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The Animated Talking Animals of 2016

Writer: Casey Lee


Why are there so many animations on talking animals this year?

If you think that 2016 is the year of the superheroes, then think again when you see what is going on in the animation world.

2016 has strangely been decidedly themed by animation studios, both major and smaller players, to be the year of talking animals!

So whether your child or younger siblings are animal lovers or not, we'd think that these animation films of 2016 will provide them with enough stimulation once they have seen these wild bunch of anthropomorphic animals, which can also be good entertainment for both children and adults alike.

There are also other live-action films with talking animated animals like "The Jungle Book", "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows" and more, but that's a whole other article just waiting to happen next!

Norm of the North

2016 kicked off with a cold start with "Norm of the North". A talking polar bear with no real talents in the Artic wild but to talk, turns that into his only hope left when a wealthy businessman tries to turn the Artic into a massive resort. With his only talent being only to communicate with humans, Norm is sent to the concrete jungle to try and convince the rest of the humans to stop the beautification plans. Voiced by Rob Schneider as the titular polar bear, this animation outing from Assemblage Entertainment and Splash Entertainment and directed by Trevor Wall, also has a respectable voice cast of Bill Nightly and Gabriel Iglesias.

Zootopia

Walt Disney Animation Studios has two feature length animations coming out this year, but only one of them is filled with talking animals. Set in an imagined reality where humans don't exist and animals have evolved into a civilised society, "Zootopia" follows young police officer Judy Hopps and her partner-in-crime Nick Wilde to crack a case of animals gone missing. Voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, Judy Hopps is proudly the first rabbit to join the police department of the animal city, while Jason Bateman voices the cunning con artist fox. "Zootopia" also has Idris Elba as the buffalo police chief, J.K. Simmons as the lion mayor, Octavia Spencer as an otter and Shakira as a pop singing gazelle.

Kung Fu Panda 3

After completing his journey as the Dragon Warrior, it is now time for Po the panda to take on the mantle of becoming a master as Master ShiFu decides to retire. Just then, Po, believed to be the last living Panda, reunites with his real father and is taken to his ancestral homeland; the Panda village. Besides the famous Furious Five with Angelina Jolie as the tigress, Lucy Liu the Viper, Jackie Chan the monkey, Seth Rogen the Mantis and David Cross as the Crane, the series introduces J.K. Simmons (in his second speaking animal role this year) as a yak and chatty spirit warrior.

The Angry Birds Movie

This is the first among our list of animations with talking animals that is also a game adaptation (in this case, a mobile game), the colourful propelling birds from the Finnish Rovio Entertainment, are given a little personality and speech in this big screen adaptation co-directed by Fergal Reily and Clay Kaytis. Red, voiced by Jason Sudeikis, is an outcast among the other birds with anger issues on their peaceful island. When mysterious green pigs arrive with allegedly good intentions, Red, and the rest of birds find out what they are after and will throw themselves at great lengths to take back what is stolen.

While there's probably nothing new for anyone who has spent countless hours slinging birds at porkine structures, but they would probably be amused once their hear Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Billl Hader, and Peter Dinklage voicing the most iconic birds from the series.

Finding Dory

Pixar isn't to be left out from the wild jungle of talking animal animations this year, but in their case, they will be taking it underwater. More than a decade since a clown fish and a regal blue tang set out on a grand sea adventure to find a lost son, director Andrew Stanton is taking the fishes for another grand oceanic search.

Set six months after "Finding Nemo", amnesiac Dory suddenly recalls a glimpse of where her home is and is eager to find it before her memory fades again. Ellen DeGeneres reprises her role as the forgetful blue tang, together with Albert Brooks as Marlin the clownfish who can't tell a good joke. On their journey, they will be meeting new friends voiced by Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, while meeting old ones like Crush the sea turtle from the first film.

Ice Age: Collision Course

"Norm of the North" is not going to be the only Artic animal floating on this piece of ice, not if the iconic band of animals from the "Ice Age" has anything to say about it. After surviving from dinosaurs, climate change, to continental ice breaks, the herd of Manny the mammoth, Sid the sloth, and Diego the saber-tooth tiger will have to survive a cosmic force, set off, naturally, by the all-too-unknowing saber-tooth squirrel Scrat. Old favourites from the series, including the twin opossums Crash and Eddie and the deranged daredevil weasel Buck will be returning, while introducing new animals such as a Llama and a few more dinosaurs.

The Secret Life of Pets

When not overtaking the world with devious villains with hearts of gold or swarming cuteness with hordes of walking bananas, Illumination Entertainment plans to destroy the world of happy pets with "The Secret Life of Pets". When the owner of Max the terrier brings home a new mongrel from the dog pound, the two dogs breed a new rivalry for their owner's affection until they are rescued on the streets by Snowball, a white rabbit who has far more sinister plans on pet owners and their happy pets. Despite sounding like it has the essence of "Toy Story" for pets, you are more likely to get a comedian affair with Louis C.K as Max, Eric Stonestreet as Duke, and Kevin Hart as the deceiving rabbit.

Storks

Despite coming out with a massive animation hit involving LEGO blocks, the newly formed Warner Animation Group is also throwing their hat into the animal ring with "Storks". Once the mythical animal that deliver babies to expecting parents, "Storks" follows Junior the stork, who now mainly delivers packages for internet retailers. When an unwanted baby is produced from a mishap in the system, Junior must find a way to return it before anyone finds out and he loses his job.

Sing

Illumination Entertainment still has one more cat in the bag for this year's theme of talking animals, but who wants to see more animals just wagging their mouths when they can use their voices to "Sing"? Koala bear Buster Moon is an owner of a new theater and is looking for singing talents. To do this, he and good friend Eddie the black sheep decides to host a talent competition to find the best singers in town, drawing the attentions of Rosita the pig and mother of 25 piglets, Meena the elephant with stage fright, Johnny the rapping gorilla and Ash the rocking porcupine without a band.

"Sing" definitely has a stronger cast behind the voices, starting with Matthew McConaughey as the enterprising koala, and John C. Reily as his black sheep partner, but the fun is only just beginning with Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Taron Egerton and Scarlett Johansson lending their voices to these singing animals.

Cinema Online, 21 March 2016

Related Movies:
Zootopia (25 Feb 2016)
Norm Of The North (21 Jan 2016)
Kung Fu Panda 3 (10 Mar 2016)
The Angry Birds Movie (12 May 2016)
Finding Dory (16 Jun 2016)
Ice Age: Collision Course (07 Jul 2016)
The Secret Life Of Pets (08 Sep 2016)
Storks (22 Sep 2016)
Sing (08 Dec 2016)



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