By Stephen Aspeling23 August 2023
6 epic, fierce and fun-filled animated adventures
If you consider yourself to be dashing and daring, courageous and caring, faithful and friendly with stories to share… chances are you grew up with animated adventures. This was an age when “cartoons” told of magical creatures and high adventure without compare. A time when you could switch on the telly and get whisked away to another land… far, far away.
This self-same spirit is what drives much of animation today, as those kids now get a chance to live their dreams out through this artful medium as bigger kids. Feast your eyes on some of the fiercest, funniest and most epic animated movies now available for your viewing pleasure. Best of all, your “video store” is packed to the brim and there are no late fees!
A beloved, dare we say “sidekick”, from Shrek 2… who would have imagined the runaway critical and commercial success of Puss in Boots now onto his third swashbuckling feature with Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. Having reached the lofty heights of heroics and unwittingly losing many of his nine lives in the process, Puss finds himself on the cusp of a quiet life, only to be ripped back into action with the promise of a new quest.
The third spellbinding adventure features the voice talents of Antonio Banderas as “Puss… in Boots” with Salma Hayek, Florence Pugh, Olivia Colman and John Mulaney in the wings. The Oscar-nominated culmination of a dazzling trilogy, The Last Wish is an imaginative escapade of the highest order, blending chills and thrills with heart, humour and lovable characters to boots.
Spider-Man has been rebooted so many times it seemed only fitting that the franchise split into its own Spider-Verse. Playfully doing this to poke fun at the cinematic universe of Spider-Man iterations, Marvel even crossed into this realm with the handling of Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland in Spider-Man: No Way Home. In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse it’s the young and impressionable Miles Morales who encounters the multi-dimensional superhero to inadvertently create a team of Spider-Beings in order to save reality. Reality!
This blistering animated adventure recalls the revolutionary The Lego Movie in terms of whirlwind pacing and frenetic style. Adopting a comic book feel, it channels a boundless and unpredictable energy seemingly unlimited in terms of budget and imagination. From bold visuals and wacky comedy to heartwarming drama, this action extravaganza is an absolute blast, armed with the fresh voice talents of Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson and Hailee Steinfeld.
3. The Bad Guys
Is good the new bad? For The Bad Guys, a gang of notorious criminals who have always been seen as villains, being good just hasn’t come naturally. Led by the ever-charming Wolf, voiced by Sam Rockwell, it seems as though his next job may involve a change of heart when they’re forced to participate in Professor Marmalade’s experimental project to avoid jail time.
Taking a page from Ocean’s Eleven, this animated adventure and comedy caper dedicates itself to having oodles of fun. From its motley crew to the city’s authorities and resident philanthropist, this stylish and visually dynamic heist movie is all about hijinx and hilarity as evidenced by its voice casting in Richard Ayoade and Awkwafina. Toying with the anthropomorphic absurdity of its characters to the calamity of their predicaments, The Bad Guys is always entertaining and upbeat.
Based on a Finnish video game about angry, flightless birds, who would’ve guessed the film adaptation would ever get off the ground? The Angry Birds Movie creates a vivid world for Red to feel horrible in, forced to attend anger management classes when he accidentally causes the premature hatching of an unborn bird. This is where he meets Chuck and Bomb, as the outcasts soon find themselves Bird Island’s only hope when a race of pigs with evil motives descend upon their paradise.
A colourful, delightful and explosive animated adventure comedy, The Angry Birds Movie does what it says on the box. Filled with zany oddballs and hilarious moments, one of its secret weapons is its stellar comedy voice cast featuring: Maya Rudolph, Kate McKinnon, Sean Penn, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Bill Hader and Peter Dinklage with Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad and Danny McBride as Red, Chuck and Bomb.
Just when you thought you’d seen it all, along comes DC League of Super-Pets, an animated adventure comedy about man’s… sorry, Superman’s best friend, Krypto. When the Justice League are kidnapped by Lex Luthor, it’s up to Krypto to assemble a team of supernaturally gifted shelter pets on a doo-or-die rescue mission.
This charming, spirited and fun-filled movie stars the voices of real-life friends Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart as Krypto and Ace. Peppered with voice talent including Kate McKinnon, Jemaine Clement, Olivia Wilde and Keanu Reeves, it cleverly supplants humour for all ages. Taking a playful look at pets with superpowers, DC League of Super-Pets also works as an action-packed, heartfelt and winsome adventure.
Adding a number to a movie title usually means a rinse-and-repeat sequel, but not so with How to Train Your Dragon 2. Not only is this animated adventure funny, touching and magically entertaining but it’s slightly edgier and more exhilarating too. An emotional roller-coaster, the sequel finds Hiccup leaving his comfort zone to discover a dragon lair and the mysterious Dragon Rider.
Blending elements from Asterix, Avatar, Braveheart and Game of Thrones with Godzilla scale, this sequel delivers on windswept action, engaging story and heartfelt emotion. Reprising their father-son dynamic, the stellar cast is led by Jay Baruchel as Hiccup and Gerard Butler as Stoick with Djimon Hounsou and Cate Blanchett adding clout to Drago and Valka. A well-balanced, wholehearted, fierce and epic action adventure with a strong dose of comedy, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a surefire hit.
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