Top 15 Leading Contenders For Annie and Academy Awards (in order of release)
1. KUNG FU PANDA 3 (1/29/16) Dreamworks/20th Century-Fox. D: Jennifer Yuh Nelson; Co-Director: Allesandro Carloni.
2. ZOOTOPIA (3/4/16) Disney. D: Byron Howard, Rich Moore.
3. FINDING DORY (6/17/16) Disney/Pixar. D: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane.
4. THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (7/8/16) Universal (Illumination). D: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney.
5. THE LITTLE PRINCE (8/5/16) Netflix. D: Mark Osborne.
6. SAUSAGE PARTY (8/12/16) Sony. Sony. D: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon.
7. KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS Focus/Laika. (8/19/16) D: Travis Knight.
8. LONG WAY NORTH (9/30/16) Shout Factory. D: Rémi Chayé.
9. MISS HOKUSAI (10/14/16) GKids. (anime) D: Keiichi Hara.
10. TROLLS (11/4/16) Dreamworks – 20th Century-Fox. D: Mike Mitchell.
11. MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI (11/11/16) GKids. D: Claude Barras. (also submitted by Switzerland as its official nominee for Best Foreign Film, 2016)
12. THE RED TURTLE (11/18/16) Sony Pictures Classics. D: Michaël Dudok de Wit
13. MOANA (11/23/16) Disney. D: Ron Clements, John Musker.
14. YOUR NAME (12/2/16) Funimation. D: Makoto Shinka.
15. SING (12/21/16) Universal (Illumination). D: Garth Jennings.
Checklist of Animated Features Slated for U.S. Release for 2017
1. YU-GI-OH! DARK SIDE OF DIMENSIONS (1/27/16) Screen Vision Media. D: Satoshi Kuwabara.
2. THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (2/10/17) Warner Bros. D: Chris McCay.
3. ROCK DOG (2/26/17) Summit. D: Ash Brannon.
4. LEAP! (3/3/17) The Weinstein Company. D: Eric Summer, Éric Warin.
5. THE BOSS BABY (3/31/17) Dreamworks-20th Century Fox. D: Tom McGrath.
6. SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (4/7/17) Sony. D: Kelly Asbury.
7. SPARK (4/14/17) D: Aaron Woodley
8. ANIMAL CRACKERS (4/21/17) D: Tony Bancroft, Scott Christian Sava.
9. CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS (6/2/17) Dreamworks. D: David Soren.
10. CARS 3 (6/16/17) Disney-Pixar. D: Brian Fee
11. DESPICABLE ME 3 (6/30/17) Universal (Illumination). D: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin, Eric Guillon.
12. THE GIRL WITH NO HANDS (2017 TBA) GKids. D: Sébastien Laudenbach
13. MY ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL SINKING INTO THE SEA (2017 TBA) GKids. D: Dash Shaw
14. BLAZING SAMURAI (8/4/17) Open Road. D: Chris Bailey, Mark Koetsier.
15. THE NUT JOB 2 (8/18/17) D: Cal Brunker.
16. THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE (9/22/17) Warner Bros. D: Charlie Bean.
17. THE EMOJI MOVIE (8/4/17) Sony. D: Tony Leondis.
18. MY LITTLE PONY THE MOVIE (10/6/17) D: Jayson Thiessen.
19. THE STAR (11/10/17) Columbia Pictures. D: Timothy Reckart
20. COCO (11/22/17) Disney-Pixar. D: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina.
21. FERDINAND (12/22/17) 20th Century-Fox (Blue Sky). D: Carlos Saldanha.
NOTES: 2017 Limited-release theatricals (movies going Direct-to-Video (DVD, VOD but getting a theatrical billboard) began this year with ONE PIECE FILM: GOLD, directed by Hiroaki Miyamoto, on January 10th via Funimation. Studio Ghibli’s 1993 TV movie OCEAN WAVES, directed by Tomomi Mochizuki, got a U.S. theatrical release via Gkids on January 13th. Similarly, the 1993 anime feature SAILOR MOON R THE MOVIE, directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara, was also a limited U.S. release by Eleven Arts on the same date, January 13th (in Los Angeles at the Theater in the Ace Hotel). Denmark’s 2010 feature THE TROUBLE WITH TERKEL was given a token theatrical run in several U.S. cities on February 3rd, via Indican Pictures. BUNYAN AND BABE, directed by Tony Bancroft and Jim Rygiel, was given a limited NY/LA theatrical release by Cinedigm on February 3rd.