10 best animated movies that deserve a sequel

At a time when sequels are everywhere and are the main bread and butter of many studios, sometimes the choices about what gets a sequel and what doesn’t come down to popularity, box office results, and overall nostalgia. And while this is all fine and good, it means that several animated films are fading into the dust and being forgotten, even if they have tons of potential for future installments.

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This isn’t to say these will ever get sequels – many of them probably won’t – but the world will be a little more incomplete if they didn’t. In fact, many of these seem like such an obvious idea for future movies that it’s a mystery why studios didn’t give them the green light years ago.

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Great Hero 6 (2014)

Disney Animation’s first film featuring characters from Marvel, Great Hero 6 is almost nothing like its comedic counterpart, and actually its own thing, but it’s a fantastic film in its own right. It follows a traditional superhero origin with a more emotionally charged twist, and the main relationship between Hiro and his robot Baymax really sells the story.

While the film has branched out to television quite successfully with a three-season animated show and an upcoming Baymax solo series on Disney+, a theatrical sequel has yet to exist, despite several staff members expressing an interest in doing it. With origins out of the way, a sequel could present a more dynamic, ambitious superhero story and delve more into the unique world of San Fransokyo.

unbelievable 2 (2018)

Pixar is no stranger to sequels, and they are the masters at giving unexpectedly great sequels that expand the world and scope of their original movies in amazing ways. No one could have predicted find doryMonsters UniversityYesor one of the Toy Story movies to be as good as they were but when it comes to unbelievablethe only franchise that seems ripe for potential, they seem to be dragging most of the time.

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However, it makes sense in context. As the brainchild of Brad Bird, who isn’t normally part of the company, it’s likely that a sequel without him won’t be the unbelievable we love. That said, Brad Bird definitely needs to return for a third installment just to complete the trilogy. Maybe show the kids grown up and become supers themselves?

Inside out (2015)

One of Pixar’s biggest hits of the past decade, Inside out is a simple story wrapped in an ingenious premise – what if our emotions were personified? The potential is literally endless and Pixar took that opportunity to tell an emotionally charged story about a girl moving to a new city and the difficulties that come with it.

And while the film ends with a sense of contentment with its story, more than any other film they’ve made, it makes you wonder what comes next. Seeing more of Riley’s life from the perspective of her emotions sounds like a great idea, and it could dive into more psychological concepts that the filmmakers didn’t have enough time to talk about.

Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)

One of DreamWorks’ major franchises, Kung Fu Panda has a full trilogy to its credit and still feels a bit incomplete. The story of Po, the Dragon Warrior and the enemies he faces is captivating, fun, but also intelligently written in such a way that children and adults can enjoy it equally.

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Since the series was initially designed as a six-part epic, it only makes sense that they stick to that task and actually continue the story. Kung Fu Panda 3 ends up with Po in a brand new position of leader, which could influence future stories and cause bigger and bigger threats.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (2010)

While some viewers know this simply as “that one owl movie Zack Snyder did”, Legend of the Guardians is actually an adaptation of a popular book series that follows a group of owls and their battle against the forces of evil. As a long-running book series with numerous episodes, you’d think a sequel to the original movie would have already been made.

But it’s been 12 years Legend of the Guardians graced our screens, and while Zack Snyder has done bigger things since then, there’s no sequel to be seen anywhere. The visual beauty of the original film and its ambitious dark tone made it a unique film among the plethora of animated films, and deserves a second chance to become truly popular.

paraNorman (2012)

While Laika tends to make great standalone movies, their second movie is paraNorman — following a young boy with the ability to see ghosts — may be the one most in need of a follow-up. And how could it not? The first movie gave paraNorman some great world building and knowledge to deal with, and it’s ripe for more potential.

But even beyond that, it’s the characters that are worth seeing again. This is such a funny, engaging cast that it would be a crime to never see them again, especially since many of them still have arcs that can go beyond what we see in the movie.

Raya and the last dragon (202)

With his eye for detail, Raya and the last dragon deserves some kind of follow up in any form. The land of Kumandra in general is a great universe with a lot of knowledge and backstories, and it would be a shame to waste it all on a single movie.

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And while the actual movie ends in a way that feels like a definitive conclusion, exploring more of the world and the other continents alone is worth the cost of making it. Maybe Raya and Namaari can explore the world now that it’s safe again?

sausage party (2016)

His raunchy humor is certainly not for everyone, but sausage party is funny and weird enough that it deserves your attention. The story of sentient foods discovering their ultimate fate and doing their best to escape it is as vulgar and nasty as they come, but also a clever and destructive take on religion and the effects it has on people.

The film ends with the implication that the food characters have learned that they are just characters in an animated film themselves, so they travel to the human world to… do something. It would be hilarious to see that play out in a live-action/animated sequel, and also on brand for Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg who tend to make outlandish stories like this one.

The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

Only Steven Spielberg, with his countless adventure stories and blockbusters to his name, could have delivered a movie The Adventures of Tintin as it was meant to be viewed. The motion-capture film was a radical departure from other animated films at the time, but kept to the core of the source material and was a stunner of a time with brilliant sets.

It was also a partnership with Peter Jackson, who agreed to direct a sequel if the first film was successful enough, which would lead to a third film co-directed by Jackson and Spielberg. And while the film was a critical and financial hit, the sequel has stalled in development hell. This is also unfortunate, as the serial nature of Tintin stories would make for a great series of adventure movies.

zootopia

One of Disney’s bigger hits of recent years, zootopiaThe unique portrayal of suburbia through anthropomorphic animals captured the imagination of children and adults alike. The commentary on race and prejudice is even more relevant as we move further into the 2020s, using these animals as a way to comment on systemic racism in society, showing the systems that make discrimination possible.

However, despite its popularity, there has been no follow-up, which is strange considering that this is one of the few Disney animated films that actually begs for it. An animated show is coming out on Disney+ this year, but a full sequel is exactly what would be best for this world – seeing more of Judy and Nick is the goal here.

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