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A Summer - and Spring - of Animated Films Set to Hit Netflix

The streaming giants shares release dates, teaser trailers, and new images from their upcoming slate – including Lin-Manual Miranda’s ‘Vivo’ - that starts this Friday with Mike Rianda’s ‘The Mitchells vs. The Machines.’

Netflix has released a kind of pinned down schedule of release dates for their “Summer” slate of animated feature films, along with some new teaser clips and images. The streamer’s animated summer season actually starts in Spring, beginning this Friday with the much-anticipated release of Mike Rianda’s The Mitchells vs. The Machines. We also have a first look image and teaser trailer for Vivo, the animated musical they just snagged for global release (outside China) from Sony Pictures Animation that stars, and features new original songs by, Lin-Manual Miranda.

The complete set of films, casts, and visuals are as follows:

The Mitchells vs. The Machines
Premiere Date: April 30, 2021

Produced by the dynamic duo of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, producers of the Oscar-winning animated feature, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and The LEGO Movie, the animated comedy is written by former Gravity Falls scribes Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe, who also serve as director and co-director. It stars Rianda, Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Eric Andre, Olivia Colman, Blake Griffin, Fred Armisen, Beck Bennett, Chrissy Teigen, John Legend, Charlyne Yi, Conan O'Brien, Sasheer Zamata, Elle Mills, Alex Hirsch, and Jay Pharoah. And Doug the Pug. Lord, Miller, and Kurt Albrecht produced the film; Will Allegra, Louis Koo Tin Lok executive produced.

The film features an ordinary family who find themselves in the middle of their biggest family challenge yet… saving the world from the robot apocalypse. Piece of cake. It all starts when creative outsider Katie Mitchell is accepted into the film school of her dreams and is eager to leave home and find “her people.” Her nature-loving dad insists on having the whole family drive her to school and bond during one last totally-not-awkward-or-forced road trip. But just when the trip can’t get any worse, the family suddenly finds itself in the middle of the robot uprising! Everything from smart phones, to Roombas, to evil Furbys are employed to capture every human on the planet. Now it’s up to the Mitchells, including upbeat mom Linda, quirky little brother Aaron, their squishy pug, Monchi, and two friendly, but simple-minded robots to save humanity.


Premiere Date: TBD

Directed by Kirk DeMicco, the Oscar-nominated writer and director of The Croods, Vivo is an animated musical adventure that follows Vivo, a musically gifted kinkajou (aka a rainforest “honey bear”) who must find his way from Havana to Miami in order to deliver a song to his cherished owner’s long-lost love. The film stars Tony Award-winning Hamilton creator Lin-Manual Miranda, who wrote and performs a number of new songs. Produced by Lisa Stewart (Turbo, Monsters vs. Aliens), Michelle Wong (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Hotel Transylvania 2), and Oscar-winner Rich Moore (Zootopia, Ralph Breaks the Internet), the film is written by DeMicco and Quiara Alegría Hudes (In the Heights).

In addition to Miranda, Vivo also stars Ynairaly Simo, Zoe Saldana, Juan de Marcos, Brian Tyree Henry and Gloria Estefan – in addition to Nicole Byer, Michael Rooker, Leslie David Baker, Katie Lowes, Olivia Trujillo, and Lidya Jewett.

Wish Dragon
Premiere Date: June 11, 2021

Written and directed by Chris Appelhans and starring Jackie Chan, Wish Dragon tells the story of Din, a working-class college student with big dreams but small means, and Long (Jackie Chan), a cynical but all-powerful dragon capable of granting wishes.  Together, the two set off on an adventure through modern day Shanghai in pursuit of Din’s long-lost childhood friend, Lina. Their journey forces them to answer some of life's biggest questions – because when you can wish for anything, you must decide what really matters.

Aron Warner, Chris Bremble, and Chan serve as producers. In addition to Chan, the voice cast includes John Cho, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Jimmy Wong, Constance Wu, Will Yun Lee, Jimmy O’Yang, Aaron Yoo, Bobby Lee, and Ronnie Chieng.

The film, co-financed by Sony Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Sparkle Roll Media, Base Media, and TenCent Pictures, was released in Chinese theatres nationwide this past January.

