After several back-to-back banner years for animation, 2011 turned out to be one of the weakest in memory; Pixar delivered their first stinker with "Cars 2," DreamWorks delivered more of the same with a pair of sequels, and nothing, not even the oddball "Rango" seemed to be enshrined in the hall of fame for the medium.
But, fingers crossed, 2012 should be more promising, with new Studio Ghibli, the second Aardman movie in four months and the big-screen debut of TV favorite Genddy Tartakovsky among the headliners. And to bring us into the new year? A pair of images from Disney's two big animated hopes, one each from studio favorites Pixar and Tim Burton.
The former bring "Brave," the Scotland-set tale that provides the studio with their first female lead. And the stakes have never been higher for the company, with "Cars 2" disliked by most, and proving to be one of the company's lowest grossers (but also selling a buttload of merchandising, so John Lasseter's not exactly wringing his hands, we imagine). The new image sees Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) getting to show off her archery skills; we're sure there'll be plenty more opportunity for that in the film itself, which also stars Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd, Robbie Coltrane and Craig Ferguson, and it hits theaters on June 22, 2012.
Not long after, Burton, who also made a billion dollars for the Mouse House last year with "Alice in Wonderland," will premiere "Frankenweenie," a feature-length stop-motion 3D remake of the 1984 live-action short on which the director made his name. The plot will again involve young Victor, who causes trouble when he brings his beloved hound Sparky back to life (the pair are pictured), and Burton's assembled a cast of his favorites, including Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Christopher Lee and Martin Landau, for the new take. The film hits theaters on October 5, 2012. [Collider]