2016 was a good year for animated features. Three of the top five highest-grossing movies worldwide were animated features – Finding Dory at No.2, Zootopia at No.3, and The Secret Life Of Pets at No.5. The first two even managed to crack the US$1bil mark in terms of their global box-office intake.
Besides making a lot of money, animated features proved that they could also be really, really good movies in their own right.
The criminally underappreciated Kubo really is one of the best films of the year, animated or otherwise, while the fun yet moving Finding Dory underlined exactly why 2003’s Finding Nemo is still one of the best Pixar movies ever.
The other sequels didn’t fare so well though – Ice Age: Collision Course was repetitive and forgettable, and while Kungfu Panda 3 was visually spectacular, the story felt rushed and predictable.
Instead, the non-sequels were the ones that fared the best. Disney continued its non-Pixar animated winning streak with the magical Moana, and we also got the surprisingly entertaining Trolls, the gleeful Sing, and the best movie with a homicidal bunny ever, The Secret Life Of Pets. The less said about The Angry Birds Movie the better though.
On the local front, BoBoiBoy: The Movie grossed over RM16mil in the Malaysian box-office, while Upin And Ipin: Jeng Jeng Jeng is still going strong in the cinemas currently.
The biggest surprise of the year, however, has to be Zootopia, a fun, entertaining film that combined a story about talking animals living in harmony with a defiantly adult message about equality and racial profiling. Now, who says animated features are just for kids, eh?