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Top Facts About the Latest Animated Films that We Loved

Top Facts About the Latest Animated Films

that We Loved

Animated films have come a long way over the years, and the best-animated films continue to amaze and delight audiences with fantastical worlds and life-like characters. Here are a few fun facts about our favorite new releases.

01. The Mitchells vs. the Machines

When an ordinary family takes a road trip, they find themselves in the midst of a robot apocalypse and must stick together to escape. There’s no shortage of action and fun in this animated comedy adorned by celebrity voices like John Legend, Maya Rudolph, and Abbi Jacobson.

Exploring new hybrid animation approach

This film uses a unique animation style, combining both hand-drawn and illustrative techniques while also benefiting from the modern realism of computer graphics. This combination creates a holistic and well-rounded experience for viewers.

Created new animation techniques

In order to bring the body morphing androids to life in the film, a brand-new animation technique was created. The newly-invented tool made it possible for the animators to cut up the models of the robots and piece them back together, giving the transition a unique and seamless appearance on the screen.

02. Raya and the Last Dragon

Set in the fictional land of Kumandra, this animated flick focuses on the protagonist Raya as she tries to beat the dark and ominous force of Druun.

A long time coming

Raya was in production for over three years. Several delays, including the Coronavirus pandemic, continuously pushed back its completion and release. It was initially teased back in 2018 under a different title.

Animated by Walt Disney Studios’ Head of Animation

Amy Lawson Smeed, Walt Disney Studios’ first female head of animation, was at the lead of this production. Her impressive resume includes animations like Moana, Frozen, and Wreck-It Ralph. Like all other films in Smeed’s arsenal, Raya includes the beautiful animation that fans of Disney films have come to expect.

03. Soul

The first Pixar film to have a black lead character, Soul brings a whole bunch of emotions and insights to the table with its gorgeous and original animations.

A combination of technique and creativity

One of the biggest challenges for the animators was visualizing how souls should be portrayed in the film. The animators eventually settled on combining their inspiration from aerogel, the lightest solid material on Earth, with recognizable facial expressions and emotions.

Shining a light on Black Culture

MontaQue Ruffin, one of the film’s most prominent animators, said it best when he spoke about recreating black culture for the film. He said, “We [tried to] capture this feeling of when you walk into a barbershop or when you walk into a tailor shop or [are] walking in the shoes of Joe Gardner, what are the details or the mannerisms? That was a fun challenge.”

04. The Croods: A New Age

This sequel follows the familiar prehistoric Croods as they navigate life in a new, seemingly idyllic paradise before realizing that all is not how it seems.

A familiar world reimagined

Lead animator Jakob Jensen admits that the new world the Croods find themselves looking a lot different from the original. The colors, atmosphere, and characters are all shinier, brighter, and exude a different animation style that the crew had fun navigating.

05. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

Bringing the lovable SpongeBob character to life once again, this animated feature is based on the long-running television series created by a marine science educator and animator, the late Steven Hillenburg.

A new take on old SpongeBob

Sponge on the Run is the third movie in the SpongeBob universe, and totally different from its predecessors. In this film, SpongeBob, Patrick, Gary, and the whole gang are entirely animated in stylized CGI. This is a huge jump from the traditional 2D animation seen throughout the television series and the first two films.

An immersive experience

The decision to make the transition from a 2D animated film to a 3D animated film came from the team’s desire to create an immersive experience for the audience. The animators and whole team took great pains to transition while preserving SpongeBob’s charm and essence.

06. Over the Moon

A delight for the senses, Over the Moon, is a luminous film based on an ancient Chinese Moon Goddess fable.

Relying on the old fashioned way

While most animated flicks are experimenting with new CGI techniques or trying their hand at a seamless blend of 2D and 3D animation, Over the Moon relied heavily on animation. This gives the film an old-school and nostalgic point of view throughout.

Help from a real-life fashion designer

One of the biggest challenges faced by the animation team was finding a way to animate the fantastical wardrobe worn by Chang’e, the 9-foot goddess of Lunaria. The team enlisted the help of Guo Pei, a Chinese fashion rockstar who helped them give the goddess’ dresses a liquid, morphing quality as they floated around her throughout the film.

07. Onward

Onward is an urban fantasy and adventure film that was produced by Pixar and released by Walt Disney Pictures.

A different approach to animation

Instead of capitalizing on popularized animation techniques like computer graphics, the animation team of Onward wanted to make the film seem as close as possible to a live-action film. To do so, they relied on classic techniques used by film teams of live-action movies including realistic lighting, life-like textures, and classic camera techniques to ensure the film was less of a modern cartoon and more realistic.

08. Wolfwalkers

Wolfwalkers is the final movie in the Irish folklore trilogy directed by Tomm Moore.

The introduction of 2.5D

The animation team of Wolfwalkers used creative techniques in order to bring their vision for a 2.5D animated film to life. The team was successful in their mission and made flat images come alive in 3D.

Seven years in the making

One of the biggest obstacles faced by releasing Wolfwalkers was its restricted budget. While all animated movies take a long time to come to life, that length of time increases exponentially when the team struggles to find funding. We think it was worth the wait!

09. Trolls World Tour

One of the most viewed animated films, Trolls World Tour is known as an ‘adventure jukebox musical comedy’ and is the 38th featured film on the resume of DreamWorks Animation.

A fine line between dazzling and overwhelming

While the animators wanted to push the envelope for the Trolls sequel, they knew they had to be careful to avoid making a film that was too visually overwhelming. In order to sidestep exhausting their audience, the animation team worked hard to tie together the shapes and textures of the movie in a consistent and visually appealing way.

10. Scoob!

Another film to add to the Scooby-Doo collection, this flick was a heart-warming and lovable comedy.

A collection of many firsts

Scoob! is the first completely CG-animated Scooby-Doo movie. While viewers loved to see Scooby-Doo in (what felt like) the flesh, there was another first that delighted fans. Scoob! is also the first Scooby-Doo animation to tell the story of how Shaggy and Scooby became the inseparable duo that we all know and love today.

A labor of love

It took five years for the animation team to be fully satisfied with Scooby-Doo’s transition from 2D to 3D animation. The team worked hard to create an engaging visual part by taking these iconic characters and transitioning them into a completely different animation world.

Final Thoughts

Considering the time, effort, patience, and passion that goes into all animated films, there are things to love about each and every one of them. We hope you enjoyed our collection of fun facts about our favorite new animated releases.

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