despicable me 3

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition: the best animated kids movies you’ve probably never seen!)

There are currently three animated kids movies playing in theaters, two in the top ten at the box-office, and this week also sees the release of Despicable Me 3. This isn’t a bad thing, as kids need entertainment too, but there’s an argument to be made that far too much of Hollywood’s kid-friendly fare is aimed specifically at very stupid kids. Okay, fine, maybe they just treat the kids as stupid. The end result is the same, in that too often the movies ask nothing of its young viewers and give even less in return.

There are better alternatives out there in animated films that entertain while also delivering substance, weight, and wit beyond mere fart jokes, with stories and characters that succeed without turning the volume all the way up to “constant noise.” Wall-E and Zootopia are two popular examples, but they get enough press and praise. No, we’re here to talk about the films you and yours haven’t seen. Some simply failed to find an audience, some are foreign productions, and some are simply decades old. All of them though are worth a shot at family film time.

So gather the young ones around the screen as we take a look at some great animated kids movies that you probably haven’t seen.

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Sequel Bits Michael Bay

In this edition of Sequel Bits:

  • Writer/director Chris McQuarrie shares a photo of the kick-ass female cast of Mission: Impossible 6
  • Michael Bay says he’s really done with the Transformers franchise this time
  • Get another look at Colin Firth in Kingsman: The Golden Circle
  • Director Jorge R. Gutierrez will make The Book of Life 2
  • And more!

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Despicable Me 3 trailer

It looks like Gru, Steve Carell’s reformed villain of the Despicable Me movies, is about to turn to the dark side once again. A brand new trailer for Despicable Me 3 has just been released, and the newest Illumination Entertainment sequel sees Gru meeting up with his twin brother Dru (also voiced by Carell) and being tempted to return to a life of crime. Minions form a dancing prison gang, hijinks ensue…you know how these things go. Check out the latest Despicable Me 3 trailer below.
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Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel Feud - Fast Five

In today’s edition of sequel bits:

  • Dwayne Johnson discusses a Hobbs and Shaw movie.
  • A new logo for next summer’s Untitled Bumblebee Movie.
  • A clip from Despicable Me 3.
  • Talk of Karl Urban playing Judge Dredd again.
  • And more.

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Despicable Me 3 Trailer

While summer is reserved for big blockbuster action, there will be a few family friendly endeavors trying to snag the attention of all the kids who will be out of school for the season. There’s The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, franchise starters like Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie and The Emoji Movie, and threequels such as Pixar’s Cars 3 and Despicable Me 3. And the latter has just showed more of the silliness in store this summer.

Despicable Me 3 brings back Steve Carell as the charmingly (formerly) evil mastermind Gru, but this time The Office star will be pulling double duty as he is also voicing Dru, a long-lost identical twin brother who creates some sibling rivalry. You can see just what Drew is like in the new Despicable Me 3 trailer after the jump. Read More »

Illumination Entertainment release dates

Illumination and Universal Pictures have the next six years covered. The production company, founded in 2007, has made some monster hits with Despicable MeMinionsThe Secret Life of Pets, and most recently, Sing, which is getting a sequel. Today, Illumination announced four new release dates.

Below, learn more about the Illumination Entertainment release dates just announced.

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Despicable Me 3 Trailer

With their new animated comedy Sing on the way later this month, Illumination Entertainment has just released a sneak peek at Despicable Me 3, the sequel bringing back Steve Carell as the dastardly but charming villain Gru. The roster of characters continues to grow with a new villain challenging Gru this time, voiced by a man who creates stuff that you wouldn’t let your little ones watch.

The first Despicable Me 3 trailer has arrived, introducing us to Balthazar Bratt, a former child star who’s grown up to become obsessed with the character he played in the ’80s. Described as Gru’s most formidable nemesis to date, this guy looks like he belongs in another decade, with a mullet (and a bald spot), a Rubik’s Cube as a weapon, and a powerful keytar. But perhaps the most fun thing about this villain, at least for adults, is that he’s voiced by South Park creator and voice talent Trey Parker.

See him in action in the Despicable Me 3 trailer after the jump. Read More »

Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek Into Darkness

During their CinemaCon presentation tonight, Universal dropped some major casting news for their upcoming Illumination Entertainment projects. First off, Benedict Cumberbatch has been set to voice the Grinch in the upcoming animated feature How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which is coming in 2017. And South Park’s Trey Parker has joined the voice cast of Despicable Me 3, as new plot details spill out about the movie.  Read More »

Despicable Me 2

While we’re all thinking about 2014 and 2015, Universal is planning way ahead. The studio has just set two release dates for films from Illumination Entertainment. One is Despicable Me 3, which will (obviously) follow the first two hit animated films. That’s got a release date of June 30, 2017. Universal says: “The team who brought you DESPICABLE ME and the biggest animated hit of 2013, DESPICABLE ME 2, returns to continue the adventures of Gru, Lucy, their adorable daughters—Margo, Edith and Agnes—and the Minions.”

And then there’s the new animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which will open before Thanksgiving even hits, on November 17, 2017. The studio offers the following: “A newly imagined version of the enduring holiday classic will be directed by Pete Candeland and adapted from Dr. Seuss’ book by Michael LeSieur. The film will be produced by Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy and executive produced by Audrey Geisel.”

The best bit, however, is a third film, an untitled project set for 2016. It’s from Garth Jennings, who made Son of Rambow. No specific release date yet, but here’s the official line: “This original animated comedy event about courage, competition and carrying a tune will be written and directed by Garth Jennings (Son of Rambow, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).  The film will be produced by Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy.”

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