Most awaited animation films of 2011
From leaping lizards to treasure seeking Belgian journalists, from tigers that bounce on their tails to cars that can't stop talking, this year sure has an exciting slate of animated films lined up.
Here's a look at some of the major animated releases coming your way in 2011
The fantastically reviewed surrealist tale gets Pirates Of The Caribbean director Gore Verbinski back with his leading man Johnny Depp, who here plays a lizard.
Said to be a crazy pastiche of Western references with much hat-tipping towards the great Sergio Leone, Rango is being hailed as a fun and fantastical triumph of the imagination.
Image: Movie poster of Rango
Mars Needs Moms
This Robert Zemeckis produced 3D film created using performance capture tells the story of a 9-year-old boy realising the importance of his mom after Martians abduct her.
Seth Green plays the boy and Joan Cusack plays his mother kidnapped simply because Mars needs mothers too. The film is directed by Simon Wells, who worked on films like Shrek 3, Madagascar and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Image: Movie poster of Mars Needs Mom
The people behind the Ice Age franchise have flipped things around geographically and climactially with the highly colourful Rio, set in the most exotic and picturesque parts of South America.
The film, promotions for which have currently taken over YouTube, should be a fun departure from the cold climes of the previous franchise, and stars actors Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway in the lead roles.
Image: Movie poster of Rio
Kung Fu Panda 2
Jack Black is back, as is the ridiculously A-list cast from the first film about a chubby Panda called Po who learns he is the chosen one.
This time Po's a Kung-Fu master, but there's a whole new set of bizarre and interesting adversaries led by emperor peacock Lord Shen, voiced by Gary Oldman. Other additions to the cast include Jean-Claude Van Damme, David Cross and Michelle Yeoh.
Image: Movie poster of Kung Fu Panda 2
John Lasseter's Cars is the one Pixar film that isn't universally loved. We loved it, though. And yet it made the ever-successful animation studio bucketloads of money, and here comes the sequel.
Owen Wilson and Larry The Cable Guy reprise their roles as Lightning McQueen and Mater, but the big cast addition this time is Aston Martin lookalike secret agent Finn McMissile, voiced by Michael Caine.
Image: Movie poster of Cars 2
Winnie The Pooh
Refreshingly rendered with traditional hand-drawn animation by the wonderful people at Disney, this adaptation of AA Milne's lovely characters will be based directly on the original books, while borrowing a few snippets and characters from books that haven't been seen on screen before.
With the eternally amazing John Cleese in the narrator's seat, we, like Tigger, just can't wait.
Image: Movie poster of Winnie The Pooh
Puss In Boots
A spinoff from the Shrek films, this film gives Antonio Banderas' popular Puss character a chance to do his own thing without getting burdened down by the green ogre.
The cast is really interesting, with Salma Hayek playing his love interest Kitty Softpaws and the hilarious Hangover star Zach Galifianakis taking the role of the evil mastermind Humpty Dumpty. Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris also star.
Image: Movie poster of Puss In Boots
Happy Feet 2
Elijah Wood and Robin Williams return to their roles in this story of dancing penguins, but after Brittany Murphy who played heroine Gloria, tragically passed away, singer Pink will be appearing in that role.
There are several new characters, however, and the voice-talent roster now includes Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Hank Azaria and Sofia Vergara.
Image: Movie poster of Happy Feet 2
The Adventures Of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn
Clearly one of the most anticipated films of the year, this Steven Spielberg film is the first of a trilogy produced by Steven and Peter Jackson, with the directors each taking turns at the helm with this evidently groundbreaking new animation technique.
Written by Edgar Wright, the screenplay combines the stories of The Crab With The Golden Claws, The Secret Of The Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure.
Image: Movie poster of The Adventures Of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn