Also joining the franchise will be Key Huy Quan as a new character named Han, a leader of the Den of Thieves, and Viola Davis as the Chameleon, the new villain as well as Awkwafina, who plays Zhen, the new Dragon Warrior.
Advance Tickets KUNG FU PANDA 4 opens March 8
The Garfield Movie
If you adore Garfield, then THE GARFIELD MOVIE is the one to watch. This adaptation of the famous comic strip character follows Garfield as he meets his birth father, a street cat named Vic. From this interaction, he and his canine friend, Odie, are thrown into a crazy heist that turns their lives upside down.
Chris Pratt voices Garfield in THE GARFIELD MOVIE, and additional stars include Samuel L. Jackson as Vic and several other prominent actors, such as Nicholas Hoult, Cecily Strong, and Hannah Waddingham.
THE GARFIELD MOVIE opens May 24
Inside Out 2
Pixar asked the question in 2015, "What if feelings had feelings?" And now, INSIDE OUT 2 will expand on that with new emotions, which all fill Riley's teenage mind.
In INSIDE OUT 2, according to the trailer, we see Riley growing into her teenage years, and with that comes changes to the emotions that are in Riley's head. Specifically, a new feeling begins to arise that Joy, Sadness, and everyone else must learn to live with – Anxiety.
INSIDE OUT 2 stars Amy Poehler as Joy, Phyllis Smith as Sadness, Lewis Black as Anger, Tony Hale as Fear and Liza Lapira as Disgust. Also joining the movie is Maya Hawke as Anxiety.
INSIDE OUT 2 opens June 14
Despicable Me 4
Sometimes, it's good to be bad — well, bad-ish. DESPICABLE ME 4 is coming to AMC Theatres in 2024. The details of the plot for this next installment have been kept under wraps, but Steve Carell revealed in an interview with Digital Spy that it will be family-focused and a "continuation of the story" following Gru, Lucy and the girls and how they fit into the Anti-Villain League.
Deadline confirmed in February 2022 that Carell will return as Gru, as well as Kristen Wiig as Lucy Wilde, Pierre Coffin as Mel and the other Minions, Miranda Cosgrove as Margo, and Steve Coogan as Sila Ramsbottom.
Remind Me DESPICABLE ME 4 opens July 3
Harold and the Purple Crayon
If movie lovers are looking for another new adaptation, then HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON is the movie for you. This film is based on the storybook of the same name and follows a 4-year-old boy with a particular power — he has a purple crayon and can create whatever world he wants with it.
HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON stars Zachary Levi, Jemaine Clement, Lil Rel Howery, Tanya Reynolds, Zooey Deschanel and Alfred Molina, and is directed by Carlos Saldanha.
HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON opens August 2
Mufasa: The Lion King
Witness the rise of a king. MUFASA: THE LION KING is a CGI-animated prequel to 2019's THE LION KING, and this time, tells the origin story of one of the most well-known kings of the Pride Lands, Mufasa, as well as documenting his younger years with his adopted brother, Taka (Scar).
AMC's guide to MUFASA: THE LION KING goes over the new movie and confirms that Aaron Pierre will voice Mufasa and Kevin Harrison Jr. will voice Taka. Also confirmed to return are Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen and John Kani as the voices of Timon, Pumbaa and Rafiki.
MUFASA: THE LION KING opens December 20
Sonic The Hedgehog 3
Lastly, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 3 is happening, and video game fans everywhere are excited. Plot details for the third film are under wraps, and not much is known just yet about who the cast will include, but Deadline did confirm in November 2023 that Shadow, a long-anticipated character from the "Sonic The Hedgehog" franchise, would appear in the third film.
Remind Me SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 3 opens December 20
With all these films coming out, 2024 is set to be a year full of incredible animated movies. Check out your local AMC Theatre listings to determine what time works best for you.