CULVER CITY, Calif., June 20 (UPI) — Sony Pictures Animation says its slate through 2018 will include five theatrical features, three television series and one direct-to-video movie.
“We are meaningfully stepping up our level of production, while creating an environment that fosters the best talent. Our goal is to enlarge our presence in the animation landscape with a uniquely diverse slate, and our strategy to get there is to let artists drive the movies creatively,” Kristine Belson, president of Sony Pictures Animation, said in a statement Monday.
The studio’s big-screen lineup includes Smurfs: The Lost Village, which is scheduled to open April 7, 2017. The voice cast will feature Demi Lovato, Jack McBrayer, Joe Manganiello, Danny Pudi, Rainn Wilson and Mandy Patinkin.
Set for release in August 2017, Emojimovie: Express Yourself “will offer a surprising and comic take on the secret world of our phones and the beloved characters that have become daily necessities in global interpersonal communication,” a press release explained.
The Star is expected to appear in theaters on Dec. 8, 2017. The computer-animated collaboration between Sony Pictures Animation and The Jim Henson Company is about what happens when “a small but brave donkey and his animal friends become the unsung heroes of the greatest story ever told, the first Christmas.”
Sony’s vampire-comedy franchise continues with Hotel Transylvania 3, which is gearing up for a Sept. 21, 2018, opening. Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez and Andy Samberg return as the voices of Dracula, his daughter Mavis, and her human husband Johnny.
From Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the brains behind The Lego Movie, comes an animated Spider-Man, slated for theatrical release Dec. 21, 2018.
Animated television series in the works for 2017-18 include Ghostbusters: Ecto Force, Hotel Transylvania: The Television Series and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Surf’s Up 2: Wavemania will debut on home entertainment in the spring of 2017. Directed by Henry Yu and produced by Michelle Wong, the follow-up to the 2007 blockbuster will have a voice cast comprised of WWE Superstars John Cena, The Undertaker, Triple H, Diva Paige and Mr. McMahon.