Animated movies are currently undergoing a renaissance in the movie industry. This renaissance is due to Sony’s 2017 Into the Spider-Verse move. Which successfully pushed the boundaries of what is possible with Animation on the big screen. Into the Spider-Verse popularity also aided the “Animation is Cinema” movement that had begun to gain traction in Hollywood.

This industrial culture shift has resulted in the debut of several jaw-dropping animated films in 2023. These films include sequels such as Across the Spider-verse and passion projects such as Nimona. That spans multiple genres and styles. The MediaNaija crew has created a short list of five animated movies that have so far been released this year, which are a must-see for any movie enthusiast.

5, Nimona

Image: Netflix

Nimona’s journey to the screen is a complicated and hectic one. This film was initially in development at Blue Sky Studios. But Disney shut down the studio after it acquired 21st Century Fox in 2019. Luckily, Annapurna Pictures, DNEG Animation, and Netflix brought the film out of limbo two and a half years later.

Nimona, based on the 2015 graphic novel by ND Stevenson, Follows a knight in a futuristic, medieval world as he attempts to prove his innocence with the aid of Nimona. A mischievous teen who happens to be a shapeshifting creature he’s sworn to destroy.

4, Suzume

Image: Suzume Film Partners

This is widely regarded as Makoto Shinkai’s best picture to date. The film follows Suzume, a schoolgirl tasked with preventing a mythologically massive worm from falling into the nation’s cities and landscapes. Suzume is a road trip film in which the protagonist must travel the length of Japan to close malfunctioning interdimensional doors to save the world.

Makoto Shinkai stated that the goal of this film is to make people laugh while confronting Japan’s awful recent history of environmental calamities. The talented director perfectly achieved both of these things in the movie.

3, Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse

Image: Sony Pictures

The highly anticipated sequel to 2017’s Into the Spider-Verse is a masterclass in storytelling. Across the Spider-Verse features a hyperkinetic, ultra-stylized animation that improves on the strengths of the first movie. While also upping the stakes for the featured cast.

In this film, Miles Morales embarks on a thrilling adventure through the multiverse and joins forces with Gwen Stacy and the Spider-People to fight a supervillain. However, at its core. The film examines Miles’ attachments to his family and the steps he takes to shape his superhero destiny.

2, The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Image: Universal Studios

With a worldwide gross of 1.3 billion dollars, the Super Mario Bros. movie is the highest-grossing film of 2023 so far. It is also one of the best-animated films of the year. The Super Mario Bros. Movie perfectly captured the spirit of the games. Illumination and Nintendo effectively used animation to translate the aesthetic of the Mushroom Kingdom and its residents to the big screen. This unique animation style will give you an enjoyable viewing experience.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie follows Mario and Princess Peach as they set out to stop the all-powerful Bowser from conquering the world.

1, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

The Turtles in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (Credit: Paramount Studios)

This TMNT film is a fresh take on the 40-year-old franchise. The film’s official synopsis reads: After years of being sheltered from the human world, the Turtle brothers set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers. Their new friend, April O’Neil, helps them take on a mysterious crime syndicate. However, thing’s get out of hand when they are faced with an army of mutants.

What makes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem stand out from the other animated movies based on the turtles. Is that it focuses on the TEENAGE aspect of the turtle mythos. Something that few other iterations of the characters have done. The film also features a Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse-inspired animation style that gives it a sketchbook feel.


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