Way back in 2016, AWN talked with Appelhans about his new film, which at the time, marked the first foray into animated features by Bremble’s Chinese VFX studio, Base FX. In 2018, Jackie Chan and Constance Wu joined the English voice cast, with Sony Pictures Animation later coming on board for international distribution. SPA announced their involvement with the film during their 2019 Annecy festival production slate reveal.

America: The Motion Picture
Premiere Date: June 30, 2021

For more mature fans of what we call “Adult Animation,” this comedy comes by way of director Matt Thompson, who animation aficionados know is the executive producer and all-around maestro behind such animated TV hits as Sealab 2021, Frisky Dingo, and of course, Archer.

A wildly tongue-in-cheek animated revisionist history, America: The Motion Picture stars a chainsaw-wielding George Washington, who assembles a team of rabble rousers — including beer-loving bro Sam Adams, famed scientist Thomas Edison, acclaimed horseman Paul Revere, and a very pissed off Geronimo — to defeat Benedict Arnold and King James in the American Revolution. Who will win? No one knows, but you can be sure of one thing: these are not your father's Founding… uh, Fathers.

The film is written by Dave Callaham and produced by Thompson, the dynamic duo of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Will Allegra, Channing Tatum, Peter Kiernan, Reid Carolin, and Eric Sims.

The stellar cast includes Tatum, Jason Mantzoukas, Olivia Munn, Bobby Moynihan, Judy Greer, Will Forte, Raoul Max Trujillo, and Killer Mike, with Simon Pegg and Andy Sandberg.

Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans
Premiere Date: July 2021

Last August 7, Netflix announced Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro and DreamWorks Animation were continuing to expand their ambitious Trollhunters world and partnership with a brand-new animated feature, Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans, set in the Emmy Award-winning Tales of Arcadia world. Now we have something to look forward to this July besides heat and humidity!

In DreamWorks’ Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans, Arcadia may look like an ordinary town, but it lies at the center of magical and mystical lines that makes it a nexus for many battles among otherworldly creatures including trolls, aliens, and wizards. Now the heroes from the hit series Trollhunters3Below and Wizards, team-up in their most epic adventure yet where they must fight the Arcane Order for control over the magic that binds them all.

Directed by Johane Matte, Francisco Ruiz Velasco, and Andrew L. Schmidt, Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans is written by Marc Guggenheim and the Hageman brothers, Dan and Kevin, the Star Trek: Prodigy writers/producers who just inked a multi-year development deal with CBS Studios. The brothers also produce along with del Toro, Guggenheim, and Chad Hammes.

Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans boasts a fantastic cast that includes Emile Hirsch, Lexi Medrano, Charlie Saxton, Kelsey Grammer, Alfred Molina, Steven Yeun, Nick Frost, Colin O'Donoghue, Diego Luna, Tatiana Maslany, Cole Sand, Nick Offerman, Fred Tatasciore, Brian Blessed, Kay Bess, Piotr Michael, James Hong, Tom Kenny, Angel Lin, Amy Landecker, Jonathan Hyde, Bebe Wood, Laraine Newman, Grey Griffin, and Cheryl Hines.

The Loud House Movie
Premiere Date: Summer 2021

In Nickelodeon’s The Loud House Movie, the biggest family on television goes on the biggest Loud family vacation ever! The adventure follows the Loud family to Scotland where they discover that they are descendants of Scottish royalty. The family quickly indulges in the most wish-fulfilling high-life ever when they discover their ancestral home is a castle.

Back in 2019, Nickelodeon and Netflix inked a multi-year deal to produce original animated features and TV series for kids and families. The deal called for the two companies to develop content based on Nickelodeon’s library of characters as well as new IP, expanding upon a relationship that already saw Netflix stream the animated specials Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling and Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus earlier that year. Projects based on The Loud House and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were said to be in development.

Now, we know one of those two is coming soon!

Produced by Nickelodeon, the film is directed by Dave Needham and written by Kevin Sullivan and Chris Viscardi.  The voice cast includes Asher Bishop, Michelle Gomez, David Tennant, Grey Griffin, Jill Talley, Brian Stepanek, Jessica DiCicco, Liliana Mumy, Cristina Pucelli, Nika Futterman, Lara Jill Miller, Andre Robinson, Cat Taber, Katy Townsend, Carlos PenaVega, and Izabella Alvarez.

Source: Netflix

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.