Here’s why 2016 is the year of animals on screen
2016 has seen Hollywood’s biggest stars pushed aside to make room for some new talent… animal talent to be exact. We’ve already seen cats, dogs, pets, mutant turtles, birds and zoo animals all take centre stage at the cinema screen, and this August 17th is no different.. as Mr Fuzzypants, a Siberian Forest cat, makes his big screen debut. To celebrate we’re taking a look at six of the biggest box office releases of this year – all of which feature animals!
1. ‘Nine Lives’
When a work-obsessed real-estate mogul suffers a magical accident, he finds himself trapped inside the body of his 11-year-old daughter’s cat, Mr Fuzzypants. He realises that he must put his family first if he ever hopes to regain his human form. Mr Fuzzypants is voiced by Hollywood legend Kevin Spacey, and is played by numerous cats who were each trained to perform different tasks.
Did you know: The film’s director Barry Sonnenfeld is allergic to cats and specifically requested that Mr Fuzzypants be a Siberian Forest breed as they’re known to be hypo allergenic.
2. ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows’
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were back on our screens again this summer in this action packed sequel. New York City is once again under threat, and this time it’s Shredder and his Foot Clan who have taken control and tried to corrupt the city’s politicians and police. The turtles team up with reporter April O’Neil (Megan Fox) and her cameraman Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) to save the city and stop his evil plan.
Did you know: The film’s undercover code name used during filming was “Foursquare”.
Disney’s film saw a world which was inhabited by animals who live harmoniously aside one another. In ‘Zootropolis’, rabbit Judy Hopps is working her cotton tail off to make the police force – something which has never been achieved before by an animal who was once seen as prey. She teams up with a sneaky Fox named Nick Wilde, to catch the bad guys trying to make the city’s inhabitants return to their prey and predator origins. The film includes an impressive voice cast including Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Alan Tudyk, JK Simmons and Shakira.
Did you know: Jenny Slate provided the voice of Bellwether in ‘Zootropolis’ and also voiced Gidget in ‘The Secret Life of Pets’.
4. ‘The Secret Life of Pets’
Staring a host of American comedy icons including Louis CK, Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart this comedy caper revealed what pets got up to when their owners aren’t at home. In this case, pampered pooch Max has his nose thrown out of joint when his owner Katy brings home a new dog Duke. As he tries to get rid of the Duke, the two find themselves on the streets of New York being chased by dog catchers and trying to avoid rabbit Snowball and his group ‘The Flushed Pets’.
Did you know: The film’s director Chris Renaud voices the hamster Noman.
From the creators of ‘The Lego Movie’, ‘Storks’ tells the story of a time when the birds no longer deliver babies – instead they deliver more practical packages for an internet company called Cornerstore.com. Top delivery stork Junior (Andy Samberg) and human Tulip (Katie Crown) accidentally find themselves in possession of an unauthorised baby… they must learn to work as a (slightly dysfunctional) team, to deliver the bundle of trouble before anyone notices.
Did you know: ‘Storks’ is Andy Samberg’s sixth animated film having also leant his voice to the ‘Hotel Transylvania’ series, ‘Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs’ and ‘Space Chimps’.
6. ‘Ice Age: Collision Course’
Sid, Manny, Diego and the rest of the herd returned to the big screen this year in a film which sees two worlds literally collide. How? Scrat triggers a sequence of cosmic events that pose a threat to the planet whilst on the hunt for his infamous acorn. (Of course he did!) The gang take it upon themselves and travel to the new exotic lands in pursuit of adventure as well as answers, along the way encountering a host of colourful new characters.
Did you know: Sid speaks without his lisp for the first time in one of his scenes.
Join the animal adventure when ‘Nine Lives’ is in UK cinemas from August 17.