6 animal-themed films to see in 2017

If you’re like some of Brilliant’s staffers, we know that many of your family’s favorite television series are still on a winter hiatus. So what’s a family to do other than re-watch the endless loop of rerun television on those early winter nights? Well, there are still flicks you can enjoy together—if you’re willing to trek outdoors. And the best part is that there are family-friendly movies slated for the big screen throughout the year!

Here are 6 animal-themed films to see in 2017.

A Dog's Purpose
Release Date: January 27, 2017
Fair warning, as this one is going to be a real tear-jerker of a film. It’s based on the bestselling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Purpose, and follows the story of a devoted dog (Josh Gad) who discovers the meaning of his existence with each human he meets. He makes new friends each time he’s reincarnated and in turn teaches man how to live, laugh, and love. We’d tell you more, but the tears streaming down our faces are making it difficult to type. It also stars Britt Robertson, KJ Apa, John Ortiz, Juliet Rylance, Luke Kirby, Peggy Lipton, Pooch Hall, and Dennis Quaid.

Animal Crackers
Release Date: April 21, 2017 (originally slated for 2016*)
A man named Owen (John Krasinski) discovers an old box of magical animal crackers after his family inherits a rundown circus. The crackers magically change the person who eats them into the animal they have eaten. Well, you can just imagine what the family goes through when that happens!  (Although, we’re unsure why anyone would chow down on a box of stale ol’ crackers.) It’s up to Owen to use the crackers to save the circus from his evil uncle, Horatio P. Huntington (Ian McKellen). Animal Crackers is based on the non-published comic book story by Scott Christian Sava. *taken from a previous post

Blazing Samurai
Release Date: August 4, 2017
This one reminds us of the Ku Fu Panda franchise. But instead of Kung Fu, it’s the way of the Samurai. And instead of a black-and-white gluttonous panda, you’re introduced to an orange tabby cat and a pooch trying to prove his worth in the land of Samurais (which all happen to be populated by cats!). In it the dog (Hank) tries to make his dreams come true, but has to defeat his enemies first. Enemies include a warlord named Ika Chu, who’s trying to steal local lands. So it’s up to Hank and the kitty companion to prove that even a dog has what it takes to be a true Samurai and protect the helpless. Oh, and it’s said to be loosely inspired by the 1974 comedy Blazing Saddles. This animated features stars Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Cera, Michelle Yeoh, Mel Brooks, and Djimon Hounsou.

The Star
Release Date: November 10, 2017
This film will be released just in time for next Christmas, and rightfully so. It’s a Christian film that centers around a donkey, named Bo, and his animal friends who all become the heroes of the world’s first Christmas. If you haven’t guessed already, this film is based on the Nativity story. Brian Henson and Lisa Henson from The Jim Henson Company will executive produce the film.

Paddington 2
Release Date: November 24, 2017
Paddington (Ben Whishaw) is enjoying his life with the Browns in Windsor Gardens. One day he’s out searching for the perfect gift to celebrate Aunt Lucy’s (Imelda Staunton) 100th birthday, when he spots a little pop-up book in an antique gift shop. So Paddington embarks on a small series of adventures in the form of odd jobs to earn enough money to buy the book. Sadly, the book is stolen so Paddington must work to discover the thief. It also stars Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Sally Hawkins, and Julie Walters.

Release Date: December 22, 2017
It’s too early for details, but the movie is based on the the beloved 1936 children’s book by Munro Leaf. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the tale, the bull, named Ferdinand, would rather smell flowers in the meadow than participate in bullfights in the ring. What’s the worst that could happen? Ferdinand is from the creators of Ice Age, Rio, and The Peanuts Movie.